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General:Michael Kirkbride's Posts

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This is an archive of informal discussion and contains some outdated language.
Michael Kirkbride's Posts
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These are a few notable comments from Michael Kirkbride on The Elder Scrolls setting. Kirkbride is known as Merry Eyesore the Elk, Vehk, Ald Cyrod, and MK on the forums, u/MKirkbride on reddit. These comments were originally archived by The Imperial Library.


An Altmeri in-character snippet, talking about the 8 Divines and 16 Daedric Princes, and how Talos breaks the traditional Wheel structureEdit

"Or the number could be more Lorkhanic nonsense; that is, convenient for Man.

"The Ysmir line is dead and so is His stranglehold on the mythic.

"A single Wheel? More like a Telescope that stretches all the way back to the Eye of the Anui-El, with Padomaics innumerable along its infinite walls.

"We're coming for you in every one of your quarters, Sons of Talos. None shall survive."

Description of an Altmer shipEdit

Made of crystal and solidified sunlight, with wings though they do not fly, and prows that elongate into swirling Sun-Birds, and gem-encrusted mini-trebuchets fit for sailing which fire pure aetheric fire, and banners, banners, banners, listing their ancestors all the way back to the Dawn.

This is Old Mary at Water.

Numidium's siege of AlinorEdit

Numidium reactivated

It's not the Brass God that wrecks everything so much as it is all the plane(t)s and timelines that orbit it, singing world-refusals.

The Surrender of Alinor happened in one hour, but Numidium's siege lasted from the Mythic Era until long into the Fifth. Some Mirror Logicians of the Altmer fight it still in chrysalis shells that phase in and out of Tamrielic Prime, and their brethren know nothing of their purpose unless they stare too long and break their own possipoints.

Monotheism in TamrielEdit

The Skaal are animistic, not monotheistic. Huge difference there.

As for the lists of cultural pantheons, they are not exhaustive - Dagon, it seems, plays a larger role in Nordic myths than the author (me) of Varieties of Faith was aware of.

The Alessian Order was the most successful attempt at monotheism in Tamrielic history-- and even they knew better than refute other religions in their entirety, only co-opt and lessen them.

The Dwemer are special in their views. If one could misinterpret the name of their religion (they were said to be 'pious'), one might name it negalithic refusatronic world-navel-gazinism.

Historically, the magical nature Nirn frowns on monotheism. With a hammer this big. That kind of Maruhkati-talk gets you erased.

Mythic relationshipsEdit

As far as the Anuad:

Nirn (Female/Land/Freedom catalyst for birth-death of enantiomorph)/ Anu-Padomay (enantiomorph with requisite betrayal)/ ?* (Witnessing Shield-thane who goes blind or is maimed and thus solidifies the wave-form; blind/maimed = = final decision)

*Seek and you shall find. I hid it.


King Hrol (seeker/Healer of Kingdom), "from the lands beyond lost Twil". Twil as Twilight. Grey Maybe. Aurbis. His knights numbered "eighteen less one," the number of the Hurling Disk.


On the plausibility of Mankar Camoran's claimsEdit

Statue of Boethiah in Attribution's Share

Also in all fairness, there's enough evidence to support the Mankar's claims that I was happy that it went in. The idea really flips the idea of Tamriel on its head.

Imagine the Oblivion realm of Attribution's Share, for example, with eight powerful daedra (one of which is Boethiah) wielding divine power over their realm, and all their subjects bound to the whims of that power; now imagine it under an ur-theology and creation myth(s) as complicated as anything on Tamriel, where the myriad mortals of Nirn were, to the denizens of the Eight Divines of Attribution's Share, in fact, "daedra".

This realm would be surrounded by the Void, just like Tamriel, in turn surrounded by Aetherius, and who's to say that the big hole known as the Sun doesn't hit their shores, as well?

Lorkhan the Padomaic could be exactly what the Mankar says he is: the dead Lord of a lost daedric realm whose "gods" are powerful Liars.

On the different time-dragonsEdit

Don't forget that gods can be shaped by the mythopoeic forces of the mantlers-- so Tosh Raka could be an Akaviri avatar of Akatosh with a grudge against his mirror-brother in Cyrodiil.

Just like Akatosh-as-we-usually-know-him could time-scheme against his mirror-brother of the Nords, Alduin, to keep the present kalpa-- perhaps his favorite-- from being eaten.

Notice all the coulds.

On Nerevar's face being the Indoril helm and his Temple shrine depictionEdit

Nerevar's bonewalker version

The Indoril masks were official, and they each depicted his true visage. There was also a special Daedric helmet version in the Morrowind Art Book, but its look depicted his more terrible aspect as Hortator and Padomaic champion.

I may say lots of things, but Lord Indoril Nerevar the Hortator was my beloved from the get go during my tenure as MW's Art Director.

Edit: to Lorus, that's his bonewalker version, lost to the annals of most Tribune histories. Nerevar, while betrayed or not, was still dear to ALMSIVI after death.

On the "most powerful" beingEdit


The HoonDing.









That's my list, and pretty much in that order. Though Vivec did kill Tiber Septim once...but I mentioned Talos, not the Emperor.

On the Keptu's appearanceEdit

Men with tan brown skin.

On Vivec and MorrowindEdit

I can safely say that Vivec is the most realized character in videogame fiction. Period.

If a hermaphroditic, bug-armored, bipolar god-king existing in multiple universes who has his very own bible with *actual* magic strewn throughout it is your idea of a cliche, then I really would like to live in your world. It sounds fun and new.

But, wait, then I'd have to inexplicably make snarky and insulting comments in a forum where creators often tread. And that would quickly make me boorish and prone to cliched Angry Youngster Angst. That's the interwebs for you and good luck with it.

I can also say that Morrowind is the finest novel written in videogame fiction. A 40 hour narrative whose main character is only ever referenced is almost Nabokovian in aspiration, and prophecies whose truth is determined only by the player is akin to Borges if he only had been born with a USB port in the back of his beloved neck.

There is a fine line between celebrated tradition tuned to masterstrokes by its crafters and cliche'd demons underneath volcanos. Morrowind is the former, Selbeth, and nowhere near the latter. Except, again, when wrapped 'round electric peanuts tossed from the back row with bright'n'shiny underscores for effect.

On Ruma Camoran and her mythic originEdit

Ruma gave birth to herself, and her father was the father. She also gave birth to her brother, but he is not her son.

From Totemic Traditions in Atmoran CultureEdit

....the accounts of the origins of Men differ from culture to culture. Note how the somewhat dubious scholarship of the 3rd Edition Pocket Guide to the Empire asserted that Nedics were the progenitors to the Nords, having come to Tamriel from the cold and bitter wastes of the Atmoran continent sometime during the Merethic (Mythic) Era, flying in the face of previous studies. The most famous of these, of course, is Gwylim Press' own “Frontier, Conquest, and Accomodation,” which portrays the Nedics as a Mannish race indigenous to Tamriel, extant and flourishing long before the arrival of Ysgramor's ancestors. In any case, the truth of prehistoric Man is most likely lost in the god-time impossibilities of the Dawn, where no absolute answers will ever come on any subject at all.

Part of the fabled Numinatus!Edit

[First shape] was untranslatable, which was good to us, but difficult (which was also good to us). Best descriptions came from the edges, kaleidocules dancing myriadetada to the song of Nil. They spoke of [first shape] in side-language, mad by having to speak at all, for word is meat...[text lost]... and [they] told us that if we did not hurry and make up neganyms for our whole language then they would remove the Remover, for that is what we wanted to call [first shape]. So we did that. We went to the [Giants] and brought them painted cows, for they love them and it is tradition, and what better way to destroy that concept than by issuing its [death] with one? From the [Giants] we learned wind, and in wind we learned vacuum, and in vacuum we found the Not Talk of Ooghama, shield-wife of the Debris, [who had] written everything on her that will ever be and we took all the spaces between the words and talked that way in secret. It was difficult to do that.


[Editor's note: this is a homage to Jorge Luis Borges' Argumentum Ornithologicum. In essence, it is simply Borges' text rewritten with Morrowind terms.]

“I stood on the Deshaan, leaning on my balance pole, my stilts covered in the muck that runs in love to Necrom, and stared at the sky. There I saw a number of cliff-racers soar by in haphazard fashion, and yet I failed to be able to count them. Perhaps I was mudcrab-tired. Then, for some reason, I was reminded of the apocryphal teachings I learned at Temple about the Tower. Well, that's not true, I knew the reason this memory returned to me there in my leaning, but I was afraid to realize it into words until now.

“If the ultimate tower were to really exist, then that means that the exact number of cliff-racers that flew by has been recorded by the stars that support it. If it did not exist, then their number will forever be forgotten, as I forgot it; rather, as I ignored the bother to count. Now let us say that I saw a number of cliff-racers that was more than three but less than ten. Since I do not recall how many there were, I did not see four or five or six or seven or eight or nine cliff-racers. Instead, I saw not-four, not-five, not-six, not-seven, not-eight, and not-nine cliff-racers. Since not-five can never be a true integer, what I saw was impossible. And since I know what I saw was possible—what is more common in Veloth than a flock of cliff-racers?—I knew my answer: not-five exists, therefore so does CHIM.”

The Prophet of Landfall (????-09-11)Edit

[Editor's note: the original text for "The Prophet of Landfall" was a birthday gift for Kurt Kuhlmann, it was later adapted into a comic in the c0da storyline in 2013.]

He has come down from the mountains, the chitin of his belly segments freshly painted in Faith. The suns shine overhead, each uttering his name in their way. The barrens before him distort in the blur of their heat as he climbs the last hill, but his vision is clear. It always has been. His fifth and second arms encircle his staff as his mandibles click out a small prayer. Beyond the barrens lay the Crescent of the Eighty and One Thrones, and all the villages that hang from it like a jeweled belt. They do not know it yet, those millions that work, rule, and commit their countless sins out there in the cradle of all written history, but he will save them. In ones and twos, then in droves, and then their own priests and their own kings will throw down their false idols and take up the New Faith. He would permit himself some pride if that emotion occurred to him; instead, he tests his locust wings on the wind, permitting himself to glide into the first steps of Salvation.

On The Origin of the Name LygEdit

One day, in a very special room in a very special office, kings were looking at a map of Tamriel. They were new kings and old kings and some of them only wanted money as kings. So they traced a path along this map to document how things may have happened and how they might not have happened yet. But there was only one map so they passed it back and forth.

The newest king drank lots of coffee and needed lots of it to see how exactly all of these ideas could fit, no matter how small. His elder brother king had actually been hired a month before the newest but started 8 days later than his younger, impatient sibling. And there was a mighty king who had been there three months in a private office and when we knew his name to be True we bowed our heads and called him Uncle. We acknowledged that all kings were not rulers but equal and therefore bonds of kingship.

But sooooo many ideas allll at once! Whoops the map tore into quarters and the coffee spilt. And the kings did quickly sop up the mess but yet still yet wanted their notes. Oh no. Here was a Queen at the door and she did NOT like this racket. Plus the monkeys were tired. So they threw the map of kings into the trash. They went to their various stations and wrote what they remembered or did not think to write at all.

But lo for some reason the alarm bell went off LYGALYGALALYG and that means fire so three monkeys grabbed the whole trash basket for no other reason than MAYBE OUR ONLY CHANCE to save the Tamriel they had danced around. One held the basket, the other held an inner door open, a third held an outer door in, but weirdly the sprinklers did still hit the open trash. So they got outside and dumped out the contents of the trash because the basket at least held SOME water and the computers still held SOME notes.

One monkey got really wet trying to do the right thing, the second got really mad about the Queen for all the wrong things, and the third just stood there kicking through the trash for real reason. Until: OOOHHH. Look at these map parts all skewed around and drying weirdly and the admixture of stains all unalike looked best from beneath. So then the monkeys that really cared forgot about all else except those line track across that drying and broken and backwards map.

And they all nodded and smiled and said yes, that is how we will remember everything everyone in that room ever said. And the alarm then sputtered once last LYG. And that made the monkey-kings laugh nervously and then rolled those maps and said "I am going back in, duck your head under the broken light bulb swinging to and fro in that ONE ROOM that will never be used again because SMOKE.

"I am an Atlas of Smoke said these pieces of the map and we knew it to be called LYG."

On The Name of Sotha Sil's DaughterEdit

Sotha Sil's Daughter inside his cyborg belly

It's Memory. Have fun with what that means.


On Ebonarm (1999-04-10)Edit

Gamespeak: Ebonarm, as I recall, is a Yokudan deity, or group of deities that share the same designation. Legends say that he is (they are) just another manifestation of the HoonDing, the Make Way God. Many post-apocalypse manifestations of the HoonDing have individualized (like Diagna), and Ebonarm may be one (or many) of these. He is (they are) known to be adversaries of the Daedric powers.

Designerspeak: I am aware of the tremendous amount of fan fiction devoted to Ebonarm (Dreadlord and such). I don't know what to say about these right now...

The distinction between Gods and Daedra in Tamrielic cultures (1999-04-10)Edit

Most Human (Imperial) cultures regard the Daedra as separate from the Gods of the Eight Divines, true. Elven cultures, however, do not distinguish between "Gods" and "Very Strong Ancestors". Thus, "Daedra", in this sense, which means more-or-less "Not OUR Ancestors", are of the same level of power.

In anticipation of another argument, let me say that Oblivion is not regarded by any culture as necessarily an "evil" place; neither is Aetherius a "good" one.

On the First Era, and the Empire of Skyrim (1999-04-12)Edit

Skyrim, the province in which the First Nordic Empire was based

Remember that the ‘first era' is a Human demarcation of time. The Elder Races have their own divisions (and diversions) of history. Furthermore, the human eras do not conveniently begin and end with a single empire each time. The Second Empire of Reman had its genesis in the first era, too, some 2000 years after the War of Succession, and it was far more significant than the tyranny of the early Nords.

The “First Empire of Skyrim” is somewhat of a fabrication. The heirs of King Harald, while they had many holdings in foreign lands, never regarded themselves as anything more than a strong and steady line of successful war-chieftains. During the foundation of the Septim regime, certain parties thought it necessary to retrofit Skyrim's early history into something that might legitimize Talos' ascension to a traditionally Nedic throne (the general's Atmoran lineage was well known). The infamous “Coronation Edition of the Pocket Guide to the Empire” is the best example of this revisionism gone mad.

If the first era must “belong” to any one nation of Tamriel, then it is, of course, Cyrodiil. The Empire of Reman lasted for approx. 600 years (long into the next era); after its passing the world suffered through dark times. Before Reman, the world had been held in thrall by the Order, which, while technically not overseen by the (then) current Cyrodilic Emperor, was tied into the first Nibenese Empress, St. Alessia (the Manifold Manifest).

Who conquers Tamriel in the Second Era? (1999-04-12)Edit

The second era begins with the assassination of the last of Reman's heirs. Cyrodiil (and Tamriel) is thereafter under the rule of the Akaviri Potentate, until the assassination of Savirien-Chorak. Chorak's successors never make it to the throne. The assassins, in every case, are the Morag Tong.

I think you have eras confused with Empires, but that's understandable. The Second Empire technically ‘begins' with the coronation of Reman. The second era, however, technically ‘ends' with the death of Reman III, 212 years later. Tiber Septim conquers Tamriel at the end of the second era, and begins the Third Empire (and the third era).

What is the Knahaten Flu? (1999-04-12)Edit

2E560—The Knahaten Flu, called the Crimson Plague, spreads through SE Tamriel, destroying several native tribes in Black Marsh. The reptilian Argonians alone among the tribes of Black Marsh are immune to the plague, leading to speculation, not entirely discredited by modern researchers, that a genocidal Argonian mage created the plague for his people.

What is the Wild Hunt? (1999-04-12)Edit

The Wild Hunt

The Wild Hunt is a manifestation of the Elder powers, practiced only by the Bosmer. After the proper sacrifices and rituals, a mass of Bosmer may transform themselves into “a pack of shifting forest demons and animal-gods, thousands strong....”

Who are the Akaviri? (1999-04-12)Edit

Akaviri are people of the continent, Akavir, which is to the east of Tamriel. They and their dragon-kin have tried to invade Tamriel many times in the past.

On the Nedes (1999-04-12)Edit

The Nedic peoples are hardly mentioned in the PGE, which tried to hide the existence of Humans in Tamriel before the coming of the Nords. I could hardly offer a better contradiction to this notion than that of my friend-in-exile, Severus Reva:

[Text of Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation follows.]


"The Aedra aren't supposed to be able to change, but perhaps there is a loophole" (2003-10-03)Edit

Good, good.

And here you get delightfully close, in regards to your study, at least. Nought prececes [sic] authenticity... so, if this is true:

Which of the Aedra have done this?

What was the change?

What was the agent of change?

What mythical significance happened thereafter?

What destruction (and therefore creation) came of it?

I did and do mean Aedra, and therefore extract my question back into the timeframe we should have in mind. That is, after the first dawn and world's cooling.

I give you this as Vivec.


Wouldn't the problem with a Dragon Break be precisely that no theory about the events in question can be definitively proven or disproven? (2004-02-06)Edit

[Editor's note: this is a quote from the 23rd Sermon of Vivec.]

'The true sword is able to cut chains of generations, which is to say, the creation myths of your enemies. Look on me as the exiled garden. All else is uncut weed.'

Lorkhan and his avatars, from a thread on the Six Walking Ways (2004-02-14)Edit

1. Wulfharth L
2. Hjalti O
3. Ysmir R
4. Talos K
5. Arctus H
6. Septim A

Here's my take: the devs got high one night and decided to write a few books. And thus the Sermons were born. (2004-09-12)Edit

Wrong. It was one dev, naked in a room with a carton of cigarettes, a thermos full of coffee and bourbon, and all his summoned angels.

Quote: I think the Wild Hunt functions on this principle... (2004-09-17)Edit

During the Dawn Era, the tribe of Aldmer who became Bosmer were closely linked to Y'ffre. Y'ffre was an Ehlnofey. He was the first one to transform himself into an Earthbone, creating a law of nature. His was the law which prevents the transformation of one thing into another, keeping all things in their natural state.
As the Dwemer learned much of how to defy the Earthbones from watching Ehlnofey who controlled things such as decay and the passage between Mundus and other realms, the Bosmer learned from watching the passing of Y'ffre. From the process he underwent, they gleaned how to temporarily defy his Earthbone and transform themselves. By perfomring certain rituals, the Earthbone temporarily loses its power. However, the only outcome of this procedure is the transformation of the Bosmer into a hideous beast, which most likely reflects the being they truly are under their meric exterior, save that it is twisted and filled with bloodlust.
This may also explain why the monsters can reproduce and live so long. Since they were severed from one Earthbone, others may have lost their power over them, so that they can live eternally, and the limitations of breeding with different species are revoked.

Just about perfect.

Most of the philosophies of the lore are based in Dualism. Just see Anu and Padomay, is and is-not. (2004-12-06)Edit

Thus Spake Zoroaster

On the murder of Nerevar by the Tribunal (2004-12-09)Edit

The banner of the Tribunal Temple
I don't believe vivec did it, pure and simple. Alma might have, sotha might have, the guar with rabies might have, I don't care, but if vivec did it I think he would want you to cut his head off at the end or something.

Nope, I'm pretty sure he doesn't want that at all. He's been pretty clear on what he wants.

It was a terrible, terrible thing. And none of them ever forgot it.

Not even after it never happened.

So we are confirming the Dragon Break at Red Mountain, are we? (2004-12-09)

Oh ho ho, hold on a sec. Far be it from me to backtrack, but remember that I'm a fan here these days. I confirm nor deny nothing,

Even if I was at Red Mountain during the time discussed.

On the Dwemer (2004-12-10)Edit

From my notes on the Dwemer, which may or may not help with what you're trying to accomplish here. Just remember that these are one ex-dev's view of the things mentioned...


...They were unfathomable citizens of an inexplicable culture.


Of all the races of Tamriel, the Dwemer (Deep Folk) or 'Dwarves' are the weirdest. The Khajiit might have 24 different forms dictated by a magical, biological connection with Tamriel's moons, and the Argonians no doubt enjoy, at least psychologically, the most alien sentience on the planet, but the Dwemer are still WEIRDER. Why? It's simple, really. Elves in popular fantasy literature have always been ciphers for humans, almost always of that special breed known as Paragons on the Decline. They are not the Other (as lizard people and cat people must be) but rather the Another, that which has qualities similar enough to humans that we can relate to it but also possessed of a certain cultural outlook, religious tradition, or scientific method so skewed that the relationship is strained almost to the breaking point. In "Lord of the Rings" the aspect of the Another was immortality. In Tamriel, and specifically the Dwarves, that aspect is what I can only call Heroic Abrogation of Everything, a complete and utter refusal to accept what everyone else experiences as the real.

That's why the Dwemer are the weirdest race in Tamriel and, frankly, also the scariest. They look(ed) like us, they sometimes act(ed) like us, but when you really put them under the magnifying glass you see nothing but vessels that house an intelligence and value system that is by all accounts Beyond Human Comprehension.

Dwarves were the ultimate Bartleby's of the universe: whenever it asked something of them they simply 'would rather not.' Let me take this a step further and say Dwarves regularly practiced the perception of acausal effects. Dwarves knew that phenomena (that which can be perceived by the senses) and noumena (that which is the thing-itself) were both illusions, with the second one just being more clever. Dwarves could divide by zero. There isn't even a word to describe the Dwarven view on divinity. They were atheists on a world where gods exist.


[They] are Tamriel's biggest mystery and there should be no end to their enigma...

Stories written by them should read as communiqués between an X and Y axis that is tired of planar love poetry. Personal accounts of their wars with the Chimer should seem like Revelations written in computer syntax. Anumidum isn't a Giant Robot to them, but God's Encyclopedia of Amnesia. Or their Automated Hypnogogic Transgression...



Yeah, I know, sometimes even I worry.


On the different stages of Kwama (2004-12-17)Edit

Kwama biology

The Warrior is the combined version of Forager and Worker. The former jumps through the hole in the latter's mouth and its head pops out the other end; then the whole symbiote stands up. Voila: Warrior form.

There's concept art somewhere that shows this rather exciting biology. [Editor's note: illustration 1, illustration 2]

For animation reasons, "Form of: Kwama Warrior!" couldn't quite make it into the game.

I see. Can you also explain what triggers this?

Triggers what? The transformation?

Easy: dumb adventurers wandering into their nests. Danger! Danger! Time to combine and make Warriors!

So I guess the foragers do NOT combine with workers to form warriors. The warriors are 'squirted out' as needed.

Er, yeah they do. Promise.

On the Redguards (circa 2004)Edit

[Editor's note: Kirkbride regrets saying this and remarks it should not exist at all, see below]

No, I was actually referring to The Black Panthers and their radicalism.

As some people know I'm not really a fan of the United Colors of Beneton approach to Tamrielicreation, which smacks of white guilt and offensery rather than some holistic form of beautiful inclusion. Thus, it's my fault that the Asian analogues got eaten. Oops. Looks like others are bringing 'em back, though. But I promise my choice had nothing to do with Yellow Peril, it had to do with co-opting "coolness of color" without thinking about it intelligently and compassionately.

(Hunkers down for the flame.)

That said, when I started writing Redguard I really thought about how unique the black people of Tamriel were: they came in and kicked ass and slaughtered the indigenes while doing so. They invaded. It was the first time I had encountered the idea of "black imperialism"...and it struck me big time, as something 1) new, 2) potentially dangerous if taken as commentary, and 3) potentially rad if taken as commentary.

Who knows. AVault did say it had a story worthy of being on stage, and Michael Mack (Cyrus) once thanked me for giving him words that "Black folks don't get to say" (referring to Cyrus' speech and the reversal of Son to the Father)... which broke my heart and made me puff my chest all at the same time.

Which is a long way of saying: panther-love.


How does Uriel Septim know you are the Nerevarine? (2005-02-03)Edit

Uriel is the Emperor, the chosen voice of Heaven. How could He not know? And how does one ever doubt Him?

On Sermon Zero, written by Douglas Goodall (2005-02-03)Edit


I hate you, Doug!

After further discussion about the Sermon


All right now, all you kids play nice. Legitimate lore is a color-coded tangle of wires that's hard to unravel, and I would certainly hope that, say, my own "The Thief Goes to Cyrodiil", etc., all out-of-game, is considered "real".

I mean, think of Uriel showing up on the forums. To me, that's more real than real.

My main beef with S-zero is its relationship with the rest of the Sermons...and that it's too easy of a joke. I worked hard on Vivec's gospel. Yes, it contains real-world magic and references to real-world occult systems. But none of it is an homage or an inside joke or anything else that takes it out of context. (More than that, the Sermons are a spell, and potent, but I won't get into that here.)

Again, personally I hate that Sermon Zero was published anywhere, official or not. I do not like its association with what I feel is my most unique work. I will not say, though, that people shouldn't have fun with it, or that other devs should "stay away" from me-- hell, some of TES's best lore comes from Kurt (Hasphat) debunking my (whoever I'm writing as at the time) wilder theories. "The Dragon Break Re-examined" is one of my all time faves.

The difference with Sermon Zero, though, is that it does not adhere to the groundrules of TES development, or the sense of brotherhood therein.


Now, everyone go watch the new Battlestar Galactica.

Forgive me, but I have to play Devil's Advocate here...
QUOTE(Sermon 17)
They walked farther and saw the spiked waters at the edge of the map. Here the spirit of limitation gifted them with a spoke and bade them find the rest of the wheel.
The Hortator said, 'The edge of the world is made of swords.'
Vivec corrected him. 'They are the bottom row of the world's teeth.'
QUOTE(TIL annotation)
"This, surprisingly enough, is not a metaphor. In TESA: Redguard, the 3D engine used to produce weird visual artifacts when the camera reached the end of the in-memory world map. "Spiked water" is a good way to describe it."
Is this not just as much an inside joke as Sermon Zero's hidden messages? (2005-02-10)

No, because it plays by the rules. And is quite elegantly played.

And I reiterate my position-- I don't care if people, dev or fan, do anything with S-zero. Tamriel is everyone's.

I just don't care for it, and wish it were eaten.

The HoonDing's appearance in the Tiber War as "a sword or a crown, or both" was as both Prince A'tor and Cyrus. (2005-02-13)Edit

Cyrus wielding the Soul Sword

Yep, yep, and yep. Good work.

Wait... if Hooding appeared as Prince A'Tor during the Tiber War, then A'Tor would have been impossible to kill, as he is a god. But, A'Tor was struck down by an assassin at Hunding Bay. How does this work?

It works if you're not so literal. What, the HoonDing is supposed to be a 26th level Paladin/Farmer Spirit with X number of hit points?

This is Tamriel, where gods manifest themselves differently, and in actions, and sometimes not seen or realized until much later. Thus, the quote in question: "a sword or a crown".

A'tor in the sword. Cyrus taking up the cause of the Crowns. All in an affair wherein Hammerfell was threatened by outside forces.

Where better for the God of Make Way to show up? And who says he must be exclusively one Redguard or another? What if he was the whole of the country's fight-geist (new word) as seen through the lens of two men whose legends are tempered by a tangled history?

Again, stop with the generic fantasy anchorpoint and look at things magically.

Nix-picky questions. (2005-02-25)Edit

Nix-Hounds: Are these reptilian, insects, or mammals? In part, they resemble chameleons (namely the toes and eyes..sorta), but I can't tell if their skin is a reptilian hide, animal hide, or insect carapace.

They are arthropods. In fact, they were created by Vivec to hunt dreughs during a time-lost campaign against the Altmer of the sea.

Guars are grazers. Are they mammals? Can they be milked, in addition to being useful for hides, meat, and as beasts of burden? If so, is it consumable or just plain yick?

Lizards. Another little known fact is that the Imperials often refer to Guars as 'Tigers'. Here's why: during a tour of Morrowind in the earliest days of the Armistace [sic], Tiber Septim became enamored of the beasts. On the mainland, and specifically the Deshaan Plains, Guars are striped. This, coupled with the fact that His Holiness was never able to pronounce 'Guar' correctly (his troubles with the provincial Chimeric tongue is legendary), led to Septim finally callings them 'Tigers', from a fabled recollection of a storybook beast he loved as a youth.

The new name stuck. Even now, Dres slavers often refer to their cattle-Guar as Tigers.


*sigh* I can supply my own imagination, thanks, if that's the case.
I'm looking for anything official before I go and make claims in my story that I may later find to be horribly inaccurate.


It's me.

I'm only horribly inaccurate when it's on purpose. But if you want an official source, here you go:

[Editor's note: quotes about nix-hounds and guars from the post above follow.]

Thanks for the info. Are there any IC studies we could cite in support?

There might be at some point in the near future.

Hint, hint.

On Vivec's affair with Molag Bal (2005-05-14)Edit

So let me get this straight, Molag Bal transformed into a female to have sex with Vivec, to get pregnant with the monster we know as daedroths ?

No, two immortals had huge amounts of divine sex and so did all the onlookers-- priests and monsters and advocates and proletariats-- around them.

And the ground broke and gave birth to monsters.

Why is this strange?

Are "Akatosh" and "Tosh Raka" etymologically related? (2005-05-24)Edit

Let us be clear that etymology in the TES lore is a risky venture. More than risky, it's asking for trouble when one considers Our Father Who Art in Oxford.

That said, there *is* an attempt at wordplay, consistency, and clues in the lore, so my brother above is right when he says Tosh-Raka is "Dragon Dragon." (So is Akatosh, for that matter.) But he is also missing the subtlety in the title; in Tamriel, "dragon" and "time" are synonymous, they are bones of the same body-concept. That they are combined in seeming redundance should suggest an intention.

On the "marriage" between Vivec and Molag Bal (2005-06-14)Edit

Two immortals had huge amounts of divine sex and so did all the onlookers-- priests and monsters and advocates and proletariats [sic]-- around them.

And the ground broke and gave birth to monsters.

Vivec's gift of "my head for an hour" wasn't an innuendo. It was literal: Vivec's damn head took off and flew away; it had stuff to do, yo. His body, however, full of divine grace, was more than able to accomodate [sic] the hellish appetites of a dark prince of the deep.

What does the name Buoyant Armiger mean? (2005-07-29)Edit

In this context, it means 'gay samurai'. No kidding.

Extraterrestrials in Elder Scrolls. (2005-08-07)Edit

Read the Direnni Tower section in the PGE very carefully. There's been a rocketship in High Rock since we wrote the PGE.

In response to someone calling the Silmarillion boring (2005-01-10)Edit

Boo, hiss.


Musings on Redguard porcelain armor (circa 2006-01)Edit

Porcelain armor has exactly the exoticness that seems appropriate to the stone-worshipping people of the Hammerfell. Like glass armor, its name confounds expectations, which inherently pushes it into the fantastic (and look how glass armor is accepted nowadays). *Of course* raga porcelain is enchanted and blessed by the Gods through the hands of its craftsman, and thus a viable (and beneficial because of its lightness) form of protection. "And they mixed its powder with the milk of Morwha, the mother of all sands, and it stood firm, and sounded of small music as its porcelain scales shook with the wearer, and so did they sing along their ranks as they did in Old Yokuda among the saints." I would see these same scales painted each by hand as if in a mosaic, with ocean patterns that moved like the waves of the Eltheric, confusing the enemies of the sons and daughters of the orichalc isles. Warrior wave, indeed.

On the Imperial Census of Daedra Lords and its appearing in newly released Oblivion (2006-03-27)Edit

You should be able to find the Imperial Census of Daedra Lords (dunno what its final name is in the game), which talks about Hogithum Hall in a small measure.


It was certainly written *for* the Oblivion section of the new PGE, where I wrote a brief color description of each Lord and their realms, but I self-edited most of it out for space. That's when it became another in-game book, but it came after the localization deadlines, so German folks can't read it.

Then again, at one point they were thinking of re-expanding the PGE so they may have put that material back.

In any case, it's in there, somewhere. "Census" was a placeholder name, so it could be called something else.

On writing Mankar Camoran's final speech (2006-06-17)Edit

Apropos of nothing, I wasn't paid for Mankor's diatribe. It was in an email I sent to the friendly folks at Bethsoft when I got the "Commentaries" gig. That whole speech came from a section of said email where I attempted to get inside MC's head so I could understand how he might think, and how that thought would translate to his writing.

Turns out, MC writes like me. Ah, well.

Then Todd up and had Terrance Stamp record it at the voiceover sessions. I was pretty surprised-- I wish I'd known or I would've *really* went nuts with it-- but who could ever be mad at something like that? Terrance Freakin Stamp.

Canon or not, my two cents is that MC is completely right, and Tamriel is just another, albeit very special, realm of Oblivion. But don't quote me...I didn't write this in-character.

Vehkship: in character fragment (2006-06-20)Edit

Here's one you probably won't want to answer: The Digital House and the digitals from the Loveletter from the Fifth Era.
Feel free to toss in any tidbits about House Sul Progenitor House and C0DA while you're at it. :)

"Belief-engines, properly called the "Auxiliary Semi-Shockpoint Nilgularity", provide energy for short dream-sleeve jumps in case a Vehkship's main ego is damaged, allowing the C0DA Paravant to potentially get to the safety of a voidyard orbital.

"By creating the equivalent of an Nu-class Mnemolic, shrinking it instantaneously via a creatia tesseract array, and then projecting the resulting moth-talk well to a nil-point just outside the ego's hull, an ASSN can slingshot the Paravant into era-streams without the needed energies of nearby aetheric bodies or shockpoint application.

"The ASSN is strictly Last Ditch technology, however. It's often deemed as too dangerous for its own good, because it works on the rarified principles of Phynaster's Inversion, a set of mathematics that doesn't exist in our own dimension. Vehkships have vanished in nil-space trying to make an ASSN jump—indeed, the celestial irregularity known as the M4bV Legerity, in which the C0DA Oblivion Vanquisher appears and implodes in perpetuity, is the belief system's most famous cautionary tale."

S'all I got. Sorry.

On the Mnemoli (2006-06-24)Edit

Mnemolic magic is related to the "Star Orphans", gods and heroes and demons that live between creations, which can include those reality-bending burps known as Dragon Breaks. Think of them as the all-stars between kalpas, if that helps. (That probably doesn't help at all, really.)

What's up with the Blue Star itself? That's a good little hidden bit that I don't want to ruin. Someone go find it.

What was the Orichalc Tower? Was it in Yokuda, and did it help sink the continent? (2006-06-24)Edit

Map of the remaining islands of Yokuda

Orichalc Tower was indeed in Yokuda. Whether or not it contributed to the sinking of the land isn't for me to say, but the Yoku and the Left-Handed Elves certainly did fight a lot, so you can be sure the Tower had a part to play in their wargames.

Orichalc the name comes from Plato's description of Atlantis, the Most Famousest of Sinking Continents. It was therefore too fun not to add some orichalc into Yokuda's background.

Plus it's just a neat-looking, neat-sounding word.

On the de-jungling of Cyrodiil (2006-06-24)Edit

Being the lovely and gracious sort that I am, I retconned my own Cyrodiil in my own MC's Commentaries-- "Witness the Red King Once Jungled." Therein lies my take on the lamentable change in geograhical featuredom, as I always side on the magical Tamriel-as-malleable-landscape-by-the-will-of-heroes rather than real-world notions of glacial drift and unstable rainforests.

Are the Tsaesci really snakemen? (2006-06-25)Edit

"If the developers say so I would believe it, they are after all the developers, the creators of the lore. They know everything there is to know about it."

As a developer of TES since I was but a wee lad, I just have to say, no, no, we really don't know everything about it, AT ALL. We're prone to contradiction and hand-waving and, more often than not, inspired bits of ret-con, and, more often than that, protected by the nigh-spooky serendipity that Tamriel's lore provides for itself.

Really, it's spooky. Take my word for it.

We also used to back each other up, no matter what, unless we fought IC [in-character] on the forums, which was sport and madness. So let me exercise that fellowship again, Knowing What We Know Now:

The Akaviri had Men with them when they invaded. Men fought alongside/under the purview of the Tsaesci. These Men somehow came from a secret stash of the Dragon-Tiger, and were somehow lent to Mankind's previous nemeses, the immortal vampire snake-men, and everyone got their asses handed to them at Pale Pass.

I am filthy with, um, cooperation.

And let me make an effort to reinstate what even I have recently forgotten:

Devs can post. But devs should not post anything about lore unless they do it IC. This is a rule from the olden days that served us so well, from which sprang all of the colorful contradictions and built-in deniability of source that made TES seem alive.

From now on, that's how I'll be posting lore. Like, say, in "Fal Droon's True Accounte of Reman's Triumph at the Blade-Surrender of Pale Pass".

Oblivion = hell? (2006-06-29)Edit

Oblivion has been synoymous [sic] with Hell in the TES 'verse for nearly ten years now (see Redguard). Same with daedra/demons (see nearly any myth about daedra or evil gods-- more than likely, it'll be referred to as a 'demon').

They are not the same, but they are useful for context, and denizens of Tamriel freely use all of the terms all of the time. When, like, talking about hell or demons, which they usually don't do at night when Oblivion is staring right over their heads.

It has nothing to do with dumbing down anything. In fact, it has more to do with widening the scope of what those concepts and beings are to the people that live outside their realms.

Story behind Alandro Sul (2006-09-19)Edit


Hey now, I even gave him a fair shake at the Trial, so you know I'm down.

There were nice plans for Sul that never made it in the game, like the "Thousand Ringlets of Alandro Sul," where his mind was blasted into his chainmail headpiece by either A) madness or B) Tribunal-Gun. Then the ashlanders got hold of it and Sul could possess their minds when they wore it, making them see what he did, or thought he did. And then, of course, this thing got scattered and spread among the tribes, so that eventually ashlander tribesmer would all be wearing earrings made out of the chainmail ringlets, each one hearing the profane whisper of Truth.

That's where the name Sul-Matuul came from. Hardest of the hardcore.


On the nature of Pelinal (2007-09-23)Edit

Re: Pelinal, his closest mythical model would be Gilgamesh, with a dash of a T-800 thrown in, and a full-serving of brain-fracture slaughterhouse antinomial (Kill)3 functions stuck in his hand or head. We tend to forgive those heroes.

And thousands of years of Good Coming From Bad, and/or whitewash, ignorance, shame, his Song being read by the Knights merely as fancy rather than right record, etc, might explain the Order's reluctance to villify or apologize for him. Plus, no one wants to gets smothered in their sleep by moths.

That said, I sure would like to read the story of Alkosh whooping Pelinal's ass back to Cyrod when the Whitestrake's pogroms strayed too far into the Dragon-Cat's land.

Edit: forum mangled my post; that's what maruhk-talk can do to you.

Didn't Gilgamesh have a happy ending?

If by happy you mean heartbreaking, then yes.

My above post was fixed by memospore correction. Apologies for the cut-off.

One question on my mind is how he managed to get the Aurorans inside the cities? As players, we never saw Merida-style versions of Dagon's Gates. Dagon's portals were always outside the city walls. How did Meridia pull this guerilla warfare off?

Prodigious use of illicit spectra..?

"When the light is right (read: wrong), then move in."

I haven't written that one [Editor's note: Pelinal vs Alkosh] yet. Checks and balances, baby. Checks and balances.
Skooma's good, m'kay...

A: Hey, P-dawg, chill for a sec and FFFFFFFFT habba some this.


A: Word 2, but that's not FFFFFFFT how we do it down here; now siddown, homes.

P: Fine, hand me the pipe. No, the other hand, this one, like, totally [censored]s [censored] up. FFFFFFFFFFT.


My God, Aka. This stuff makes my eyes go two inches in front of my *eyes*.

A: No joke. Now, look, over in FFFFFFT Cyrod, we can play out our amnesia war all we FFFFFT


(Madness - map breaking)

A: ...okay, robot, let's fight. The kids love the explodo.


It's Morrowindiferous!



Hey, kids, look over there! A giant cat-dragon is fighting a hard-light robot..!

Some Star Trek stuff.


Edit: Dammit, Albides beat me to it. KHAAAAN!

You mean he [Editor's note: Pelinal] had powers as he was the Shezzarine - an aspect/avatar of Shezarr/Lorkhan, who had a missing heart and was the enemy of mer? I certainly hope so, I don't really want futuristic technolgies and science fiction dragged into TES.

Oops. Too late..!

How you do pronounce CHIM and why do no Dunmeri names begin with C? (2007-10-27)Edit


Dangit! I hate pronounciation reality checks.
But seriously, why no names that begin with the letter C?

Dunmeri names? Never noticed.

CHIM is from the Ehlnofex, though.

Kim is a girls name and a rather tacky one at that.

They're all girls' names. Shor, CHIM, Aless, Perrif, Orlyan, Shonni-Et.

Wait. Who?

On the sexual dimorphism between male and female bosmer (2007-12-20)Edit

Sexual dimorphism between bosmer

Because Bosmer represent the idea that Women Are Always Beautiful and Men Are Always Short Ugly Trollish Creatures.


Look, just face it, women rock, men are creepy. [Editor's note: underlined is a hyperlinked image, which is lost.]

Tedders: Please, don't ever feel you have to prove your point again.
As in that's exactly what I never wanted to see...
Pay me in Moans????
ishmaeltheforsaken: The invocation to Dibella in the PGE 1st ed. is To Dibella, who Pays Men in Moans...



What appears to be an Altmeri commentary on Talos (2008-01-11)Edit

"To kill Man is to reach Heaven, from where we came before the Doom Drum's iniquity. When we accomplish this, we can escape the mockery and long shame of the Material Prison.

"To achieve this goal, we must:

"1) Erase the Upstart Talos from the mythic. His presence fortifies the Wheel of the Convention, and binds our souls to this plane.

"2) Remove Man not just from the world, but from the Pattern of Possibility, so that the very idea of them can be forgotten and thereby never again repeated.

"3) With Talos and the Sons of Talos removed, the Dragon will become ours to unbind. The world of mortals will be over. The Dragon will uncoil his hold on the stagnancy of linear time and move as Free Serpent again, moving through the Aether without measure or burden, spilling time along the innumerable roads we once travelled. And with that we will regain the mantle of the imperishable spirit."

Merry Christmas,


On the nordic god of commerce and agriculture (2008-02-20)Edit

if you're looking for the nordic equivalent of commerce and agriculture, it's tsun. i can't really give much other details since i don't know much about tsun, but zeht and z'en as gods of difficulty and toil. so, you can relate that to trials against adversity altogether.
If it weren't for the vague name similarity, I'd totally disagree. It's a possibility. What does everyone else think?

He's right.

On the Druids not being referenced in lore after Arena (2008-03-14)Edit

And then the Reformation began and lo were as many of the stock Dungeons & Dragons put to the vorpal sword as possible.

On the Oblivion's Dark Brotherhood's retcon of Sithis into a "god of angsty death throes" (2008-03-25)Edit

Wrath of Sithis

I'll fix this one day. Pinky swear.

On Pelinal, again (2008-04-01)Edit

Pelinal was and is an insane collective swarmfoam war-fractal from the future, you betcha.

Why are the small female Betty Netches more powerful than the larger, male Bull netches? What's the origin of their name? (2008-04-02)Edit

Think lionesses. And, yeah, they were named after "Skate Betties" -- girls who would hang out near the half-pipes.

But lions aren't weaker than lionesses; they're just much lazier.

“Sure. And bull netch are really, really lazy.”

On Ken Rolston writing Vivec in game (2008-06-03)Edit

Ken was responsible for the MQ in MW, so that's part of it. The larger part is that Vivec's voice is Legion, and it was only fitting that he had more than one author.

Editing the 36 Lessons of Vivec (2008-06-03)Edit

Kurt edited the Sermons extensively, as did Douglas Goodall. Quadratic.

Out of Atmora (2008-07-10)Edit

And for the last time (uh huh), Nedes != Atmorans. That's just shoddy scholarship from a bygone regime.

What does Sermon 19 mean regarding "nine bones from a black cat"? (2008-07-16)Edit

I really shouldn't answer this, but look up voodoo traditions regarding black cat bones.

On the Oblivion rumors of Argonians being called back to Black Marsh (2008-09-07)Edit

It refers to the Hist's response to the Crisis, and is one of Kurt's coolest ideas of the last year or so.

I added the "Giant Feathered Flu Tyrants" bit, which, like of course... but you'll see. Daedra -2, Argonians +278. Fuck off, Dagon, don't ever mess with the Trees.

The age of Nirn (2008-10-01)Edit

Nirn as we know it is only about 6000 years old, give or take. It's made of myth, not continental drift and the march of penguins.

That said, the God Time (whose very name is contradictory) before it cannot accurately be measured by mortal perception.

What are the Tsaesci? (2008-10-20)Edit

Tsaesci Writings

Immortal Vampire Snakemen.

"It's difficult to accuse someone of being wrong for asking the theoretical question "Is it possible, as is the case throughout this game, that some of the writings we find are exaggerated"?" (2008-10-22)

I prefer, "It is very possible, as is the case throughout this magical world, that some of the exaggerated claims made about some subjects pale in comparison to the Monkey Truth. ZOMGWTFGIANTFEATHEREDFLUTYRANTS."

Is there anyway to get PGE3 without purchasing the collector's edition of Oblivion? (2008-12-03)Edit

Get the one from Redguard. It's way better.


Why not write another one, then, smart one?

What, you mean "Enchiridion: Aldmeri Domini"?

Wait, did I type that out loud?


Is it just me, or are the Convention and the Ehlnofex Wars the same events, told in different ways? (2009-01-13)Edit

It's not just you.

Who was Reymon Ebonarm? Some deity the staff chose not to develop any further? (2009-01-29)Edit

As soon as he gets a cool name, then I'll go in. Until then, nothing but a dead television set.

What happened to General Warhaft after Arena? Did the developers just forget him? (2009-02-13)Edit

Warhaft was mentioned after Arena. Small bit, pre-OBL.

What is the Dreamsleeve (2009-08-20)Edit

Ken made up the word. I then took it and went all Al Gore and turned it into the internet.

Though, really, if you read through the Intercept stuff, I really predicted Mind Twitter.

On a possible connection between Julianos and Hermaeus Mora (2009-09-07)Edit

Hmm...the Nords kicked Jhunal straight outta their patheon for a reason, no?

On "Tam! RUGH!" (2009-09-09)Edit

It's the True name of the world.

Imagine an ape (Marukh) struggling to say "Tamriel" and you get "Tam! RUGH!"

Where is it written that the Godhead is mad or dreaming, a split personality and whatnot? (2009-10-10)Edit


[Links to The Song of Pelinal, v 8.]

A question on how Akatosh and Shor relate to Talos (2009-10-10)Edit

I think, at least for talos, spirit may be more accurate than "Aedra," since he didn't give a piece of his own body to the world, but Akatosh and shor both did, so he did too without actually doing it. He is a fakeout aedra.

Or were they his Anticipation(s)?

An oral history of working at Bethesda and the development trail to Morrowind (2009-10-18)Edit


I was 22 when I joined Bethesda Softworks. I was hired by Mark Jones after sending in a floppy (!) disk containing some images I had created using Deluxe Painter II (!), which I lied and said I created in Photoshop. Oh, right, and I sent the above via the post office (!), promptly after seeing that the company was hiring via a print magazine (!) known as Next Generation.

At the time, I lived in Huntsville, Alabama, and had a few illustration pieces published in various pen-and-paper products for Chaosium Inc. and Atlas Games, after a set of circumstances that mainly involved being pimped by Brom to his contacts (which nets an earnest "!") he, too, grew up in Alabama, was kind and patient and shared a kindred love for The Pixies, and smiled fondly at my drawings from my Dark Sun home campaign, which unabashedly were loveletters to the contours of his lines, his love for bugs and dust, and his inability to render perspective. Okay, so the last wasn't a loveletter, it was a common hurdle, but whatever. Now you know why Morrowind was full of Giant Bugs.

And in the spirit of Modelo-swilled actual pitch for the aesthetic of Morrowind was "Mad Max crossed with The Dark Crystal crossed with Star Wars. Cuz everything should be crossed with Star Wars."

Fuck, I'm getting ahead of myself. Back up. 22 years-old, Mark calls, he's British, and I'm from Alabama so immediately that makes this a moment of Gravitas an' shit. I mean, British? That's all Grand Moff Tarkin an' stuff, right? I'm thinkin', "Holy Sequel to AIDS, this is awesome!" (See Star Wars, above.)

He liked my "Photoshop" images on the floppy and wanted to know if I would-- "YES!", which is what I said before I heard him actually ask, "Create some menus for our Terminator game's multiplayer add-on" which just garnered more dumbfuck yellin' of yes's until I was on a plane for an on-site interview and blah, pack the truck, drive to the state border, stop to piss on it with the hard gold stream of foolheaded post-collegiate-know-it-none, and boom: I'm pushing around a ramp of 256 colors (!) to the front end menu for SkyNET. And I meet the rest of That Earliest Gang (Todd Someone, John Pearson, Ted Someone, Julian LeFay, et al) with whisperings that some dummy named Ken Rolston might get hired and, being a Paranoia fan it was all "Holy Sequel to AIDS, this is awesome!"


TES: Daggerfall was, at the time, some Big Deal that was also going on that I knew nothing about, but it looked kinda dumb and generic fantasy and I absolutely had no idea what the hell it meant or how important it would be. (See foolheaded post-collegiate-know-it-none, above.) Also, because I found out it was based on someone's homebrew Dungeons Ampersand Dragons campaign, I was all surly, serial contrarian and full of embarrassment-fueled hypocrisy and "Boring and therefore wrong" was born in the worst and most egotistical of ways. (Surprise.)

I would come to know how important that game would be, though. One, everyone at the office was freakin' out because it was late (whatever that meant) and two, evidently, everyone that played the first TES (what first TES?) were gettin mad that it was late.

After really getting along with Todd on SkyNET (mainly because of the manual's backstory and then an artist quit and Todd asked if I wanted to learn 3DS Max and I yelled "SURE DO!" like a retard and then proceeded to want to know every little thing about what it takes to make narrative in games, especially in regard to 32x32 textures), and John Pearson (an artist that I told, "Naw, dude, I ain't never drawin' no dragons" because I wanted to be cool and I was cool but not cool enough to know that I wasn't being really cool), and then meeting this other dummy Kurt Kulhmann, who got hired on for the TES: Daggerfall "bonus missions" that were only available at, like, J.C. Penney's (no shit) and spying in him a love for Weird Fantasy (Clarke Ashton Smith, Gene Wolfe, Paul Park, the best of Moorcock, and...oh wait, let me take this time out to say FUCK YOU to China Meiville, you turgid, coat-tailing, self-indulgent avante-oh-my-good-God-gay dust-jacket-posing dick-sore)...well, then it all...

...what the fuck was I saying? (Modelo, 6-pack, 7 bucks, twenty-four minutes.) Oh, right, so I'm saying to Kurt at our first off-site lunch, "Sometimes I feel like being a self-aware vacuum cleaner in the land of the robots illegally listening to jazz" and even though he didn't know what I meant and laughed politely I knew that he knew what I meant and that we'd do this dance until one of us were dead.


My first job on TES: Daggerfall (they needed emergency help) was to tweak all these real-world paintings they scanned in and, like, hide the fact that they weren't real-world paintings so, like, no one would get sued. So I, like, took whatever 64x128 scans they had, like The One That Movie With British Dude and Scarlett Jo-I-Can't-Spell-It-Son Was In... Portrait of Somethin' Girl, and turned the chick into, like, a lizard bitch because lizard people were in this dummy Elder Scrolls world along with cat people and all the other colors of Benetton and no one wanted to get sued and I didn't want to draw dragons and oh snap here's my opportunity to actually draw clothes on all these scanned-in Penthouse pictures (which I wasn't supposed to do; I was just supposed to not get us sued and "fantasy them up" which I think only wasn't funny and retarded to Julian) because, like, that part of it was embarrassing and just, like, reinforced the Dumb.

So I wasn't having anything to do with this dummy Elder Scrolls world. Until Kurt got promoted. And Ken got hired. And then Julian left and Todd frowned and went, hmm, "Hey Kurt and Michael, what was this pirate game you guys were talking about again?"

Kurt and I were all, "It's set on a gas planet named like UR for Jupiter but it's way in the future so everyone's forgotten that name plus we both love ancient cultures so we can play with the Etruscans and the Medes and BABYLONIAN BULL-PEOPLE, and TOTALLY with air-whales for ships, right, and metal is so scarce that each cannonball has its own name and people eat bone-meal, right, because meat is totally, totally scarce and therefore cannibalism is totally normal and--" and he's all, "Wait, back up the train. That sounds weird. What if we set it in Tamriel?"

And then Ken's all, "Hello, my butthurt children, do not fear or dismiss the generic fantasy, if you regard it as a canvas. Have you ever heard of Glorantha? You may yet find your Jupiter and its evidently-important gas."

I was 23 and trying to remember the name of the guy, of that Persian King, that made nice nice with the Jews and, like, let them take asylum or some other weird yet rad ancient world shit. And maybe, just maybe, if Tamriel was the United Colors of Benetton... I could make the pirate hero a black guy.

And that's why Obama got elected.


PS. Discuss amongst yourselves. I'll get back to this. Burp.

On the Dunmer going to Solstheim after the destruction of Morrowind (2009-12-06)Edit

The largesse of the Nords towards their ancient enemies is one of my favorite ideas coming out of Red Year.

Concurrence with Kurt Kuhlmann on the Loveletter's meaning (2009-12-20)Edit

This is all fascinating to me. I don't know that the Loveletter is as clear-cut as you all seem to think (after all, look who wrote it). I think many details are being conveniently glossed over in the rush to make it mean what you want it to mean.

Grey and glowing, like dusted drakes from home, where three thousand fetters the dreamsleeve has chased us

Loud with a lilt, like cross knots from pre-phala,
Where even tour guides are pagans in tweed

Lineage without end,
a language of silent letters,
Bog gods hiding in moss beneath the cross

Liqour that tasted like liquid bread,
Soups that created guild masters,
Parasols like wands at the ready,
Voidrocks, crystal, and sheep

Aurbic indecency enough to wake the dead,
High heels caked in mud to nubs,
Eagerness-to-see to keep us steady,
Luggage, eye-fire, and sleep

My girl as finely feathered as the hawkmoth she's always been,
In a whirling circle beneath the sleeve,
And old gods demanding a drunk from the mead,
As my Memory's visit then split the clouds in twain

Prayers heaped on those already said,
Finding ebony in a row of shrubs,
The Vehkship's bouncing cross-talk a melody,
Thankful our bloodlines were on the cheap

And my girl fuming in the whirlwind she's always in,
Wanting another hour in which to gain
Some semblance of our life to lead,
From parts, whole-cloth the whole in main

I must agree with Lord Maturin; this is not the Landfall you are looking for.


Why are Bosmer men so short? (2009-12-22)Edit

Wood Elves
This never made sense to me. In Morrowind, Bosmer were short, and thin, and their women were normal height like the Dunmer. In Oblivion, the men were short and fat, and the females were, again, normal. But in Daggerfall, the Bosmer are described as a tall race. So why are Bosmers currently set up this way? I mean on Morrowind PC, I just altered their height, but I'd like to know why they're short, but the women are tall. Why not both be short?

Short (snicker) answer: me.

Longer answer (somewhat unsatisfying without a discussion): it was my commentary on Men versus Women in general, as encapsulated in one of the single, isolated cultures that I could use to express it.

What does -ine mean in "Nerevarine" and "Shezarrine"? (2009-12-24)Edit

Nazarene much?

Are all the guar dead after the Red Year? (2009-12-25)Edit

Hell naw, they're just too damn pretty to die.


The Dwemer's religion (2010-01-13)Edit

Reducing the Dwemeri belief system to technofetish or atheism is missing the point by a kalpa.

Hell, even calling them nihilists would be wrong.

That said, reducing them to endless wrongs is perfectly right, but they would have no doubt called that assertion wrong, too.

Clarifying the nature of CHIM (2010-01-15)Edit

2) M'Aiq, don't forget the hypnogogic part spun along the nature of Tamriel with an admixture of the love of parenthood that would follow. Not the "power"-- the cherishing.

3) To the close dreamers, don't forget the Amaranth. There *is* one step beyond CHIM, but you're right in that it is not godhood. It's the flowering of a statehood where the images you give birth to in your dream-- stolen (?) from first dreamer-- wakes up. Wails knowing free will. And begins to dream in the same way. Children of liberty without end, and then the music lives forever as a pirate radio tuned against the rules of Heaven and the vulgarities of Hell.

Yeah, like that, but, crap, it just shattered and now I need my morning coffee because I have to work.

Still, no wonder some called Him the Doom Drum.

Is there something beyond CHIM? (2010-01-16)Edit

There is one step beyond CHIM, but you're right in that it is not godhood. It's the flowering of a statehood where the images you give birth to in your dream-- stolen (?) from first dreamer-- wakes up. Wails knowing free will. And begins to dream in the same way. Children of liberty without end, and then the music lives forever as a pirate radio tuned against the rules of Heaven and the vulgarities of Hell.

The Sunbirds of Alinor (2010-02-14)Edit

They're not ships, they're actual birds.

Well, okay, really big birds made out of the sun.

Fan poll solicitation for plot of the next Cyrus Sword Meeting (2010-06-26)Edit

Cyrus the Restless

Hey peoples,

On our left corner, we have Cyrus the Redguard. On our right, we have... whoever (in one case, whatever) wins the poll.

Included by their names are the locations of each fight. You've seen the Red Vest take down the Domino of the East, now watch him Hoon-ding it across all of space and time.

I'll shut the poll on July 4th, something I think Cyrus might appreciate. To make it even more fun, I'll take the number of the votes of the least wanted fighter and have exactly that many days to write it. If even one of them is 0, no leather, no guns, no fun. That means at least ONE of you must vote for each fighter.

(And, Huck, before you ask/whinge/remind: Numinatus! has morphed into something entirely more spherical. I never forget, I just let it lay dormant until it smells right.)

By the way, the voting is here, whereas the fiction will debut at Temple Zero.

Love. Spreads. GO!


Poll: [Person/Place]'s Sword-Meeting with Cyrus the Restless

Which ringside tickets will you buy?

  • Pelinal (at White-Gold Tower)
  • Tall Papa (past the Far Shores)
  • The Snow Whale Bull of the Northern Clouds (above Skyrim)
  • Michael Kirkbride (beneath San Francisco)
  • The Coral Kingdom of Thras (you read that right)
  • The Snake Palace of Fire Blossom Ko (Akavir)
Willy the Bitten

[Editor's note: It seems Willy the Bitten of Silvenar Grove was also an option in the poll, before being removed]


Oh God. Why did I vote for Willy the [censored] Bitten? ON MY OWN POLL?

Not that I can't wait to write it, but no one else on planet net wants to vote for that [censored]! So that means whichever fighter wins, I have exactly one day to write about it.

[censored] [censored] [censored]

Okay, it's ON, I've joined the Immortal Jellyfish.


I just edited the Poll to clarify that the "Bull of the Northern Clouds" was, in fact, the Snow Whale from the Aldudagga fights. Cuz, ya know, people mighta thought I meant that other bull.

*sigh* Why not THAT story?!? (2010-06-28)

Because THAT story does not belong solely to me. I can't do it without, ya know, the rest of the band. And I really wouldn't want to, anyway.

I can imply THAT story, as I did with the Vicec meeting, but I can't and just won't write it until all the True Trees decide to finally (if ever) share tendrils.

Yep, that totally sounded yuckier than I meant. Or maybe not.

At the time of posting this the poll is set right for Cyrus verses Pelinal, the Coral Kingdom of Thras, and MK. (2010-07-02)


"What were those rules of engagement again..?"

Cyrus has an unfair advantage in any fight versus the Sload if only because they won't have the proper time to plan, which is what they do best. Hopefully they prove me wrong. (2010-07-03)

no one said Cyrus starts any of these fights. Thras could have been planning this for awhile. Perhaps even waiting until he was too old to pick up his saber anymore.

Oh lord...This is the only time I'll feel sorry for the mer. (2010-07-03)

Cyrus versus Pelinal. At White-Gold. Hmm. Which mer of import was present in that recorded timeline?

Hmm. (mmm.)



About 12 left before the ships in the harbor launch their fire blossoms. Plenty of time for another fighter to get in the ring.


"That fool monster should never has shown his face again!" boasts the Candlestick.

On Cyrus (2010-06-27)Edit

The weirdest thing-- and this is no joke-- I inexplicably pulled out the PGE Thursday night to read it. FOR NO REASON. I got all nostalgic and went, Hmm, the reason Cyrus is so fun is that he actually inhabits this world as the common man with an uncommon profession, i.e. adventuring. He doesn't question the world's weirdness, as that notion would never occur to him. It's just his world and he works with it. And not in the Doctor Who fashion, where of course he works with it, no matter how crazy, because Doctor Who is a Chaotic Fun crazy junkie who actively seeks out such situations (and God bless him for it). Cyrus "just" lives in Tamriel and, while he can get confused, baffled, angry at, or one-upped by its magical nature, he's not adventuring to test those boundaries or, hell, even find them. Where's the money in that?

Yes, Cyrus' level-headedness is a useful cypher, but I was there when he was created, and his character wasn't consciously infused with that literary device in mind. (At least not towards the magical hijinx; he was definitely used that way for the political stuff.) So then I went, Hmm, all future stories told about Cyrus need to be careful not to use him solely for that utility, or risk him becoming a gimmick.

So, of course, the next thought was: "Screw that, what if Cyrus just fought everyone in Tamrielic history?" which completely ran contrary to all my analysis. Cuz it just works like that.

I rather liked the first Sword-Meeting, particularly the lore it gave, so I'm very much hoping this one is similarly informative. And awesome :P (2010-07-08)Edit

It won't be in the style of either. The "Sword Meeting" insert was just a shorthand for "a fight shall occur".

Currently, the story is tracking, for good or ill, in the presentation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Only without the vampires because vampires are [censored].

:bowdown: I loved Dracula. This shall be awesome indeed.
Weren't you kind of, you know, on the team that put vampires in the Tes world :P Just askin'.

I loved Dracula, too. I got to read it for the first time in the tower of a castle on a rainy night all alone and by candlelight. Got so spooked that it ended up being a full read through.

Doesn't mean that the most famous nosferatu can't brush away his ill-wrought progeny like an old punk rock lion.

And, no, I wasn't part of the crew that added vamps to TES. They were there from Like Forever, and Uncle Ken kept them through into Morrowind. That's fine, I get it, people get silly boners for vamps, in the same way I get the magic gigglies from hobo slang. S'fine, s'fine, just don't get them overwrought emos close to me or I'll start handing out the Wolf Tickets*.

Especially the overwrought southern ones, and my ass grew up in the Deep South, where true gothic was found in circus water*, not the antebellum sweat of some fake-assed accent.

* Look up them there terms and YOU TOO will learn to love hobo slang.

The Direnni Tower (2010-07-11)Edit

The Direnni Tower

Start here:

[Editor's note: this is a segment from PGE1's High Rock chapter.]

"A recent archaelogical [sic] study [of Direnni Tower], using the latest techniques of divination and sorcery, has pushed the Tower's construction date back to around ME2500, making it by far the oldest known structure in Tamriel. Although it has been much modified and added on to over the years, its core is a smooth cylinder of shining metal; the Tower is believed to extend at least as far beneath the surface as is now visible above, although its deepest bowels have never been systematically explored."

Sounds like a scroll case. A big one, mind you, but maybe that's because a spaceship, too.

How does the Ministry of Truth maintain its velocity all this time? (2010-08-20)Edit

Everyone here does know that the Ministry of Truth was Lord Vivec's biggest turd ever, right? Hard to place real-world physics on that. And just plain wrong to even try.


On the importance of Tamriel and how to handle esoterica (2010-08-25)Edit

I see now your point on why Tamriel is more important as far as the mythology of the godhead dreaming there more. But if you were to place yourself on Nirn in the land of Akavir, like, say you were a Tsaesci (vampire snake people) and you were having a very busy and wonderful (or terrible) life, wouldn't you think that Akavir was the most important and not Tamriel?

No, because you keep trying to invade Tamriel for a reason.

Imagine these two NPCs having a conversation about this:
Cyrus: "Now see here, [censored]-Gro HumBug, the Aurbis was created by a Godhead, and its name is Bethesda Softworks Studios, sponsored and owned by ZeniMax corporation and protected by international copyright laws."
HumBug: "Really? Where is this Bethesda Softworks Studios? Is it in Oblivion or the mantellan crux?"
Cyrus: "Neither, it's in Northern America."
HumBug: "America? Was ist das?" (2010-08-25)

If it's Cyrus, you've got them swapped around. He's more in your line of thinking, too, unless there's profit in it, at which point he'd go, "Hmm, interesting, and so how do I get in?"

That's probably the best way to roll with the lore for the layman, Be Like Cyrus. Admit there's metaphysics, but pay them no attention until they get in your way. But, then, oops, you tend to mantle something the metaphysics has accounted for, like the God of Make Way.

On writing the Elder Scrolls and about the ending of Oblivion (2010-08-27)Edit

You misinterpret the meaning of what Elder Scrolls are in the colloquial Tamrielic. When taken in this context, to "write an Elder Scroll" is "to make history".

A deeper meaning is meant, too, but not very many laymen bother with that. Until a prophecy is fulfilled, the true contents of an Elder Scoll are malleable, hazy, uncertain. Only by the Hero's action does it become True. The Hero is literally the scribe of the next Elder Scroll, the one in which the prophecy has been fulfilled into a fixed point, negating its precursor.

Also, Martin mantled Akatosh and dragon-[censored] Dagon silly, so his outlook on time in quite unlike our own. In fact, he said those words during the dragon-[censored] fight and you only remembered them later, a comforting memory that the Jills mended back into your timeline.


How does one eat the world? (2011-01-18)Edit

Skyrim concept art of a dragon

When you consider a place like Tamriel, sometimes it's best to take titles literally. Alduin is the World-Eater. It's not going to be "the end of all *life* as we know it," leaving a barren wasteland of Earthbone dirt... it's going to be the whole of Nirn inside his mighty gullet.

"None shall survive" has been a calling card for awhile, but that was only a hint to the more extensive "Nothing will survive."

Unless, of course, there's a loophole. Say, something like the someone called the Dovakhiin happening to show up..."born under uncertain stars to uncertain parents." (An aside for extra credit: what in the Aurbis makes the Prisoner such a powerful mythic figure?)

The Eight Limbs (and their Missing Ninth) have always, always made sure there was a loophole. Sometimes to their detriment, sure, but more often a hedged bet to ensure the survival of the current kalpa.

Then again:

Alduin's shadow was cast like carpetflame on east, west, south, and north...[he was] epoch eater. For as far as any man's eyes, only High Hrothgar remained above the churning coils of dragon stop.

And Alduin said, "Ho ha ho."

It's obviously happened before, so sabers sharp, and may your varliance shine bright.

On CHIM making Tamriel boring because it makes it "all a dream" (2011-01-18)Edit

Just wanna say because I never think I did, the whole "it was all just a dream" avenue is completely missing the point. Consider your lucid dreams, if you've been lucky enough to have ever had one. Then think again before you dismiss the the idea of Divine Hypnagogia. If you get it (or care to) then mull it over until it punches the back of your eyeballs.

No wonder it's hard to retain CHIM. Such... violence.

What became of Vivec after the events of Morrowind? (2011-01-18)Edit

Vivec is safe and sound, at least that's what I gather from the postcards.

He will trouble the Mundus no more...he's having too much fun in planes unrecorded, thieving from them as is his wont.

And by "no more" I really mean "until the new Threat! To! Empire! Aurbis!" is put down.

[Editor's note: after further discussion and speculation of Vivec's fate after the events of Morrowind.]

Circle talking.

Full stop.

Forget Vivec (at least in this regard) for the coming times. That is, until [NUMINIT].

The Thu'um seems too conveniently marshaled into unrelated lore about Dragons (2011-01-18)Edit

[Editor's Note: Skeleton Man's Interview with Denizens of Tamriel mentions Kagrenac and the Dwemer creating a Mantella, rather than manipulating the Heart of Lorhkan as the published game implicates]

Kinda like the impetus for MW's Heart plotline was blostered [sic] by (the then) unrelated lore about the Monomyth/Lorkhan/the Convention/et al?

Landfall and the Infernal City (2011-01-25)Edit


The Landfall != the associated events of The Infernal City.

Totally different thing. When Landfall happens, you guys will do a spit-take like Bail Organa did when the Death Star showed up above Alderaan.

What happened to the Dwarves? (2011-01-31)Edit

The Dwarven Disappearance, for all I know and hope, will never be explained fully. To do so would be antithetical to their very existence. And the very idea of them.

If it did, by the way, the Dwemer would just refuse to believe it anyhow. They sit forever on the Bartleby Chair.

Yes, they could bring them back. That's not the point. The point is, they aren't coming back. (2011-02-15)

Bringing them back would be to miss the point and mystic gravitas of their erasure.

I'll try asking this again, because nobody seems to want to answer it; is there only one way to transcend the Aurbis?

I'll answer it. To transcend it? No, there are other ways to surpass it.

But to make a better existence? No existence becomes better without love.

Ok. But original post was saying that the Dwemer failed because they didn't know love. It doesn't seem that they were trying to make a better existence. It seems they were trying to exploit the technicalities of the universe in mathematical detail. Whether or not they succeeded at this shouldn't be dependent on whether or not a certain path to enlightenment or transcendence requires love. (2011-02-16)


Dwemeri views on things:

Transcendence? Wut.

Mathematics? Wut.

Love? Wut.

Success/Fail? Wut.

Concept of Paths? Wut.

The Dwemer are a very bad starting point to talk about anything, really, outside of their phat leftover lewts. Bartleby, man, with an extra dose of Bartleby.

What exactly are the "Earth Bones"? (2011-01-31)Edit

The term Earth Bone can refer to a few different types of mythical entities. The Ehlnofex term for "Earth Bone" is Ehlnofey. The Ehlnofey were a race of pre-Convention spirits who wrote in Ehlnofex script. Some Ehlnofey sacrificed themselves entirely into Nirn and became the bones of the earth, as eternal laws of nature. Others chose not to completely sacrifice themselves, but they were doomed to live on through their children instead of living eternally. These children became the ancestors of mer and men. Generally, when people say Earth Bones they're referring to the laws of nature, and when people say Ehlnofey, they're referring to the spirits who didn't sacrifice themselves.


How Tiber mantled Lorkhan (2011-02-08)Edit

Yes yes it is all very good but it don't say HOW he became a one of the Nine Divines :shrug:

Naw, man, that summary aligns nearly pitch perfect with Mr. Quimper's assertion that Tiber was mantling Lorkhan. Think of the mystical power of Reenactment.

What did Lorkhan do to solidify the plans for the Mundus? Oh, I dunno, he tricked, promised, betrayed, and made concessions to the various "rulers" of the etada, right? Sounds like the summary, only a few existence lenses down.

And, just like the varying accounts of how that Convention and its consequences have become murky with Time and myth, so too is Tiber's ascension to the first true Emperor of all of Tamriel. Accident? No way.

As above, so below, and that's how you do it. Especially when there's a hole just ready to fill.

Hope that helps.

Amaranth (2011-02-16)Edit

We haven't seen a fleshed-out alternative to CHIM to support something more preferable, but I promised a long while back to provide one. We'll see.

I will say that, CHIM or not, there is no evidence that either Talos nor Vehk achieved Amaranth. If they did, Tamriel would be in their rearview mirror. The Amaranth deserves its own topic, really. Its core concept is the most divisive among the mystics, in my opinion.

Couldn't "I breathe now, in royalty" possibly just be a buffed up way of saying "I run this fuggin' town"? (2011-02-25)Edit

It actually is, more or less. Think King Arthur and you're on the road.

EDIT: Obliqueness Realization Minute Mend. "The king is the land, the land is the king."

Tom Paine's bones just rolled over in their various unmarked graves.

Um, where's the "Like" button?


Is Tall Papa Magnus? (2011-04-28)Edit

Tall Papa as Magnus?

Syrsly [sic]?

Think raga. Then think of the various ways the Sun would affect the Weather/Eyeball/BodyClock/Agriculture/TheShineOfASingleDewdropBeforeAnImportantDuel.

Just how many gods would you have to govern acknowledge those?

Ah snap, we got denied. Damn Yokudans and their confusing mythology.

N'awyadin-It - Yokudan God of Expression Alarm. Revered in word frequently among the funnier-masked castes.

On the Dreugh (2011-08-07)Edit

The Dreughs and their true nature have been only hinted at in an obtuse fashion.

They won't be as ineffable as the Dwemer, but, hey, no one can claim that title.

"And when the whole of the Aurbis was a tidal ocean, with left behind ideas, there was a tribe unwilling..."


Who was the most powerful Tribunal god? (2012-02-16)Edit

Vivec was MK's favourite

Did I say this somewhere? Honest question.

But, sure, I'll play Fight! Tribunes! Fight: the Face-Snaked Fury would have wrecked Vhek [sic]. Mothers before poets, mercy before warriors.

Alma would win if it was a one on one fight. If they lead armies, it would be closer. Vivec has the military genius and Bouyant Armigers, Almalexia has the High Ordinators and Her Hands, and Sotha has Fabricants. I'm not sure who would win that.

Nice idea and well put. The Sharmat would win that war just by sleeping.

On images of Lorkhan (2012-02-17)Edit

A real image of Lorkhan would be impossible.

Shor on the other hand...

/rifles through some paper.

What race was Tiber Septim? (2012-02-19)Edit

Tiber Septim

[Editor's note: there is a poll with the options "Nord", "Breton", and "Other".]

All of them.

The Elk said all that needed to be said in response to the question as originally framed. Tiber Septim is not the name of a single individual with a single race. Heck, he doesn't even have a single history which combines the many entities who end up forming part of him in a single way - we're told there was a dragon break at Rimmen. The waveform is one that stubbornly refuses to be observed and collapsed. (2012-02-19)

Thanks, Allie.

None of these people are the people you think you know. That's the point of myth. They always escape you. Or they're simply not worthy of myth.

About Tiber Septim being an orc (2012-02-25)

The one thing not said here: Gortwog wasn't half-human. Tiber Septim became an Orc for a span. Mentioned this before.

Did he shout himself Orsimer, is it a CHIM thing, or both?

No. Surgery. Of the mythological kind.

The origin of Minotaurs (2012-02-26)Edit

Minotaurs are the issue of Alessia and Mor Breath-of-Kyne.

What were the Void Nights? (2012-03-02)Edit

Eugenics experiment. With a side dish of "don't [censored] with us."

I want to read the manifold adventures of Professor Numinatus! and Cousin. (2012-04-03)Edit

[figuring this out]


“Professor Numinatus, thanks. Oh, hello, baby universe person.”

Doctor of Paleonumerology, Ancestor Flutes, and Eschatonica

Wears chrono-goggles, has a Pocket Jill, sentient mothship named Cousin. Named after his cousin.

Smells of bug musk; in fact, it's a weakness of his

Employed reluctantly by the Elder Council

Solves the things that the Dragons Can't

Was the first person to establish the word and study of the TAL(OS)

Can't fight worth a [censored]

Has a Secudan arquebus that shoots good ideas.

Was once found meditating with a Borrowed Third Eye inside the Vault of the 1,008 Cyrodiilic Weapons of Rapture.

Survived zero-sum. Noble-born child. Grew up in an alternate version of the capital city. Studied at 88 universities in the Capital City. Once burnt down Gwylim Press for disagreeing with his cousin's treatise on Kagouti Mating Habits. That idea got Too Close for some. Naturally, this caused the very-Crowley-like faux-Skulls faux-Victorian Secret Fraternity at Gwylim to perform a scholarly, ritualistic gang-rape. Normally, this would have vaporized her, but:

Amiel Casticus Nume and his cousin had a thing on the Topal once. That One Summer Vacation, you know the one. Where they both explained to one another the real ideas behind the universe. With sunlight on the wine.

He puts into ancestor silk the blood he wipes from her rapists just before he set them on fire. The next morning, he applies for a position as Agent Provocateur in the Elder Council.

He has a hand made of keys. Shouldn't have happened, but that's what happens when you pull your beloved cousin from vaporization. And then install her consciousness into Reman's stolen mothship.

“I've stared at it and I remembered the Lessonates. And then I realized they're a bit rubbish.”

His symbol is 11.

Where did that come from?
'This is my startled face.

It came from Professor Numinatus! and Cousin. Obviously.

This other stuff makes me snore.


FSL Professor Numinatus! in "The Everything-Else Man". 16 pages.

4-page back up feature: Ghost Choir 9 Vs. the Versus, co-starring the Pelinauts.

What the hell are the Versus and the Pelinauts?

Obviously, the Pelinauts are the Miniaturized Akaviri-Pop Musical Interludes.

The Versus are somewhat harder to understand.

Comments on the Foul Murder illustration (2012-05-01)Edit

Foul Murder
Flannigus: Also, HIS FACE. The face on the Ordinator helm is Nerevar's, right? No need to make a death mask.

Yeah, it's the only known depiction of his true face (I'm not counting his Daedric "Aspect Terrible). Until this one.

Thanks, Flan. You asked for it.

Happy birthday, Star-Wounded East!

That's an awesome drawing, very gruesome too. I'd say that the corpse on the ground is Nerevar's insides, and his skin is Muatra'ed?

As Flannigus mentioned, it's Dagoth Ur, forced into the dirt by the mass-altering abilities of the Tools.

On Joseph Campbell (2012-10-25)Edit

A poor man's Jung, an uncle-image dressed in PBS colors and smelling faintly of patchouli oil and farts.

The post that started the Amaranth Hunt (2012-11-05)Edit

No one has achieved Amaranth yet.*

*Except for the one being or idea that no one has found yet, which is still just sitting there.

Lady Nerevar: Would this one thing be a named person/concept, or an idea which we'd describe? It feels that the latter is just beyond arm's reach, while the former continues to elude me.

It's been a named thing/person/idea for a long time. And it's not something that exists only in Obscure Texts, as that would be cheating.

And are we getting somewhere, or completely off-base?

I'll say this: it won't feel like a letdown once you find it.

Lady Nerevar: Alright. Liberty comes closest to what I'm thinking of. And I have named it freedom. This Amaranth must have made itself known prior to the creation of the mortal world, if it necessitates the allowance of your dreams to dream, and since that's the one time it would have happened without us realizing it. Looking at the creation myths, prior to Lorkhan/Akatosh, who are too obvious, we have the Anu-Padhome diad. And Nir. One single mention of Nir, who gave birth to everything, catalyst to all existence, who then allows herself to die and be relegated to some abstract Female Principle. Acted upon, sure, but also the lead role without whom we would have nothing.

It's right strange that Nir is only mentioned once, innit now?


If the people of Nirn stopped worshipping the gods, would the Aedra die? (2012-11-01)Edit


Saint Alessia was the first Dragonborn, so what is going on with Miraak? Additionally, on MK's contribution to Skyrim (2012-11-05)Edit

Concept art of Miraak

Alessia didn't have the power to absorb dragon souls. Hers was a much more nuanced power: to dream of liberty and give it a name and on her deathbed make Covenant with the Aka-Tusk.

Perhaps if you had read her histories of the Dragon War, this would be more clear.

I'm stiill betting this fellow is Ysgramor, ever since that "ysgramor was a Dragon" incident.

You'd lose. New guy, new lore.

Was Ysgramor a Dragon Cultist at all?

That's beyond the scope of this thread and this DLC. Sorry.

A question for our lord MK:
Do you have contributed some new lore/ingame books to the Dragonborn DLC?
Apocrypha screams for a MK to fill it.
Maybe something new about the whole Dragonborn thing? (2012-11-05)

No, nothing directly contributed to Skyrim at all. The presence of painted cows and the like was all bronie-love.

C'mon, it's been awhile since I've got to actually enjoy a TES game in its entirety, cut me some slack.

(But, yes, there's a gap in the histories that has to be filled. And I will do this thing.)

Excited for the Dragonborn DLC? (2012-11-05)Edit

Seriously, this is one of Hasphat's.

'ere we go 'ere we go 'ere we go

Otherization and indiscernibility of the Thalmor's motivations feels like aping on the Elves of Dungeons & Dragons fiction (2012-11-30)Edit

Here's really what I'm getting at: Any rational attempt at making the Thalmor sympathetic is doomed to making them Dungeons & Dragons... again.

The idea of the end of the Third Era and rise of the Fourth was to turn the Elf/Man trope on its head... the "young, vibrant" human culture fails, the "ancient, decadent" elves actually rouse from those adjectives to make sure it happens, the end. Oh hi, Mr. Tolkien, we're sorry for riding your coattails.

Yes, "Nazi" is a more of a brand these days than an historical horror. See: anywhere the word is used in this argument. I guess I'm asking why you want this so much, instead of something new. At what point did "alien" become "oh, but I can kind of get that." Why do you want an alien culture to make sense to you?

Trick question.

I mean, an irrational approach to making the Thalmor more understandable would be fun, but I fear it would only lead to more want of another Elder Race of Beautiful People rips you've all seen, like, forever.


On the disappearance of the Dwemer (2013-10-13)Edit

This has been asked and answered. Perhaps not to the satisfaction of all, but there you have it.

Also: it's not done yet. The Dwarves will be judged.

The White-Gold Concordat doesn't really help the Thalmor that much. (2013-10-19)Edit

And this is why you don't think like the Thalmor does.

Long. Cons.

Your idea of the Thalmor is so fundamentally human that they've already destroyed your whole family. Before it began.

I created the Thalmor and they are not the Nazis, movie-trope or otherwise.

What is Snow-Throat's Stone? (2013-10-15)Edit

The cave

It seems obvious that the Shouts are a gift of the Dragons, not Kyne as the Greybeards believe. (2013-11-02)Edit

No, it was Kyne. Back when she was a dragon.

The Pocket Guide and in-game/in-book measurements paint a picture of a much smaller Tamriel. (2013-11-08)Edit

The reasoning: because Tamriel really exists.

Previously painted pictures: because those are just that-- painted pictures.

What if Ayem fought Vehk? (2013-11-12)Edit


I answered this a while back. Can't find the quote, but pre-TESIII Almalexia would wreck him.

CHIM isn't an ultimate trump card that instantly beats everyone, Cyrus didn't have CHIM yet he beat Tiber's ass. (2013-11-14)

That remains to be seen. Cyrus certainly got the first round, but after that bag comes off Tiber's head....

To answer the OP, if we're considering TESIII V versus A, then Vivec would probably lose to her on purpose, without even fighting back. We're talking about his sister and, in some cases, one of his "makers".

He'd die at her hands, wait for her to leave, and then wake up somewhere else and go undercover. That might feel anticlimactic, but considering how awful Vivec felt when he learned the news of Seht's death, it makes the most sense to me atm.

The timeline of the Dragon Cult makes no sense. (2013-11-13)Edit

Wait a little while. It'll make sense. Nothing I can't fix.

Why do the races of Tamriel display sexual dualism? (2013-11-14)Edit

Wands and Cups are magical-- and therefore essential-- for a reason. The 'ada knew this and so did their offspring.

How would a realm with Sithis as the state religion look? (2013-11-14)Edit

Absurd, unsustainable, and so stupid that such a realm would never have come to be in the first place.

Are all people in the Daggerfall ending somehow related to Tiber Septim? That can't be right. (2013-11-22)Edit

Daggerfall ending slide

Once more from the top: Tiber Septim is people.

Isn't Talos just formed of Tiber/Zurin/Wulfharth?

1) No

2) But even if he was, who aren't those guys related to?

Wait, so Tiber Septim in the books is a mythical character made up of several people including the real Tiber Septim? :blink:

All of that is true except "the real Tiber Septim" part.

I was a tad pissed about Skyrim changing Nordic worship into a Cyrodilic copy. I don't really see why they did it, other than to make things easier to grasp for simpletons. (2013-12-21)Edit

If you could see the original planned implementation, you'd be even more pissed. And your reasoning for why is the real reason; in fact, breaking up the pantheons at all was "a mistake" to certain parties.


On Pelinal Whitestrake (2014-01-18)Edit

Primarily, and I've never revealed this until now (I think), Pelinal himself is an analogy of alcoholism.

Notice the first word in [brackets] in 'The Song of Pelinal'.

Don't get me wrong, The Song is filled with a lot of analogies. And Pelinal is not just about alcoholism (thus, 'primarily'); in one space, the killing light is a bottle of liquor, in a different space, it's a lightsaber.

'Collective swarmfoam war-fractal' refers to the robot. The 'Madness' refers to both.

That's all I will personally say on the matter outside of Reddit, since an honest discussion about alcohol abuse doesn't belong here unless it's an essential part of a piece of lore. Also, it's safe to assume that too many people here are misinformed about the topic enough that it might result in a severe level of discomfort for certain members.

On unused aspects of Morrowind's Daedric Armor (2014-01-23)Edit

Concept art depicting the planned scale of the Daedric helmets

The Daedric helmets were supposed to reach down to your crotch, effectively becoming the torso as well. Think Chinese parade dragons. Wouldn’t work for tech reasons. But yeah, 500 lb helmets, literally unwearable without terrible power. You’re wearing the Face of God, remember. Pussies need not apply.

On the origin of the Sload (2014-01-31)Edit


I wanted to draw Jabba a lot. Then Uncle Ken wanted to write up a worldview about sentient coral reefs. John Pearson loved zombies, so we just put N'gasta all up in Redguard for no real reason. Incidentally, John also did his voice. I remember his throat getting really sore at the recording studio and only fried chicken could heal him.

What would you have done with Almalexia and Sotha Sil if it had been up to you? (2014-01-31)Edit

Before we had to cut TESIII down to just Vvardenfell, a lot of the notes on Almalexia and Sotha Sil were left on the floor. She was always supposed to go crazy, though. Sil was going to be a dead fractal dungeon that you would explore.

After I left, Todd told me at E3 the plot for Tribunal and it sounded cool and familiar enough that I decided not to write Almalexia's Pillow Book or Sil's 888-word death mantra that would end up being a palindrome.

I guess if Vivec was my fascination with transhumanity, then Almalexia was my fear of evil mothers and Sotha Sil my statement on Hell.

Musings on Orc concept art (2014-02-01)Edit

I think I managed to save the Orcs from going the Noble Savage route. Gave the males multiple pig tits. Made ‘em herd giant furry caterpillars and shit.

An excerpt from Captain Tobias' Sword-Meeting with Cyrus the Restless relating to the Redguard dislike of magic (2014-02-12)Edit

“As a general rule it is wise to always bring a wizard to sea if you plan to prey on it. My last wizard was a Breton Spellsword who I gangplanked for being a being a pederast, a not uncommon train found in the westernmost magicians. I then found Gar, a student of the Malhamic arts, and graduate of the Forums of the Phynastery. He has proven to be an invaluable part of the Carrick. He not only planned the heist of the Masser-Secunda Slave Trade, but summoned a Pelinal to cover our escape.”


Did you just write this now or is it a bit from the upcoming Sword Meeting with Tobias?

Write it right now?

"Where's the money in that?"

C0DA is free, CvC will be free, some talent in CvC? Man, they don't work for free, dig.

Your characterization of Cyrus is pretty top-hat, too, btw.

Elaboration on C0DA (2014-02-14)Edit


C0DE of C0da

My C0DA: Lorewise, I've had my say on these matters for the time being, and now all of my work is canon since canon is no longer a word with practical utility. Other practical applications of mine I'd like to reiterate or clarify are: mine is free to use, yes, as a template infinitely full of templates. My C0DA is where all of Nirn's can exist in simulcast without regret.

The C0DA: There is no such thing as TES fanfiction anymore, unless some one wants to keep it that way. And that's fine, WE doesn't need them, because C0DA is the ever-growing, ever-more-embracing-of-its-fans-contributions and the natural evolution of old TES sped up for the modern age sequel to not any one game in the series' but a sequel to all of it combined.


One last infinite thing about The C0DA, as a fellow Free Associate at Day One Dog:

Look at the LOVE. It's all over the place. Even the Downvotes are civil. If The C0DA has any rule it is the rule of civility in which to freely associate. We are not here to conquer or get in fights over anything, because...

...we Won the War of Canon. In Winning it, we threw it out. But we're still polite about it existing.

And under this umbrella of free association there are no more titles, especially lore-ones; no masters, no vets, no newbs, no casu-el.... unless they reserve that space. That's a part of open spacing The Elder Scrolls to everyone, unbound by platforms or beta keys or pay ins because, above all:

There is no more marketing and branding and franchising and selling the joy of The Elder Scrolls.

No more fear to swat or get swatted. The law of The C0DA shouldn't cause the former, and it does not tolerate the latter. There is no camping here, only LFG or solo or game moderators when and if we choose. We are the new ETADA, still in beta, and we're going to never be over. Anyone can add to this, no matter if they just pop out of nowhere, have never heard of TES, or are a rocket scientists that dabbles in watercolors. From our tumblr, we've had 5000+ visitors today, some of whom may just have been stopping by. No one should ever be a newbie to joy, only veterans of it.

This is the Paradise Mankar could have had if he only remembered not to covet his own gains and not covet solely the idea of Freedom.

The C0DA will not fight you on this matter. But we will gladly rejoice when ever you choose to acknowledge your surrender.

The War is Over. There is no Canon where WE live.

Fragmentae Abyssum Hermaeus Morus suggests Shor is portrayed as a fox rather than a snake. (2014-02-15)Edit


edit: for at least a long while

I believe this is the source quote which started it all. I might be wrong, but I think this was an answer to an AuA they did many monthes ago when someone asked why their Cyrodiil isnt a jungle
"Based on current Tamriel lore, Cyrodiil is not a jungle in The Elder Scrolls Online. To quote the scholar Phrastus of Elinhir: [A quote from The Heartland of Cyrodiil follows.]" (2014-02-16)

Thank you. Hrmm. I'll have to look at this more, but I'd really like to explore it as the challenge of:

"Something something Cyrodiil, especially nearer to the Niben you go, is a quite literally a jungle in the imaginary sense something something scholarly works disagree with myth/ myth disagrees with plain sight on either side of this "jungle vision phenomenon"/ brought on, it seems, by strenuous dread of effort or heavy-mindedness... something something as if some greater work, perhaps related to the primordial horrors of the Hist, brings this swamp-haunted miasma through a thin veil of vines, encroaching something something"

Something something the jungle is Carcosa, the Seat of Sundered Kings is plagued by Hastur. The Shonni-etta and other baroque Reman sources are definitely in this vein, and I'd like to think that their very subject matter summoned the haunted jungle dimension to the fore of those around. The Blight, only more personal and case-by-case, easy to edit out of memory in times of peace and normalcy, yet brought on by more terrible regimes that affected the vision of the commonwealth of the people.

I am so confused over this whole Xarxes/Arkay business.
I hadn't noticed it before tonight, but Xarxes is a very Metatron-esque character, being the heavenly scribe and whatnot. Here's my problem: Metatron, according to many sources, is Mithra. You guys remember Mithra, right?
Now we have Xarxes being connected to Orkey through Arkay, if that text is to be believed.
Help me out, MK. Head's about to explode. (2014-02-16)

Working theories are a bit too spread out to properly ponder, but yeah, I'm particularly interested in this. (You know I love me some Mithra cults.)

[Editor's note: Kirkbride has previously named Mithras as the inspiration for Trinimac.]

Tamriel is a fantasy world but follows some logical climatic rules, as you don't find deserts close to arctic or jungles in Skyrim? (2014-02-16)Edit

Talos farewells the King of Atmora

Sure you do. It was called the Dirt Patch. Or did we talk about this already?

And then the Blight.

And the Haunted Jungle of Cyrod.

And the fact that nothing in the world is really a globe so "whatever, this word you call 'weather'..."

And the Jaws at the Edge of the world.

And the Dream Leak.

And the Hoag Bellows.

And the Mountain Shaped Man.

And... what are you talking about? Stop typing the same thing.

And Aldmeris wasn't a place, it was an idea.

And Atmora wasn't a place, it was an idea.

And Yokuda exists in the literal past.

And Akavir exists in the literal future.

And Masser is Lyg's Shadow.

And Lyg is a coffee-stain.

Yeah, I always thought that to be a cop-out argument. What does "fantasy" mean? Okay, so there's magic, and all the other races and hey, creation myths are actually true. Okay. But unless how you can provide how any of those things influence climate zones I do think it's best and most helping with immersion if realism is used there. Same with really all issues where people go "but it's fantasy why care about realism when you have wizards running around"...

I'm seen too much of the "immersion" argument used the other way, the "anti-Wizard" way.

So take each of my magical examples and map them to a realistic weather pattern for the world. Otherwise, go [censored] to another super-sized map of the world.

EDITED: circumventing censor.

Well, that's the difference in worldbuilding and mythbuilding. World building has a certain challenge. And yes, for what it's worth, I always found world building with consistent worlds much more interesting than fairy tale like or dream like myths.

Show me your world, I'll show you mine.


Hah. Touché.


On the spouse terminology practices of the Nords (2014-02-17)Edit

-Husbands and -Wives in ESO?

Are the Nordic concepts of the various [XYZ]-Husbands and -Wives anywhere to be found in ESO?

Thanks in advance

I'm sorry but what do you mean by XYZ husbands and wives?

Sorry, sometimes I forget my brain doesn't immediately broadvox.

I'm sure there's a post on /r/teslore where I outlined the various husband/wife structures used by the Nords.





Sound familiar, anyone?


Oh wait, that was the SHOR SON OF SHOR by Miraak stage play thing. I think that topic got wiped. Because feelings.

Exploration of a cut idea about the Red Diamond after the Great War (2014-02-23)Edit

I talked with Kurt about a whole mental anguish thing that happened to the world of TES after Talos was shot out of heaven by the Thalmor.

Short version: any attempt to draw the old red diamond would invariably end up failing.

Ex: A painter would paint it. The paint would set. The paint would crack and move. The final painting would be a 2D explosion. More Talos despair would set in.

Ex: Blacksmiths would forge the symbol. The metal would cool, be applied to an Imperial helmet. A brave legate would wear it. The diamond stayed on long enough to meet with a Dominion ambassador. Imperials would be all "See? Our faith in Talos is--" Legate's helmet would crack from the symbol, legate's head crushes in. More Talos despair. Dominion ambassador would smile and accept the surrender of whole legions.

Ex: A bard, knowing the "cracking diamond effect", attempts to describe the symbol in verse, to avoid the physical danger. He performs the verse to a crowd of secret Talos worshipers. They begin to see the diamond in their minds and are overjoyed. Then the screaming starts. Two hours later, a throng of headless corpses are found, strewn diamond-pattern in a courtyard. Other worshipers arrive to look on them, seeing a sign of their god in the bodies of his martyrs. Crowds gather at this holy site. Dominion lets the hope set in, declares small doubt in the finality of Talos' erasure. People go "whoa" and flock to the site. Thalmor button is pressed. The new settlement blows up as anything around the diamond shape regards it in a chain-reaction explosion of viscera, language, spellfire. Half a province surrenders to the Thalmor.

Parts of Game: Skyrim would show all of this in mechanical terms. The LDB would have to learn how to successfully craft the diamond shape without danger. They would have to avoid certain "latent diamond traps", etc.

Was awesome idea. Was also... technically difficult. Was also radical. Is saved for a future game or DLC.

On the trinity symbols in Skyrim's Nordic ruins (2014-02-23)Edit

Hint: The Triskele, on a leather rope, around the neck, unable to be seen by the person wearing it as a pendant.

Why does everyone want the dwemer back? What would they even do if they came back? (2014-03-04)Edit

Concept art of two Dwemer
Plus, we could talk to them

How can you talk to people that don't know how to talk?

and learn about their culture

How can you learn about aliens that refuse the idea of a culture?

and whatnot

The Dwemer would like the word "whatnot" so much that this would be all WHAT they talked about until NOT you destroyed your WHAT hard drive NOT, WHAT saved games NOT, and your ability to interface with the net.

Still think they're WHAT cool NOT?

Numidium isn't just singing a big world-refusal. He's singing a Dream refusal.
What do the Elder Scrolls hold against him, if they themselves are just bits of creatia? (2014-03-04)

You tell us.

Maybe. Or Maybe Not.
Wonder how long it would take me to decide...

empty reply

Because Dwarves.
More seriously, people want them back because while the mystery is interesting, living Dwemer could be, too. Plus it'd be fun to see what would happen if they did come back. (2014-03-04)

No it wouldn't.

Strong statement. I guess a lot of people want the Dwemer back without really knowing what they're like, why they disappeared etc. though, so they don't really get to suggest that kind of thing.

The power of "no" is that it's a "maybe" in disguise. Just egging people on to show rather than tell. Want to bring them back? Do it well enough and they're back.

Commentary regarding time on Nirn and Lyg (2014-03-07)Edit

Tamriel is the present. It is literally the center of time.

Akavir is the East and it is in the future.

Hammerfell [sic] is to the West and is in the past.

Traveling from west to east means more than taking time to sail, it means sailing across time.

Atmora to the North is frozen in time. As such, it didn't really exist at all.

Aldmeris to the South is outside of time. As such, it didn't really exist at all.

The moons? Now they're really weird when it comes to time.

Then what is Lyg, on the opposite side to the center?

Lyg is a backwards coffee stain of Tamriel, I already told you that. One time Nirn got folded up, folded space-style ala Dune Spice Navigators. Lyg is the result.

Am I right to think of Klecksography, only with continents instead of ink?



The invasion of the Ra Gada "3000 years" ago as a relativistic series of sails into the future.

And Uriel V's uncannily long voyage, with the Akaviri appearing at irregular times. The supply lines taking longer than expected, since missives were being sent literally backwards and forwards in time.

The talk of Adjacent Places and the power of adjacentia.

On Paarthunax's death and writing off their characters to create narrative (2014-03-09)Edit

Paarthunax is a friend of a friend. We either kill our undead draconic babies via meteors, freeze them in dracochrysalic shells and then shatter them, or turn them into unlovable terrorists ..., yeah, the jury's still out. Then again, some of our favorites did flee East, into the Future.

On Heimskrs and Subtropical Cyrodiil: A Speculation (2014-03-09)Edit

You're not paying close enough attention as to what a Heimskr is.

Huh. Interesting.
So even his name is a reference to the fact that he's an unworldly idiot.


Think of the Heimskrs as dream-sleevers with a brain-embeded Pipboy stuck on 3Dog's channel.

In some eras (I'm looking at you TESV: Skyrim), certain people find the Heimskrs dangerous, or annoying, or both.

On the different visual representations of khajiit, the Argonians, the Hist and the War with the Trees. (2014-03-13)Edit

Argonian in Arena
Khajiit in Daggerfall

OP, yes to:

Is there any lore basis or lore inconsistency/conflict regarding the human-like appearance of the khajiit?

Also, scroll below if you want to know the truth about Argonians and the Hist.

Frankly, during Arena and Daggerfall, Beth likely had yet to nail down what exactly the Khajiit were. The lore changed a lot from Daggerfall to Morrowind, so they probably changed directions on the Khajiit (thank god.)

Frankly, there is enough writing notes at Beth that I hope ESO got the memo on how to incorporate the concept of:

"Man" Khajiit (which is still khajiit)

"Man" Argonian (which is not an Argonian)

Finally, and most importantly

Argonians are not an Argonian concept. All hist are Hist. A human can be enough hist that he is regarded as Argonian by the Hist. Similarly, a rock can be an Argonian if it shows enough hist traits that Hist deem it so.

So the Arena argonians are humans mutated by Hist sap? Or do you have to think like a Hist to be considered a Hist by the argonians, but if you're close enough they say 'whatevs, you're cool yo' and possibly worship you?

The Arena "Argonians" are a strain of hist-dunmer mutants created by the Hist to infiltrate the Deshaan Plain and beyond, an experiment that was seemingly abandoned long in the past. Whether anything happened that was considered as a victory of this mutation is uncertain. The Hist aren't telling.

Furthermore, the Arena "Argonians" may or may not be considered hist enough by the Hist to be real Argonians. The Hist aren't telling. The game certainly called them that, though.

By this measure, there are no reliably confirmed "Argonians", only beings that think they are and have had that idea confirmed by meeting the Trees. And, of course, an Argonian may have started as one and is laughed behind his back by others because they know he/she/it is no longer exhibiting what the Hist wants from them. They, of course, must only be able to assume this.

Tell me, when you play an Argonian, do you ever hear the Trees talking to you? As a hist, I mean, even when you're playing a Nord? Because your Nord may instead be an Argonian without you even knowing it.

"Tell me, Uncle, do you remember the War with the Trees?" - PGE1

Why is an Altmer asking if another Altmer remembers the War with the Trees?? Why, an Altmer who is forgetting that he is exhibiting enough hist traits that he would never have Warred against the Hist... in other words, an Argonian who is also an Altmer.

So... who exactly had the BIGGER BIAS in that Pocket Guide now?

On the mythic implications of planar time (2014-03-14)Edit

Methinks these things should be, or are already, written along the Walls:

  • Alduin's was only a fragment that stretched across one portion of a frozen breath,
  • Brought roundabout from the Broadwall in the north,
  • There is now the Jillian in the east and it fights new wars past death.
  • Of Lyg's walls, the Maztiax can tell, and he might say uncounted?
  • Which walls line Secunda, or is that instead a rail?
  • Whose harbours have been ringed in fountains? (That some still call rape and hell?)
  • And where did Lord Eruptga learn to sail? (What does the sailor with his ebon'd arm not tell?)
  • And now what walls align the dreamsleeve, when all you sought were Towers?




You could argue that the Empire never took over Black Marsh in the first place. (2014-03-14)Edit

Not even that, really. You could just assert it.

The Oblivion Gates were not all in the Empire.

Nature of Time and Dragon Breaks (2014-03-17)Edit

  • Time "really" runs both ways all the time
  • Because of general consensus the common understanding is that thing naturally move forward through time
  • This general consensus, which just call Aka for now, is however fragile because of all the subliminal evidence that show all the breaks in rule
  • Such evidence includes anything that can be classified as a transcription error and there are Famous Examples
  • Ideas spread across Nirn dangerously, as can both be witnessed by Famous Errors and the Gods who love to love/hate them
  • To prevent every creature to realize everything, certain time agents (heh, chemical agents acting as spies) work to patch the plot holes
  • For now let's call these agents the Jills or the Digitals
  • But of course these agents have begun to fix so much that the very idea of them is subliminal enough that they get cabals devoted to their own impossibility; these are 'camps' of 'true scholars' whose very membership is, by default, spread across time
  • Because these unstable camps must often act without verification for fear of another cementing proof (covering up a perceived "wrong patch") their actions often result in truly Asymmetrical Warfare
  • This war is happening in Real Time, with all that that title connotes; the War in the Now; which you call Animal Time (now now now always act on now)
  • Things happen: keep logs: register into Memory: establish bloodlines: your bloodline is registered by C0DA

On the nature of C0DA's narrative (2014-03-17)Edit

Lol. There's a reason it's so long, hyper, and just PURE: it's the version of TES remembered from childhood. The "first Elder Scrolls game I played," if you will, that one unassailable place where nothing should be allowed to change. Especially, say, growing the fuck up.

So, yep, Jubal travels deep into his own childhood, gets drunk, meets his gods, then kills a giant brat with a dis that needs no words.

Then gets laid. The end.

What if instead of being literal beastmen, the Akaviri races are all men that embody animalistic traits? (2014-03-17)Edit

Remember that Akavir exists in the future. Add your beast ideas to that notion and see what comes back. meant that literaly?


I mean, yes that Akavir literally exists in the future of in-game TES. As in, maps of it are either transmitted images from the future and/or rendered by people returning from an expedition back to the past.

Every time they come back, what have they missed regarding their map, since it is inevitably outdated?

And, yes, that the OP should take their ideas about beastmen using that filter and see what comes out of it.

And... yes, moving forward (get it?) we will see more and more truths about Akavir. The New Amaranth sends their love, by the way.

I'd always imagined Akavir (and to some extent the other far continents) as being somehow less real than Tamriel. Like Akavir started out as a literal myth, a 'Here be Dragones' note on a map, that captured the imaginations of men and mer and fleetingly became solid enough to launch an invasion of the real world.
The Ka Po Tun etc might not even have existed until Mysterious Akavir was published! The Akaviri are the Blemmyes of Mundus.

Yes. This but backwards and forwards. Like to Akavir (the future-present), their maps of Tamriel (the present-past) would be like "Here there be Dragon Killers"... with any maps of Yokuda even being stranger: "Here there is the land from the book we have called Mysterious Yokuda."

"Akavir (the future-present)
"Tamriel (the present-past)"
Would that make Yokuda the Past-Present, the Future-Past or the Past-Future?


I am immediately flooded by memories of watching Samurai Jack. You may have just pushed me off a cliff I didn't realize I was standing on.
We're all just Void-Mo now, finding Nu-Possipoints every day.
It took me a while, but as a Shaie may say, "Why beat 'em when you can eat 'em!"

Very good. A Shaie as in plural? Or a Shaie as in a stage of being? Or a Shaie as in a title? A form?

All of the above?

For me, if literal animal aspects are involved, I prefer seeing the Tang Mo as true monkeys who have sentience and pick up spears and little shields when it's time to fight. Same with the Ka Po'Tun: quadruped, sentient tigers adorned in jewels and armor made by their Tang-Mo and surviving Man allies. The Tsaesci in this case are parasitic snakes living in the bodies of the conquered Akaviri Men. The Men develop the slight serpentine features with these immortal snakes living in them. The Kamal are gigantic and horrifying Bears that retreats in the winter to hibernate, hence the line about freezing and thawing. There's a lot to play with when on Akavir!

Yes, these are good things to have in Akavir. Cyrus may see these things. Or may have seen.

Explorations on objects (rather than people) mantling and being mantled (2014-03-19)Edit

Lots of things are objects. We need some restrictions to define our explorations before we go buck wild. At its root, you might be on to a very cool idea. And something pretty close to the famous theft of a famous thing.

Are we:

Limiting the term "object" to a normally non-sentient physical item or tool normally considered mundane? Ex. a rake that has not been enchanted/cursed/used by a famous magic user nor host to a demon, god, or hero?

Let's say YES

Is this rake observed in any way by "regular" mortals? Ex. the farmer that uses the rake.


Is this rake observed only by other normal farmer tools? Ex. tools sitting in the farmer's shed, forgotten.


Is this rake observed by no one except the interior of the shed? Ex. Self-explanatory.


Is this rake observed by no one since there is no light showing in the interior of the shed? Ex. the farmstead and shed are either buried underground or under the shadow of a month-long eclipse? For these examples, let's remove any mythical forces associated with the Underworld, nature, Oblivion, the Moons, Magnus, etc.

Pick one or more

Is the normal use of the rake required but there is no one to use the rake? Ex. the autumn leaves are piling too high.

And so on. Start with this rake within these limits. Try to make the rake do something so special at being another tool that it supplants that tool so much that no one remembers when the rake wasn't just that tool all along.

How do Hist-worshiping Argonians and Green-Pact-following Bosmer get along? (2014-03-20)Edit

Any culture that reveres or lives around trees and that had enough knowledge to know that the Hist were crazy Trees? Yes, they would probably fight over what a "tree" really was. Violently.

"Akavir Says to the Otherkin: GET OUT!" (2014-03-20)Edit

An Akavir-inspired Banner

As the master of the future and Akavir, there shall be a clearing of all free worship of the Foolish Ones that sully the name of the Land of Dragons, who hide behind such subcultural inanity dubbed the Otherkin.

The Otherkin in Akavir are not a real thing. Tosh-Raka has decided this. In his infinite Dragon Aspect and as the one true son of Jubal and Vivec, he declares that from this future pastward, that your kinde may retreat to the realms of Tamriel, taking your idols with you, and make treaty with the Thalmor, and in general do whatever your new Slavemasters let you.

The Tiger-Dragon also bids you to attempt to sail further into the past, towards Yokuda, but their saints would wreck your every feature into the hell that houses false things.

-- The Farthest Eastern Underking

[Editor's note: the following is taken from the comments.] (2014-03-21)

Along the Jillian Wall which was untamed in your west by the epoxy-meht and sun-sullied Namer, The Ailing Den, there are the sapsworn ficklebits. The Enemy that resides outside the akashakalpic flower. They hide like flowers. They spore. They ate. And their math runs backwards into the destruction of the ancient snake-saints.

Those pasts have already been long Determined by history.

one true son of Jubal and Vivec
This is the part that really struck me. Tosh Raka is the Amaranth? (2014-03-20)

Akavir has become the New Amaranth.

Tosh Raka may be rejecting his parents perceptions, the way we reject those of our parents as old-fashioned or uninteresting.
Part of asserting their own independence, individuality and creating their own reality. Chubby little Amaranth is growing up. (2014-03-21)

Tosh-Raka is the Dragon of Akavir, alive now in the future since your children saw the debut of my parents in your spriggan-welts. We exist where they are dreaming-sleep, and only our my clutchmates decide which stories belong, recorded, against this, our Jillian Wall.

My parents dreaming was boring to us, insofar as it was infected and infected you, and we watched your canon anchor down again and taketh from you your east. You, middlekin of Eruptga and Blue Shift, you are broken along infinity, each one of you an instanced ape.

And you have already been all Determined to be Argonian by those Hist stories you refused to read in our father's last hurrah. We shed you now and write large along the stars, and war already in the 9th, sending you the thing the foolish of the leaves of better days left in union and her name was and is and now the proof of our parents and their boring truths and they called her KINMUNE.

Again to the Otherkin: GET OUT and find free worship elsewhere. Our names are now nine weeks old in FREE and even longer in the elder dream.

In the Dragon Land, time flows more freely, and dragons are masters of time. They see more, and manipulate more, and their powers over time itself are prize. Their insanity is cured, they become more 'reasonable' in some respects. Some jerks try to kill them, but end up only cutting themselves off from 'post-time' and end up back in 'normal-time' so they invade Tamriel instead. (2014-03-21)

Tosh-Raka says unto you to add this to the Jillian Wall.

As the Undermaster of the future and/of Lyg, free worship shall be confined to the present-past of the western oceans, numbered nineteen and nine and nine.
As the City of Chains fell, the consequence of finality was revealed as the lie of the proselytizers, as all versed in the non-tok of the future time now know. As before, so tomorrow. This was the rapture of Maztiak in his final moments.
Despair not for the failed birth of Twil. As the ships of Yokuda sailed East, so Lyg bleeds West, challenging the totems of the previous age.
The Upstart bids you, learn from those that failed before, so that you may succeed in the morrow.
-- The Farthest Eastern-that-it's-Western Underking of Lyg (2014-03-21)

Tosh-Raka says to the Kinging Kinds in the Lyg that for every dreugh there is we shall love no other ocean. Your religions are your own, and of the doors to their houses he desires no keys. Instead, yes, lock your Maztiax clockwise from the False Biters. Stamp in razors the Otherkinde as if skooma and snort them up, out, and back into the Marsh. The center is already Determined, but its antinomial is not.

And what of Atmora to the North?
Neither East nor West is he.
And so its king lays down this law,
that all worship is free.

Atmora is frozen. But I like this trap for the Otherkin. Free worship in the land of stagnancy.

I love it, always hoped we'd get more on the kapotun. Although now I'm confused on what makes travel from akavir-tamriel possible seeing as you're pointing it out to be cross-dream travel with your post on "akavir is the new amaranth". Also because I liked the idea of kamal as vengeful snow elves escapees that grew cruel and heinous and wore demon masks, etc etc, but yknow shrug
Also because I liked the idea of kamal as vengeful snow elves escapees (2014-03-21)

Tosh-Raka has not claimed this to be false. Only that the Otherkin were false.


If Akavir is the new Dream, I find it a bit... meh... that you can get from dream to dream in a canoe. (2014-03-25)

Sailing through the dreams of spacetime in a canoe sounds pretty cool.

Most of the most famous crosstime, interdream sailings have been by fleet. They never end up smooth.

Can men build Towers? (2014-03-22)Edit

In general, I find that the not-Men should build the Towers, if even the notion of "built" does not necessarily a physical brick-and-mortar approach.

On canon (2014-03-22)Edit

So, the prevailing opinion here at TESlore, one which is reflected in the sidebar:
Canon is completely subjective and discussion of it only leads to inconclusive argument.
Hence why the term "canon" is so despised.
C0DA was MK's way of announcing the Death of the Author.

This is a nice summation. :)

Could I borrow it for a large archive for something. INFER.

If you instead side with The Dragon Break Re-Examined, you can come away with a completely different interpretation.

Let's not forget that the game that book was first found in (TESIII: Morrowind) firmly placed that book out of time.

The atemporal Tamriel is not a new idea. Some people are just catching up.

Everyone agrees that there existed a Tiber Septim. (2014-03-23)

Or eight of them. Or 24, because one mustn't forget the time he was an Orc War Chief. Fighting his human self. To allow for the court of public opinion to be swayed on both sides.

Let's be clear on this.

I enjoy the notion of our interpretations having to stem from some established set of events. (2014-03-23)

Might you perhaps agree that this might read better as:

"I enjoy the notion of our interpretations having to stem from some established pattern of events."


It's obviously fine if you don't, but this is my own preference. Especially as Elder Scrolls eventually spirals out of the hands of an IP and more into the hands of its true keepers: the fans.

EDIT: To further cement my stance again (again lol): The Elder Scrolls will one day no longer belong to a corporation. I mean, it might in name and C&D letters, but there will simply be NOT ENOUGH LAWYERS to stop the Free Association for that tactic to be financially viable.

On Amaranth as the goal of Mundus (2014-03-25)Edit

Amaranth : The goal of Mundus.
Is this strictly true?


I mean, are things any better/worse with a New Amaranth?

Yes, they are better.

Couldn't the goal of Mundus just be to be?


Hah. Well that's that then. Thanks for the response!

Songs of creation have a reason for existing. They follow a pattern and strive for an effect. They evoke wonder, mystery, and ultimately the promise of paradise. For the Mundus just to be is a rude animal thought, a recycled simpleton. The goal is always more than where you first met every atom you knew.

How old is Tamriel? (2014-03-30)Edit

Tamriel on Mundus Prime is just a little over 8,500 years old.

From sources

On the nature of Heimskrs and Pelinals (2014-03-31)Edit

Bears repeating but there are Heimskrs throughout history

As in Pelinals but not quite.

If Heimskrs are radios tuned to a transcendent line of truth, are M'aiqs radios tuned to something else? If so, what?

Yes, I think that M'aiq is another one of these... let's just call them Celestials (Marvel Comics) for now.

Pelinal, KINMUNE, Heimskr, M'aiq... all semi-sentient ever-present "pings" from... idk I just lost it

Oh, wait? The Pity-XYZ to Jills?

I'm not sure I can parse "Pity-XYZ to Jills" though.

Yeah, I should have stopped at "I lost it"... as in the plot.

On further reflection, I'd probably remove them from time-as-bound-by-Aka and move them to a space-bound-by-Mundus. Or the Convention, more like. Something like radio signals bouncing off radio towers.

Cosmic numbers stations! Saying something to someone but most people have no idea what, even though they're out in the open. Except in the case of Pelinal and the uh... genocidal rages. That's pretty clear.
Okay, that's only half-joking. But yeah I like the idea of them being sound artifacts bouncing around the song in the wake of Convention. I imagine them as mathematical curiosities, weirdly prominent things that point to deeper truths if you can figure out what's going on.

There we go. If one pulls up and outward from the Wheel (somehow) and can see it all (like from a Provision(ed) House) these pings and pongs of radio waves look like Cerebro pulses / waves of light.

Why do we keep on assuming Orichalc Tower was built? (2014-03-23)Edit

Is there any evidence to support the idea that it was built? Not all of the towers were- Snow-Throat wasn't.

Define "built".

Fair enough. What I meant is that I've seen a lot speculation and/or confusion about why the Sinismer built their respective tower. Why do we assume that they built it?
Also, is it weird that I kind of internally fan-squeal every time you respond to posts I make?

Yes, that is weird, but allow it to happen.

In general, I find that the not-Men should build the Towers, if even the notion of "built" does not necessarily a physical brick-and-mortar approach.

I'm also not a fan of the word 'Sinismer' because it's a little too... latinized-clever? Dunno. The stilted and/or plain sound of The Left-Handed Elves or The Left-Handers strikes me as far for Yokudan.

On interaction between the dreaming realms of Dreamers (2014-03-26)Edit

This and the mention of Russian stacking dolls makes me feel like "nested-class pressurized dream suits" are required to move directly between nested Amaranths.

Like, you can sail from B Prime to C Prime, but you probably need something insanely advanced to move from B Prime to A Sub-sub-sub-sub. Ghost Choir 9 most likely has this type of tech.

I'd imagine they'd have to verify that the physics of the destination would be workable for them. Either identical or sufficiently intricate as to allow translation.
But just for clarity, are you suggesting that sailing from Anu's Tamriel to Anu's Akavir isn't enough on its own to jump to Tosh Raka's Akavir? That there is a link there, but it requires special circumstances to be traversed?
Sufficiently similar symbols as bridges between dreams, if you're versed enough in the Godhead's rules to jump the gap...

Like a kingly leaper, perhaps.

Jubal killed Vivec in C0DA? And on the nature of C0DA (2014-03-28)Edit

Yes, in more ways than one, if one considers "Hir" to be a pronoun more than a certain best friend from House Hlaalu.

Trans-Amaranth travel has been a big topic, and I'm still not keen on it.
And that's still how it looks to me. Akatosh filling the role of Lorkhan's heart means, to me, he has let go and allowed time to infinitely spiral and fracture. (2014-03-28)

It was fully intended that C0DA be a living work. The longer it goes on, the longer the Amaranth has been born.

While Trans-Amaranth travel may have been impossible on Valentine's Day 2014, who knows what the New Dreamer may have discovered within every loveletter since then.

On how common magic is and racial bonuses (2014-04-03)Edit

The sun
Every mortal in Tamriel has the potential to use magic. (2014-04-03)

All of this.

Plus the Sun just pours that shit into your pores.

Race is a very important factor (2014-04-03)

You mean culture. Races are different.

What about the forsworns then?

How granular do you want to get?

Also is the superior stamina of the Orcs a cultural trait?

You're talking about a numeric value along a bell curve used as a game mechanic.

Tiber Septim was an Orc for many, many years-- and yet he integrated himself into their society by exploiting certain racial stereotypes.

How literally are we supposed to take this?

Literally. He performed an extremely powerful ritual to change his race. Tiber is a monster, man.

The games would imply that race is a very important factor. (2014-04-03)

That's called a stupid and outmoded game mechanic.

some races are more inclined to it than others (2014-04-03)

Again, you mean cultures.

I swear, one day this notion will stick.

I would also look at the stat bonuses for the different races in-game (2014-04-03)

Naw, don't do that. You become racist.

Question About Non-Jungle Cyrodiil (2014-04-03)Edit

There is a jungle in Cyrodiil. It's just a state of mind and dread.

On an evident similarity between Failed Incarnates and Arthurian myth (2014-04-03)Edit

I highly suggest brushing up on your Peakstar lore. She doesn't get enough love. Think Grail Knights throughout the Failed Incarnates.

Honestly if the Bosmer and Khajiit decide they don't want to support the Thalmor anymore it would probably be extremely easy to knock down the Thalmor. (2014-04-03)Edit

That's why the Thalmor made sure to keep both of those cultures from ever doing so without complete and utter erasure.

But what are they holding over the Boiche?

Who lives above the 'wood? And who would they follow?

Are the Thalmor too powerful to be stopped? (2014-04-03)

They are too powerful to be stopped.

What do mean by stopped?

What would happen to Almalexia and Sotha Sil's bodies after their deaths? (2014-04-04)Edit

Vivec would have stolen their remains, I would think.

What would Vivec gain from getting Seht and Ayem's bodies?

Are you kidding? They're his family. He would inter them in the proper Velothi fashion. And then mourn.

That sounds a bit kind for the abortion of kindness from love

You're missing the point of that passage, then.

On the nature of artifacts (2014-04-09)Edit

I was going to try and start a discussion about artifacts as awakened etada and how some of them achieving sentience, especially the ones that ran from or betrayed their masters, aedric or daedric, was an area still unexplored...

Are Redguards human? (2014-04-23)Edit

Yokudan humans are humans.

To put a stake in the sand: the men and women of Yokuda and their descendants, most popularly the Redguards, are human. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Yokuda is four times larger than Tamriel? (2014-04-23)Edit

Yep, to paraphrase" "Four times the size of the empire of your white king."

On the concept art of the Tribunal (2014-05-09)Edit

The Tribunal

Vivec is at the side facing away from the viewer for a reason. Almalexia is front and center because she is the motherfucking boss. Also note the cosmic baby growing inside Sotha Sil. While Sotha Sil is dead as we saw in the add-on pack “Tribunal”, the child survived.

On Daedric Invasions of Akavir and Uriel V (2014-05-17)Edit

If Molag Bal wants to merge Mundus and Coldharbor why doesn't he drop anchors in Akavir as well?

The attack on Tamriel's past is just that to Akavir: in the past.

Even at the time of ESO, Akavir scribes have already written down how it all played out.

Does that mean that Akavir will eventually be invaded by Molag Bal?

Think it through: Akavir scribes have already written down how it all played out.

Big Mo's invasion is old news to the Akaviri.

So, he did attack Akavir, just in their past? This got quite confusing quite quickly.

No, he attacked Tamriel. In Akavir's past. Everything is in Akavir's past.

Wait, does that mean any attempt to invade Akavir from Tamriel would be doomed to fail because they know exactly what will happen?

No. Remember, people arriving to Akavir go into the future, too.

And then end up in Akavir's "present".

Time distortion/disorientation happens along the travel, though. And then there is the question of aging. Or getting younger. Depending on which way you go.

Unless of course proper precautions are taken, such as time dilation bubbles or chrysalis shells. amirite?


And of course the Nerevarine, being immune to aging, would have no problem making that leap.


Or one could always submit to Shade Meditation through Stint Modules, recreating yourself along the way until you arrive perfect every time.


Hm, I would have thought aging discrepancies would have been noticed by the Empire in the wake of Uriel V's debacle.

Remember they had restoration magic and that Uriel the Fighting Diamond had powers similar to King Arthur's as a royal earth/wood elemental.

Can you confirm or deny that Pelinal Whitestrake is a robot from the future sent back terminator style to mantle Shor? (2014-05-31)Edit

I can confirm that he was a robot sent by Kyne. That he comes from the future may or may not been her intention.

I'm not going to talk about Pelinal and Shor and if one may have mantled the other. Yeah, you read that right.

Can races besides Nords learn the Thu'um? (2014-05-31)Edit

Yes. This should be clear from TESV: Skyrim.

Also, contrary to popular belief, the Thu'um may have been granted to the Nords by Kyne, but it did not originate with her. Rather, the Thu'um is a special subset of a greater power, and one of the weaker ones at that.

What are your thoughts on the reach, strength and influence of the West Navy during the early days of the Septim dynasty? (2014-05-31)Edit

Some of this will be the upcoming Cyrus web event, so I'll stay mum on it for now. I will say that what you really want to reference is The Mariner's Guide to the Empire, 7th Edition*. *The Empire of Pyand, not Tamriel. Everyone knows that the God of the Sea, the Tyrant Orgnam, rules the Mundus by way of his Tower Flotillas, not the keepers of WGT-1.

How exactly is Lorkhan pronounced? Like the name Lorcan, or more like Lore-Khan? (2014-06-10)Edit

The latter. lor-CON.

How/when will the Ayleids return? (2014-06-10)Edit

They're not gone.

Were ash ghouls and ascended sleepers based on tepirs? (2014-06-10)Edit


Would it be plausible to assume "Left handed elves" were literally just left handed? (2014-06-11)Edit

It's plausible given the name, but it's not literal. The LFE [sic] are something different.

Is it true that not every Saxhleel are Argonians but many Argonians are Saxhleel? Can members from other races be also Argonians by The Hist's will (an Argonian Bosmer, an Argonian Orc...)? (2014-07-06)Edit

Yes to both questions.

On the stylistic difference between in-game MK works and Obscure Texts (2014-07-13)Edit

Dragons over the Nibenay
MK (like Hideo Kojima) needs an editor to reign him in when he goes too far.

None of my in-game books were ever edited with the exception of a few lines in The Song of Pelinal (one removing Morihaus' erection, another stating that Pelinal was homosexual).

Do you still have them anywhere in your notes?

Yeah, I'll dig them up. It was only two line changes.

Regarding Pelinal's sexuality, can I ask you if it was taken out because you decided it was a bad idea, or because TES wasn't ready for rampaging gay robots yet, or some other reason? (2014-07-13)

The line changed from something like "a hoplite who Pelinal often shared a tent with at night" to "a hoplite who Pelinal loved well". That same hoplite gets killed, causing Pelinal to go on one of his crazed destruction sprees. You can go to the source text and figure out which part I'm talking about.

The reason it was changed was a simple matter of keeping his sexuality ambiguous. Since the player was donning Pelinal's armor, completing a mission that he could not, in a sense becoming him, being so blunt about Pelinal's sexuality was too... definitive (?) in relation to the PC's own. Given the open nature of TES PCs, I felt that it was fine to keep it open to interpretation.

But it's still there. If you look at Pelinal, that hoplite is the only one he gives non-familial affection to, and his retaliation against not just the Elves but the whole world after his lover's death is enough, I think, to infer the original intent.

I'm getting an Alexander the Great vibe.

Good, because Reman's epic The Shonni-etta will share similar themes.

There's a reason Pelinal called out Reman's name through time and space. Who's to say the Boy Tyrant didn't hear it?

I'm not done with the swarmfoam war-fractal yet.

I don't remember Huna's gender being specified. I thought the name was feminine. (2014-07-13)

There you go, then, a revelation: Huna was male.

there does feel like theres a stylistic difference between in-game and OOG texts (2014-07-13)

In some cases, sure. It really boils down to being able to work within the confines of the team's current project. That was (and is) easy enough to do if you have the experience and discipline to do it.

I don't think Todd actually has that much involvement with the lore side of things (2014-07-13)

This is wrong. Todd is always heavily involved.

On mithril (2014-07-18)Edit

I really hate that mithril is in TES.

Which is why I had it removed from Morrowind.

On the origin of the word "Mundus" (2014-07-18)Edit

I say Mundane. For the pun

Except that wouldn't be a pun, that would be a proper usage of the word mundane.

Well what's mundane in Mundus is not exactly mundane in Earthdus.

But it's still not a pun. It was called the Mundus because of the word mundane.

You're not onto anything new, is what I'm getting at.

As Mr_Flippers points out below, Mundane is derived from latin and means "of the world" roughly speaking.

Yes. I know. I named it the Mundus.

[Editor's note: the name "Mundus" actually appeared back in background information in Daggerfall, notably in The Old Ways, a Ted Peterson book. Michael has done some work on Daggerfall, although whether it was really him who named it the Mundus is up to debate.]

On the idea of Dragons being more a state of allegiance than a biological definition (2014-07-24)Edit

You've got me to back you up. And Kurt, too, insofar as breath weapons being a form of philosophical debate. And that they, you know, feed off time.

K&K's shorthand for dragons very early on were 'biological time machines powered by ideologies'.

On how the Dragon Cult worked (2014-07-28)Edit

Like hastily written lore.

It'll get fixed.

On the Thalmor as a rising threat (2014-07-31)Edit

Their importance will only increase in the next game. And the one after that. We're on the section of the series that sees the fall of Man.

Things will get ugly.

That could mean anything, coming from you. Like, they cause the main plot point of TES VI, but it's not directly about them.

You're right, it can mean anything, but it's a counterpoint to your assertion.

They're an organization, but not a state, is what I mean. Their influence is indeed large, but not to the level of the Empire. (2014-08-01)


On the Elder Scroll that the Grey Fox altered in TESIV: Oblivion (2014-08-01)Edit

That wasn't a real Elder Scroll.

That was a copy of copy of a copy of one of three giant cylinders (the real Elder Scrolls).

Oh that sounds really cool. I'm guessing these copies still hold great power and no one's ever been in contact with the real Elder Scrolls?
Also I'd like to take a moment to thank you for your work, it is a great source of inspiration for my world building project and I hope someday to write lore half as interesting as yours. Sorry for coming off strong.
Edit: and could the real Elder Scrolls be altered at all, or even observed?

Hey, thanks, dude!

The copies are powerful artifacts, to be sure. The three cylinders are kept in the vaults beneath White-Gold Tower. Mortals have interacted with them.

More on that later.

I found a page for the Dunmeri language made by fans and it got me wondering, has there ever actually been any official mention of linguistic rules for grammar or any such thing? (2014-08-07)Edit

As far as I know, nope, except for maybe Douglass [sic] Goodall's work with the Khajiit. Making up a true language is hard. If the Dunmeri thing's good, I say use it.

What, in your opinion, is Skyrim's biggest single flaw, and why? (2014-08-07)Edit

I wouldn't call it a flaw, but I wanted more DLC.

And more explanation of the Dragon War. And more of the earlier draft ideas of Dragons being biological idea-eating time machines that mortals just perceived as Ye Olde Standard Dragon image.

Do you stand by the transformation of Cyrodil or would you have preferred it to stay as a tropical jungle type place? (2014-08-07)Edit


It's been fun retconning it and coming up with neat ideas of the “jungle as Carcosa”… but eastern Cyrodiil should have been as described in the PGE1 from the start.

Was Jagar Tharn able to wear the Amulet of Kings? (2014-08-07)Edit

Look up Imperial Simulacrum.

Tharn was able to keep the Amulet of Kings from alerting the Council that he had taken the place of Uriel VII.

Was it Tharn himself who kept Amulet from alerting Counsil or did someone else on Tharn's behalf do this?

I'd have to dig out the Arena/Daggerfall manuals and hintbooks to answer that. Before my time, but essentially it was: "Muhahaha, if I transform into this shape, and keep Uriel alive and imprisoned in an interdimensional prison, the Amulet of Kings won't set off all the car alarms!"

What does "GHARTOK" mean? (2014-08-11)Edit


"Hand" + "weapon"

I thought ALTADOON was weapon and GHARTOK was hand respectively; have we been misunderstanding ALTADOON?

You're right. A GHARTOK is your weapon hand, or a hand that's made for weapons, or a hand that IS a weapon.

What is the big bright light in the centre of the sky in Sovngarde? (2014-08-16)Edit


... Sovngarde on the Moon :D?

Where else would you find the House of Shor? ;)

well that debunks my theory of it beeing the sun viewed from the other side because Sovngarde is a shard of Lorkahn that floated into Aetherius. (2014-08-19)

That's cool enough to be true. We don't see any continents or "sunspots" on that light, after all.

Then again, you are you, the refuter of his own work. (2014-08-19)

Not sure what this means.

I know that Sovngarde is on the moon. C0DA doesn't refute this. Nords, like, all Men, were gone by the time of its events.

The age of Nirn by the time of Skyrim (2014-08-20)Edit

Nirn is approximately 7000 years old +/- endless years of the Dawn.

On the Redguards use of magic (2014-08-24)Edit

Archmage Voa and Saban were both mighty sorcerers, crucial to both battles at Hunding Bay. The idea that the raga are afraid of magic is just wrong.

Why did Azura not change the Dunmer back into Chimer after they stopped worshiping the Tribunal? (2014-08-26)Edit

'Velothi, your skin has become the pregnant darkness. My brooding has brought this on. Remember that Boethiah asked you to become the color of bruise. How else to show yourselves people of the exodus into the vital: pain?'

There are different versions of that story.

On Orc names being based off Tolkein's black speech, and a different direction for Orcs and Goblins (2014-09-04)Edit

Orc concept art

They do. All game that use Orcs owe the Tolkien Estate money. It's not intentional so much as part and parcel of using Orcs outside of Middle-earth in the first place.

There was a movement to change their TES counterparts out of the Noble Savage trope but it never really found purchase.

Where would that movement have taken the Orcs? I'm really curious.

The only hook we had was the (admittedly cool and weird) Orcish armor from Daggerfall, looking all samurai and shit. Using that, the idea was to explore an extraplanar dimension of an Orc Atlantis, since Goblins had a similar background in making-no-sense-planar-nonsense.

Orsinium would've been a conduit to Orc Prime (or whatever), where the Teat Shoguns gave mystical orders and wore strangely-sculpted Trinimasks.

Oh well.

Speaking of goblins, this place has been trying to figure out where they came from. Have you got anything on that? Something about planar nonsense as you said?

I had to read up on Goblins since they were so closely associated with the Ra Gada. To be honest, the whole Giant Goblins from Planet X seemed like a leftover idea from the original D&D campaign that Arena and Daggerfall was based on.

So I totally ignored it, half out of respect for the guys that wrote it (who were gone by RG) and half because I just thought it was a mess.

He was saying that for rhetorical effect, to pound home that any work that uses orcs is going to be influenced on some level by Tolkien. (2014-09-04)

/u/MareloRyan is right.

And no worries. JRRT failed to trademark Orcs, which you can't really do without some kind of merchandising. (I'm unsure if that was the case in the 50s/60s.)

At the very least the Beyond Skyrim mod team is moving away from that trope to an extent with their Orsinium work. (2014-09-04)

Great to hear.

Are the Redguards right or is the Dominion's victory inevitable? (2014-09-04)Edit

The first part we'll never know. The last part is true.

The Dominions victory, or the Thalmor's victory?

Six of one by the end.

Was Duadeen half-Akaviri, as asserted by the Five Hundred Companions? (2014-09-05)Edit


Why was Summerset Isles and other provinces renamed? (2014-09-07)Edit

Map of Tamriel

Because my will is powerful.

Wow, I thought there're more mundane reasons...

OOG, I hated Summerset Isles and Elsweyr as place names, so they were changed after TESIV: Oblivion.

Tried to get Valenwood and Hammerfell changed, as well, since it's a rip from Dragonlance and Marion Zimmer Bradley respectively. That shit is embarrassing.

If I might ask, what were your suggestions? What about Argonia(n)?

During the Oblivion Crisis, the Bosmer were going to call a Wild Hunt to end all Wild Hunts, with every single mer in Valenwood going full monster. Afterwards, it would've become a haunted forest nation, closed off by both the Dominion and the Empire. I forget the exact name, but it was something like Ada-mor, the "spirit forest".

The suggestion for Hammerfell was something African-based, but I can't recall.

Argonia survived the culling of Names.

I can deal with Hammerfell because.. it's literally where a hammer fell. But yeah, there's probably a better name somewhere.

It's not the name, it's the fact that it was lifted from another fantasy author.

This whole notion makes me long for more time in the mundane 4th era. Say, a new game set in the ProvinceFormerlyKnownAsElsweyr where the big bad is related to the Lunar Lattice.
Just a very mundane but fun setting. Next gen might do well with ferns and palms and sand storms.
Altogether, as a lore appreciator, I would more appreciate something rich though mundane. Let's not worry so much about the fate of the Empire.

I fail to see how any of what I suggested isn't somehow normal for TES.

And we're not ever going to see an rpg set in the cat-nation. Not in this decade, anyway. Said it before: TES is the story of the fall of Man to Mer. The beasts are just bystanders to the rest.

The beasts are just bystanders
U fuckin wot?

See below. I had a plan for a TEA game set in Elsweyr. We planned three of them.

TEA2: Eye of Argonia

TEA3: Paradise Sugar (which was totally meant to sound like a JRPG title; the idea was that every third installment was extra alien)

in all fairness, an Elder Scrolls Adventures would be much more fitting for Elsweyr; and would probably actually sell

I think so, too. You were going to alternate playing the various members (and forms) of S'rathra's family. You would have loved it. :)

so this means no Argonia ? :( (2014-09-08)

Note that I said an rpg. I would be all for a return to action/adventure games set in TES.

Thank you very much for answer.
Fun enough, I haven't read/played Dragonlance (from D&D I'm familiar only with Forgotten Realms), so i didn't have any problems with Valenwood, but Alinor sounds too similar to Valinor for my tastes :) (2014-09-08)

Agreed. But, hey, this all sprouted from the same gaming group that straight up named a place Dune on the map, too. I'm surprised there wasn't a Melnibone up in there.

Tiber septim tried to invade the afterlife? (2014-09-07)Edit

Tiber Septim (Justice)

Why not? Reman invaded the Underworld.

I for one can't wait to get the details on that.

Maybe we'll just play through it next month and it'll galvanize me to finish the Shonni-etta.

When you say underworld, do you mean a plane of oblivion,the deadlands,etc...? (2014-09-08)


On Tiber Septim (2014-09-17)Edit

Tiber Septim is a myth. Tiber did not exist. Or, rather, what people say when they mention Tiber Septim is an innacurate description of reality.
Tiber Septim is PR. Tiber Septim is revised history. Tiber Septim is a comforting lie. There's a bit of truth, here and there, but even the true bits are one of three different people - Hjalti - the dragonborn Breton, Wulfharth, the Nordic/Atmoran Tongue, and Zurin, the Imperial Mage.

Tiber Septim is PR.

Great line.

On his dislike of Shadowscales (2014-09-17)Edit

Only the shadow scales truly worship sithis


And what do you mean by that?

That I'm not a fan of goofy lizard assassins worshipping Sithis.

So what do the goofy lizard assassins worship?

I don't really care as long as the Hist disown them and deem them no longer Argonian.

If that were the case, I'd be all for it. But, c'mon, "Shadow Scales"... what is this, a crappy splatbook prestige class?

I don't particularly see how Shadowscales are any more goofy than anything else within the setting.

So that makes them good?

What is the wine-knife referenced in Shor Son of Shor? (2014-09-23)Edit

A wine-knife is a weapon that you only pull when drunk. It can detect sobriety, blunting its edge the more clear-headed you are.

Regarding the ending of Trial of Vivec, where Vivec shoves Muatra in Azura's mouth to banish her (2014-09-24)Edit

Someone doesn't have to endorse or condone rape themselves in order to perpetuate rape culture. You said in the answer you gave that Azura deserved what she got at the trial. What she 'got' does include her being raped by Vivec.
Regardless of whether it was your intention, the answer places the perceived blame for the rape on Azura. Azura did nothing for the Chimer, she's a liar, she's a fraud, she killed Tribunal, etc. Victim blaming Azura. Azura's character and previous actions are entirely separate issues from her rape. The reason Azura was raped is because Vivec is a rapist. Vivec raping Azura is what happened during the trial because Vivec a rapist. The issue of Azura being raped is entirely on Vivec.
The reason why people would look at that statement and bring up real world rape because on the surface it looks damn near similar to the typhoon of "She was asking for it" comments whenever someone is actually raped and the ensuing focus on what they must of done to have brought their rape upon themselves. Personally, looking at the answer only in the context of the question being asked (without your clarification below) it's fairly difficult not to read it as supporting what happened to Azura on a personal level, rather as supporting the scene as a natural outcome of Azura and Vivec interacting with one another within a story.

Good post. Vivec is a rapist and a victim of rape.

But implying-- hell, even outright saying-- that I endorse rape or perpetuate rape culture is both extremely stupid and offensive.

The thing is, the world still has a pretty permissive attitude towards sexual assault. When 76% of highschool-aged boys think it is ok to force someone to have sex under certain circumstances, I think some self-reflection about our culture is necessary. To say that Azura deserved what she got is to condone her assault because she somehow earned it as a punishment. That's contributing to the pervading belief that rape is sometimes okay.

[Editor's Note: regarding MK's answer about the Trial's ending in the AMA]

I answered, what, 30-45 questions in an hour on that AMA?

Let me clarify my position: I think that that the events at Hogithum Hall as a story are a great portrayal of demonic justice between two mythic forces.

Why did Shor not appear? Did Mara and Talos appear in old games? (2014-10-02)Edit

RL: Someone felt uncomfortable having a portrayal of a god in the game. (Daedra Princes don't count, I guess.)

In-world: Up to you.

Tsun is in the game, and he's a God.

You make a good point that was made at the time. But there a specific nix on Shor, and specifically because he was a god.

Are you saying that Tsun isn't a God (probably interpreted your words wrong) ?

He's a god, yes. But somehow, y'know, it was okay to show him as opposed to Shor.

I think it's more about the iconography of an enthroned God than Skyrim's Heimdallr guarding a Whalebone Bifröst. (2014-10-03)


Talos and Mara show up in previous games too. (2014-10-03)

Dunno about Mara, but Daggerfall predated the Talos concept. Do you mean avatars of gods? Because those are okay.

The word "Aedra" didn't exist during the time of Daggerfall, either.

This doesn't happen to be the same dev that nixed the Nordic pantheon, does it? (2014-10-03)


On the statue of Morihaus in the Imperial City being a Man (2014-10-17)Edit

Imperial statue of Morihaus

And Cyrodiil was 100% jungle in Oblivion, right?

I'm just saying that something being there is better than nothing. Even a bad source is still a source. Plus, it's not like gods haven't taken multiple forms before.

Kurt and I snickered that the statue's existence would have to be re-retconned after KotN, anyway.

I reject the idea that Atmora is frozen in time; at one point Ysgramor brings in reinforcements from Atmora. (2014-10-20)Edit

Sure, but Ysgramor can do that.

Whatever happens to vampires after their second death? (2014-10-27)Edit

They go back to the corner of Don't and Belong Here.

I've always felt there was something more to Giants. (2014-11-20)Edit

There is. You're on to something with the "previous kalpa" thing but not right on the money. (How could you be? It's not been explained, only hinted at.)

More later. For now, think gradients.

I've always just thought they were to atmorans what neandethrals are to us. (2014-11-20)


If Argonians hatch from eggs, why do females have breasts? (2014-12-05)Edit

Any attempt to lore this is misguided. Not enough assets.

Meh. Reasonable explanations have never stopped us from rampant and uncontrolled speculation before. Why stop here? ;)
I think this is kinda like Star Wars fans writing explanations for the visual phenomenon of repulsor fields as a way to explain the blurry shape under Luke's land speeder. I mean, sure, it was Vaseline on the lens, but why stop there?

Because, friend, we should aim for higher aspirations than trying to lore tits onto a lizard. :)

Ysmir vs HoonDing: who would win? (2014-12-12)Edit

All others make way.

Soo, the Akavir and the Tamrieli know of each other and have vessels competent enough to carry armies from one continent to the other. Why doesn't there seem to be any sort of diplomatic or trade relationship between the two? (2014-12-14)Edit

The time difference really mucks things up.

The Cave (Stone of Snow-Throat) doesn't have anything to do with Mithraic mysteries and the cave of Mithras, does it? (2014-12-17)Edit

Plato's Allegory of the Cave

Adamantium Tower is a Space-Ship? (2014-12-22)Edit

It's been a space ship since the High Rock section of the PGE1.

PS - Kurt wrote that section. And they say I'm the crazy one.

C0DA works on the "yes, and..." principle of Improvised Theatre (2014-12-29)Edit

Very, very good.


On some early concept art (2015-01-05)Edit

That particular Breton
That crazy Argonian houngan
At one point Bethesda was considering making action figures for all the races. This guy was a concept piece for one of those. Nothing came of it, obviously, since I don't have a goatfooted Breton on my shelf :(
Of course, ten+ years later, they actually are making fancy statues.

That particular Breton was based on Uncle Ken, too.

The face, I mean, not the one goat foot. (The real Ken Rolston has two.)

Why has he got a goat's foot?

Side effect of dealing in the dark arts. Annnnnd... after Daggerfall came out I made a big push to make at least some of the Bretons not look so all medieval all the time.

Vestiges of that can be seen in the Forsworn.

Any more action figure concept art?

Yep. Made one for each of the major races at the time. That crazy Argonian houngan was one of them.

Pronunciation of Numinatus (2015-01-05)Edit

"New-mi-nah-tiss" <-- this.

We know that the Imga are not slavish Altmer fetishists as the PGE 1 smugly alleges. (2015-01-05)Edit


I'll believe that when I see it for myself.

Or you could believe me, since everything you just wrote about Imga history was created entirely by me.

Surely you don't mean all Imga are like that? That sounds just as boring as if all Nords are barbarians, or all Altmer are racists. It just doesn't seem realistic when there's probably tons of Imga living it up like Bigfoot in the jungle and minding their own business or whatever. Idk.

I'm using the Orlanthi "all" or "every", meaning more or less 80%.

There are always exceptional exceptions, and I look forward to seeing some of them. And, as /u/Mdnthrvst pointed out, the biggest exception to the normal Imga is one of history's most powerful figures.

Hmmmmmmm yeah. Yeah, okay, I can kinda get behind that. I'd imagine the biggest chunk of the population would be sharing cities with Bosmer, and Valenwood cities probably have a fair amount of Altmeri influence/subjugation.
Fuck man I really gotta get back on Vilewood. All this talk about Imga is really getting to me. To be honest I didn't think about their Altmer love when I was first worldbuilding,but there ought to be a pretty interesting dynamic between the Altmer-lovers and the others. Hmmmmmmm.

Exploring the differences between the two would be fascinating. And throw in a few splinter groups to make it real, e.g. a barbaric chieftain who was trained in the fencer's art who only uses his dueling sword against Altmer "trespassers", or creepy Ayleid cabals who wear literal ape faces they've acquired in vile rituals.

MFW it turns out Imga are yet another loving homage/shameless theft from Glorantha.

We stole from the best.

The cape, however, is all me.

On Talin Warhaft (2015-01-12)Edit

Warhaft had a big role in a now-lost questline for Oblivion.

Cyrodiil's lack of Red Mountain stories? (2015-01-12)Edit

Huh, now that you brought it up, Cyrod's lack of Red Mountain legends is a little unbelievable.

(It plays a huge part in an unfinished story of mine, but that's neither here nor there.)

In the Dragonborn DLC, Neloth calls the Nerevarine a "he." Is the Nerevarine canonically male? (2015-01-25)Edit

That line was a mistake a designer made in haste. Consider it a glitch.

Can we hand-wave it away by saying the gender was a reference to the original Nerevar, and not necessarily the Nerevarine?
IE many Dunmer don't make a distinction between Nerevar-That-Was and Nerevar-That-Is, and the traits of each get blurred with one another.

Sure. Doesn't make certain players feel any less misrepresented, though.

What does it mean when Jurgen Windcaller "swallowed the Shouts" of the other Tongues? (2015-01-27)Edit

Self-explanatory. He breathed in while they breathed out.

Is Leki the Yokudan version of Meridia? (2015-02-09)Edit


I'm going to give a wild guess and believe Tall Papa is Magnus. (2015-02-10)

Tall Papa != Magnus.

Who were the Red Dome Templars of Talos? (2015-02-14)Edit

Templar concept art

Sadly, the Red Templars only made it into some onsite Runequest games I ran for the dev team in the earliest days.

Are these tied in with the "Red Legions" in any way, or is that a general name for Tiber's army?

Not related.

The Red Dome Templars were psycho-crusaders who drank the blood of Talos to get short-term martial shouting powers. The rest of the Army hated them (and much of the Elder Council wanted them dispersed), which is mainly why they were shoved off to places like Morrowind.

Yelmalio's Sun Dome Templars -> Talos' Red Dome Templars?


On Men and Altmer in C0DA (2015-02-16)Edit

The discussion between Sul and Morihaus should make it clear that neither Men or Altmer exist in the broken time of C0DA.

On the background of the PGE1 (2015-02-17)Edit

Regarding ordering [Editor's note: of PGE2], I really only feel strongly about Skyrim First, New Imperial Province Second, Cyrodiil Third.

The original ordering of PGE1 wasn't really decided until its final, frantic days, except that we knew Morrowind would always be last, since that was DF's sequel. One reason for its bouncing order was that, after handing out sections as written, and slowly watching it congeal into a whole, the idea of "saving the best for last" ended up being more of a hope than what really happened. People and proof-writers saw a book THIS BIG and just skimmed to their favorite section. Or the section they saw as the unlikeliest to persuade (I'm looking at you, Elsweyr).

Only Ken, Kurt, Todd, and I read the thing front to back in its near-last-draft form to see if its through-line was the best it could be. Everyone else just high-fived (say) that "sugar-crack" made it in.

It also bears reminding here that no one asked for a PGE during Redguard's pre-dev cycle. Redguard was still just "pirates in the sky boats of a barely-hidden Jupiter gas ocean" at the time. Only Todd's very wise decision to leverage the success of DF that Redguard even got a greenlight but, even then, nothing like the PGE was mentioned.

When was it mentioned? It's hard to pinpoint when, exactly, but after the RG plot of civil war and this Emperor guy coming in to profit from it all started to develop... well, someone asked, "What's the name of the Empire, again?" and no one had an answer. And that just got on everyone's nerves. A pact was made: Kurt and I would hit the books and work it all out while we were also working on Redguard. With Uncle Ken and Todd always there to steer us in the right direction.

Suddenly, "What's the name of the Empire, again?" turned into "hold up the train, wait, ALL of these disparate cultures worship the same gods? That CAN'T be right" and "This period in history doesn't make logistical sense and/or is just too muddled and unlovely in description". The former was mostly me (Varieties was written in one night), the latter was usually Kurt (one does not argue with someone that can use examples from the Peloponnesian War to explain almost anything). In hindsight, probably a lot of it was wankery, but it was the first world-building that went beyond the Iliac Bay (the progenitors of Arena were almost gone to a man, so we didn't have their notes, so forgive any bad memory or perceived "lack of documentation"), and it was impossible to stop. Except for that little thing called deadline.

(Remind me to relate the No One Wanted to Write the High Rock section later.)

This is a long way of saying, yes, the order matters, and yes, we will arrive at it, and yes, we should feel strongly about certain placements, but that a project of this scope will constantly surprise us and change our minds as we go...but we'll eventually have to talk about a deadline (groan) or it will never, ever stop. Unless it just peters out.

Do cults to non-Daedra/Aedra exist outside of state religions? (2015-02-19)Edit

Cyrodiil is the City of a Thousand Cults. Meaning probably three thousand. I doubt that even 15% of those would be devoted to the deities "we" know.

What is the Snow Whale's Joy Snow? (2015-02-24)Edit

Joy Snow is cocaine.

What happened to Captain Tobias' Sword-Meeting With Cyrus the Restless? (2015-02-27)Edit

It's no big conspiracy. I just can't seem to get the story to feel right yet.

Did the Champion of Cyrodiil become Sheogorath? (2015-03-08)Edit

It's up to you. It was never-- EVER-- intended that the CoC became/mantled Sheogorath.

Why do you think so?

I read the design documents.

On the unimplemented book Secret Dwemer Origins and its implications (2015-03-12)Edit

This is clearly one of them there shoulda hit Delete type situations.

Good lucking bringing back a race that's been fused with the Numidium.
Wait, is string theory in the elder scrolls? (2015-03-12)


What's up with Seyda Neen's lighthouse? (2015-03-18)Edit

Early concept art shows House Hlaalu with gems in their foreheads. These gems were purportedly part of the glass in the construction of the Seyda Neen.

The Seyda Neen was the flagship of a fleet that Hlaalu sent to sea at the behest of a Saint, "to see the face of Veloth". The mariners on this voyage would send back for the rest of their House when they had found whatever this "face" was.

But an unnatural storm destroyed the fleet, the jetsam and flotsam coming back to the shore. The Hlaalu used this to construct the Lighthouse, so that any of their countrymer that may have survived the storm could find their way back. House nobles embedded their flagship's glass in their foreheads, because Morrowind.

A very nice story. Thanks!
I understand better the quote of Paulus Hlaalu. And I suppose that Hlaalu Brevur was the commander of this fleet?

Dude, that interview was so long ago, I can't begin to remember. ;)

How can a player who has Corpus gained via that main questline contract Sanies Lupius if he is supposed to be immune to ALL disease's? (2015-03-08)Edit


Does Paarthurnax have any knowledge of Durnehviir? (2015-03-27)Edit

They didn't know each other.

Is that an official piece of your intended canon? or just your personal opinion?

Just passing the message along.

I think we all know the answer to that question

Do you now? What is it?

MK is right, MK is always right.

Naw, I just asked the creator of the two dragons in question and got the answer.

It's good being me.

The TES setting seems fairly medieval to me (2015-04-22)Edit

Then you're not looking hard enough.

Internet? Spaceships? Moon colonies? (2015-04-22)

Dreamsleeve. Sunbirds. And there's not really another word for moon colonies, so yeah.

What is (in your opinion) the worst bit of lore that was added in an Elder Scrolls game? (2015-04-23)Edit

Having Elves and Orcs in the series from the start.

As names and character models? Or you wanted something between humans? Because TES's elves and orcs are nothing like tolkiens.

As someone who helped differentiate them from Tolkien's... it's still just that: a differentiation, a fantasy cliche, tired and trope-ety-trope-trope-trope.

I kind of see it as a sad necessity, tropes are relatable. If you replaced elves with "wereducks" or something, people would have a harder time understanding it. Its all about the differences, and I think TES, mostly does a good job until you talk about the Altmer, which are pretty much Tolkien elves in attitude and aesthetics. The Bosmer and Dunmer are marvelous and unique in where they deviate from their tropeish inspirations.
Orcs got the short end of the stick though. Orsimer are orcs, perhaps not "evil" orcs, but still orcs. No one loves the poor Orsimer. They always seem like a sad footnote that no one really ever got around to fully developing.

You had me with replacing them with wereducks.

Better to have thought-out elves and orcs than five random Zrarrzxturddtinr races that don't evoke any associations with anything.

No shit.

We wouldn't have done that.

So what would you have preferred? Just different types of men?

It's hard to answer that so many years after the fact.

"Just different types of men" devalues the greatness of different human cultures. But I get the idea of wanting to play different races, so I would've made up new ones that weren't already beholden to Tolkien and, by extension, D&D.


Is the story arc for Morrowind influenced/inspired by the story arc of Dune? (2017-05-13)Edit

Images and textures, certainly. Who doesn't love Dune? But for the story, not so much.

Did Lawrence Schick write the 37th sermon that references C0DA? (2017-08-27)Edit

Who said Schick wrote it?

Is Ceporah Tower a Mythic Tower, and if so, what is its Stone? (2017-10-17)Edit

Never heard of that random-ass Tower.

On Continents (2017-10-17)Edit

Are Akavir and Atmora actual continents and should perceived as such, or are they rather mirror images of Nirn? (and is Nirn finite or infinite like the celestial bodies of Mundus?)

The only continents that are not real... that would be Aldmeris. The rest of them might have shared Pangaea thing, but only one is a memory. a fabricated memory. Think on Aldmeris and why so many of the Thalmor think the way they do.

Death of the Mane during the Umbriel Crisis (2017-10-17)Edit

How did the Mane die?

Assassin from the Thalmor.


Who wrote the level-up messages? (2019-04-23)Edit

In MW/OBL, I'm 99% sure that was Ken. The writing is very much his style.

I forget, did Daggerfall have similar level up messages? If this is the case, that was likely Ted. If the language carried over from one game to the next, then it's Teds all the way down.

Are the flying Snow Whales referenced in-game? (2019-05-24)Edit

The Whalebone Bridge is a nod.

What kind of prep, how many drafts did you have to do to end up with something as organic and intricate as the 36 Lessons? (2019-05-24)Edit

Hand of Vivec

It took about a week and I totally pantsed it. 98% of the edits were typos and grammar, with the biggest one being Kurt's idea of how to stick a secret message in, which meant he counted a lot and gave me a buncha numbers and made a word change or three so it'd fit.

I knew some amount of structure I wanted that first day, and had a guide from real world texts of mystery religions for a lot of the intonation I wanted to pull off, and a list of skills that needed to go up for mechanics reasons. So, like, that's why there's a scripture about maces lol.

Wait, that only makes sense if you know how this batch of Morrowind books came about. Todd/Ken/Whoever needed a certain number of skill points to come out of the in-game books, freelanced Ted to write a fuckhueg bunch of them, one skill point per book, and he was like yo Michael, this is a buncha books, want to take fifty of them?

So I divied up my 50, said I'd make 6 into Vivec's Bible and figure out the others. I wrote those six, said whoops, lemme do more of these because I can't stop and near the end I knew it was going to end up being 36 exactly. (I forget what the other fourteen books I did for that batch were, though. I think I asked, er, pleaded with Kurt to do a few of them because the deadline was insane.)

It might be of interest to know that I wrote them all in the order they are now. Like, there was never any, oh this one actually goes here and that there kind of stuff. Is that interesting? It certainly was to me when I thought of it a second ago.

Anyhoo, I was exhausted most nights of that week, and I bless my roommate at the time to this day for leaving food, smokes, and bourbon outside my door at dinner time. I pissed in a drive-thru coke cup from Rally's Burgers because I didn't want to stop typing Sermon 35.

For the record, I still think it's a kind of magic spell that let me write a magic spell, but hey, when you're holding a cup to piss in while still typing with your left hand, I can see how it all might get confused.

I know you said this wasn't an interview but...
Is there a chance you would work with Bethesda in an official capacity again? Or even more writings in the Elder Scrolls community? It's always good to see that u/ pop up around here and elsewhere from time to time.

Depending on the circumstances, I'd work with Kurt in a New York second. As for off the cuff TES writing, probably not so much. Writing a thing about a thing of my own soon and predict it will eat much of my time.

It's funny how lots of the best stuff is sort of improvised. The fact that you didn't have to shift stuff around tells me that it was improvised well.

Oh, I totally wrote most them going, “Okay, what fucking skill am I going to pretend levels up to this ireallygotnoidea.” But I took Mace +1 as a personal challenge.

You must have had a pretty significant pile of unused ideas for things, I would imagine. Those things that you started typing in and then were like, "nah, that won't work." Did you find that to be the case?
I also can't help but wonder how many things had a definite meaning in your mind and what parts were meant to be indecipherable.



But yeah no, I guess that's another interesting thing: there was nothing left on the cutting room floor. I got in, I got out.

Some of it is melody to me, but it always means a thing, even if it's a shape I was drawing in the words, because I see sound.

No, for real, I've pretty acute sound/sight synesthesia, which definitely played a part.

What do certain colors mean to you?

It's a subconscious sensory thing so that kind of analysis doesn't really work. Like, I understand color theory and stuff, but what sounds “look like” isn't affected by any of that. It just happens- I hear a thing and my vision picks it up too.

Punk rock always looks like blue, yellow, and black pieces of construction paper, all ripped up and stuck together over and over. Classical, on the other hand, is a pink neon rain. It's interesting that texture plays into both of them, which probably means there's a very small touch component in the synathetic mix.

Is The Elder Scrolls VI named Redfall? (2019-05-24)Edit

The game is not called Redfall.

On contributions to the development of Skyrim (2019-06-06)Edit

It's hard to credit conversations.

Well,if there's no NDA,feel free to share those conversations with the community :)

Ha! A couple of things that didn't get in off the top of my head:

Killing Talos was a hard sell. The Thalmor killing Talos by using a mythically sized-up, extraplanar Death Star Laser Auriel's Bow to literally headshot him out of Aetherius was a no go. I miss that, especially if you remember the precedents set in the DF Mantella quest shenanigans.

Famously, the one mention of Dragon's breath being argument forms is now on that one loading screen. We talked a lot (a lot lot) about how all of that worked, with the early mortals of the Dragon Wars watching philosophical debates between dragon "senators" and seeing them instead as crazy kaiju fights.

"Sentient mythological time machines" came from brainstorms on consolidating time-punching Alduin with the timeline-mending functions of Jills. Hints of that are still there if you squint hard.


Origin of Talos' name (2019-06-08)Edit

It wasn't a random name and didn't come from the early pre-Morrowind D&D campaign. It was indeed a riff on the Talos of Greek mythology. I like big bronze golems and Ray Harryhausen what can I say?

Inspiration for Tiber Septim (2019-07-09)Edit

Gbaji and Arkat were most definitely inspirations in the evolution of Tiber Early-Beard.

Did you write the 37th Sermon present in ESO? (2019-07-11)Edit

I don't see how anyone else did.

What are the Wheels of Lull? (2019-07-26)Edit

Ramon Llull

I always thought "Hist Tree" was just a play on words for "History" (2019-10-11)Edit

It wasn't.

So what was it? Something birthed from word scrambling?

I thought it was a cool word, both aurally and visually, so I went with it.

Yay, now I don't have to feel bad about myself for the usage of Rule of Cool!

Coolness solves most problems.

Hasphat Antabolis states an ancient title for Alessia Auma Par Eshe or Alma Par Essi; The word Empress allegedly came from this, and it means "Mother of Men." So maybe AE ALMA RUMA could mean "Ruma is the Mother"? (2019-12-05)Edit

Good catch. "Alma" is indeed "mother".

On where Cyrodiil comes from (2019-12-19)Edit

Got 90%, as the other 10% didn't come from me. There's likely a correlation.

Its true that the Hist as we know them today are mostly based on the PGE, they're actually briefly mentioned in Arena as a council of Argonians that rule over Blackmarsh. I remember this distinctly because they get retconned later as the sentient trees we know and love. While MK may have been partially responsible for writing the Hist as they are now, he definitely didn't name the Hist. This dude really takes advantage of how nobody here has played Arena.

Now that you mention a secret council, you might be right. And I did take names from obscure places and rebrand them, Cyrodiil being the most famous. It was a word on an internal calendar that I stamped onto the Imperial Province when we had to give it a name for Redguard.

Find the screenshot and then I'll eat my hat with cheese.

Nah, The Wild Elves book from Daggerfall written by Ted was first to steal the Cyrodiil as a name. "The Wild Elves speak a variation of Old Cyrodilic."

Sorry, I meant that Cyrodiil was labeled as an empire in the calendar— as was another, Colovia— but had no representation geographically, so I shoved both into the unnamed Imperial Province for the first PGE.

Ohh, that's interesting. I thought most of the internal documents were lost after Daggerfall. When was that calendar put together?

It was a print out of a word file that existed in a lonely folder somewhere that I never found. There wasn't an internal wiki in those days.

It was chock full of interesting info that never made it into the earlier games. As I didn't play those, I stole from the timeline liberally. There was a huge gap in years- over a thousand, probably as a buffer zone to fill in later as new history would be filled out by the DF team after launch. Or something, I dunno, all I saw was that huge gap. So naturally I went into Todd and Ken's office and announced it was this thing called a Dragon Break.


Origin of Bosmer cannibalism and graht-oaks, Argonian morphology, and Khajiit furstocks (2020-01-05)Edit

All of that came from the PGE1, which was during prepro for Morrowind.


Kurt and I wrote the Pocket Guide for Redguard while we were doing preproduction on Morrowind.

Kurt Kuhlmann's comment in an interview point out that he's actually not sure if MK even wrote the PGE (2020-04-08)Edit

That's... that's not what Kurt's saying at all. We wrote that book together. He's saying he doesn't remember who wrote the Skyrim section.

But I do. Kurt wrote most of the body text, I wrote the Talos stuff, Richard Guy wrote the sidebar on Shouts. That sidebar actually came from an email synopsis of a conversation he and I had while on a smoke break, where we were all, "Dude, what if Vikings doing the David Lynch Dune thing?" and then were all, "Yes, yes, we are doing that."

Strange how The Song of Gods doesn't include Shor who's the head of the pantheon (2020-04-17)Edit

No, he's not.

[Editor's note: the following is a transcript from Varieties of Faith: The Nords.]

“...this pantheon has no chief; see "Shor"”

“Considered a "dead god," Shor has no priesthood and is not actively worshiped, but he is frequently sworn by.”

Now he's not but he was, wasn't he?

He most certainly used to be.

Are there any depictions of Zurin Arctus? (2020-04-20)Edit

I did a sketch of him back in the day, I'll try to dig it up.

We speculated that Arctus could be the one with the staff right behind the Emperor, wearing the armor of Tiber's Guard. Or the Apprentice of the TES3 tapestry. Hot or very cold?

Freelancer Mark Jackson did the paintings for the Redguard intro based off my concept art and script, which never mentioned Zurin Arctus. So that one ain't him unless we retroactively say sure, that's him. Maybe we do?

As for the tapestry, no idea. Not even sure who did the piece.

What does the passage "wandered Tamriel, gathering armies, conquering lands, ruling, then abandoning his kingdoms to wander again." from Before the Ages of Man refer to? (2020-04-21)Edit

That passage is referring to a composite hero, whose kingly deeds may have not involved Pelinal at all.

It's not specifically about Pelinal. It's about several aspects of Lorkhan that all blend together into a vaguely familiar figure. Pelinal, Hans the Fox, certainly not Ysmir. They weren't all one person. They were all Shezarrines that took up human archetypes and did great things in the name of humankind. This was able to happen because time was a mess during the early days of Nirn and the nature of Lorkhan's aspects is to come, do things to protect Nirn, and then disappear to wander again. (2020-04-21)

Do things to protect Man, but yes, all of this.

Tbh, MK, I think killing elves and protecting Men is a great way to protect Nirn except for when you start nuking the countryside.

...without cracking a few eggs.

According to Nordic myths, Men were created thanks to Kyne at the Throat of the World. Didn't the original Nords come from Atmora (Ysgramor and his merry band)? So according to Nords, they spread to other lands and eventually returned to Skyrim or was this element of the creation myth integrated when the Atmorans started to mingle with the local/Tamrielic humans? (2020-05-01)Edit

From the first Pocket Guide to the Empire:

“The Nords believe men were formed on this mountain [Snow-Throat] when the sky breathed onto the land. Hence the Song of Return refers not only to Ysgramor's return to Tamriel after the destruction of Saarthal, but to the Nords' return to what they believe was their original homeland.”

Was House Dagoth originally a joinable faction? (2020-05-11)Edit

I honestly don't remember but it sounds like something Rolston would have been keen on doing.

On his role on games outside of Morrowind (2020-05-14)Edit

As for Oblivion, I'd ask about any inaccuracies. We can't have that. Let's also not forget the email I wrote that ended up coming out of Zod's mouth. Proud of that one.

My involvement in Daggerfall was so minimal as to be nil, only of interest because of the assignment I was given. My only intrusion in Battlespire was trying to steal Richard Guy (who I wish stayed at Beth far longer, his madness was perfect) and listen to Ken cackling about just how happy he was writing the trashiest of dialogues.

The Oral History of Vivec's Name (2020-05-14)Edit


I came up with the Tribunal's looks, personalities, placement in the story (remember, the game used to be set on the entirety of Morrowind), and names. And for a long time documents were written about Almalexia, Sotha Sil, and... Vivane.

But something started to bug me about that name— oh shit, it was a place in the tabletop rpg, Earthdawn! Being hugely embarrassed by almost stealing a name (I would let another slip— Nibenay— to my eternal huge embarrassment) I said nope nope nope we gotta rename Vivane.

Kurt changed it to Vivek (maybe because of the lotus position drawings I kept doing? He never said) and we were good. But at some point, Ken sent an email with some details about Vivec with a c and I went ooooh that looks neat with a c. I like the c because it kind of insects the whole thing up. For lack of a better verb.

Kurt had relocated to Colorado at the time (he moved back to Beth some time later) and didn't like the name change, slight as it was. So when he turned in his section to the PGE he used the old name, Vivek. Made me swear not to change it in the final book.

So OF COURSE I decided hey, they're both right and holy shit the name for the Daedric V is Vehk and if you kind of reverb it it goes V'Vehk isn't that cool, guys? We can name him THAT too. And some folks— cough, Todd, cough— thought this was probably needlessly complicated but Kurt and Ken were like yeah but Morrowind is kinda like that already so who cares.

Everyone was happy, especially Vivec.

Whose decision was it to use the Imperial Nine Divines for the Nordic Pantheon?

Naw, Todd's blameless on that one. That was Bruce's bright idea.

Is dragon empire meant to be the way Alduin "eats the world"? Was it a temporary hobby lol. Because sometimes it feels like Skyrim doesn't know what it wants Alduin to be. What was the idea?

Let's just say the Dragon Cults and what happened when wasn't really clear. Ever.

On the "Perrif and Perrif and Perrif" line in The 500 Mighty Companions or Thereabouts of Ysgramor (2020-05-20)Edit

It's a gag on the line “... and in those days most girls were named after the Paravania...” from The Water-getting Girl and the Inverse Tiger.

Can we get a 36 Sermons write up on Almalexia, from her POV? (2020-05-20)Edit

It's always been an intention of mine to write “Almalexia's Pillowbook”, her equivalent of the Lessons. I'm not a fan of her treatment in the Tribunal DLC— did we really need the only woman in ALMSIVI to go crazy?— so I'd like to contribute more to her voice. But yeah, it'd be hard.

On the intention of Nhad-hatta's sketch, and if the Mane's furstock was intend to vary or always be the same (2020-06-03)Edit


I had always imagined it as a cat sitting on a tall, wheeled platform hidden by the countless hair-locks.

A really interesting choice it fit with the small head on the illustration, and for a feline species to have their spiritual leader to be the more cat-like of all seems kind of logic. Does this mean that originally all the Manes were meant to be Alfiq looking, or was it intended to vary from Mane to Mane or was it not decided?

Beyond the illustration and initial write up, there wasn't much thought about other Manes. It was meant to vary from type to type.

I do think each Mane should be absolutely outlandish and unique. Like, start with overwhelming hair-locks, mobile beds, clouds of moon sugar blowing out when they speak, and then go nuts with individual ornamentation.

I'm underwhelmed at Rid-T'har-ri'Datta's rendition in the game, but I understand technical or resource limitations may have contributed to that. The historical version of him was obviously more fantastic and batshit-looking.

On having more religions and gods (2020-06-07)Edit

The Imperial City was called the “city of a thousand cults” and really should have been.

And the Yokudans absolutely have deities devoted to everything.

Were you aware of any plan to do anything with those obscure gods mentioned in Daggerfall like Vigryl or Q'Olwen? Or even just something different with lesser mentioned Aldmeri deities like Oghma or Xen or Phynaster? I asked Lawrence Schick and got a lovely response boiling down to "nope", which kinda saddened me.

Whoa, I don't even recognize those first two.

I can't speak for the others mentioned, but I had ideas for Oghma that I never got around to. One day I'll release some writing on Orgnum as a deity instead of just a regular bad to know dude.

To be fair Vigryl and Q'Olwen are among those on who there is the least of information, yet we know that Vigryl was intended as the god of sea. I think I remember that you expressed regret for not creating one some time ago, if you have contact with the writing teams of Bethesda or Zenimax, please tell them to create one with all this water it start not making sense to not have a sea deity. Anyway on that regard any writing on Orgnum would be interesting especially the kind of relationship the Maormer have with what they call the Mother Sea.

Huh, good to know about Vigryl and their relation to the sea. Thanks!

Maybe I'll incorporate some notion of that in my Orgnum materials.

Wow. Really looking forward to seeing more about Orgnum (possible Orkey-relation?) and Oghma. When you wrote/co-wrote Varieties and Third Pocket Guide to the Empire, were you still going with the Arena lore that had Phynaster and Syrabane as famous heroes or were you intending to expand them as et'Ada? It would seem like the latter but Artifacts of Tamriel keeps the former lore word-for-word.

After the idea of Aedra being ancestors, the line between cultural heroes and et'Ada became blurred. (For me, heroes and gods are often on the same level anyway.) I wanted them in the pantheon of the Altmer without necessarily invalidating what had come before, and hoped that, down the line, they might get filled in by others.

Makes a lot of sense. I've been reading a fair bit of Joseph Campbell lately and it's revolutionised my view on the Aedra. In terms of the Altmer then, was there ever a fleshed out plan for who their "eight" are in the same sense there is for Nords and Imperials? It's always struck me as odd that so many sources more or less accept that the eight aedra worshipped across Tamriel are the same except for name, when the Altmeri pantheon doesn't exactly fit with the rest. Even more bizarre when one thinks of the prevalence of the Aedra and the number eight in Summerset.

I made the conscious decision to zig and zag the Altmeri pantheon around the, er, conventional Eight. Their culture just begs to have a different (but entirely true) belief set than that of Men. It's one of the reasons I wanted to eventually provide an Anuic cosmology to contrast the Lorkhanic ones, but then I realized that'd be a lot of puzzle pieces in play and got all scaredy-cat overwhelmed.

What did the Yoku call the god of that ringing sound that swords make when you draw them, even though there's no logical reason for them to do so?

Oh, you mean Sh-shiiiing..?

Did Slavic culture or mythology ever get into the crazy lore mixing cauldron? (2020-06-07)Edit

Not really during my tenure, no.

I've been deciphering the Dominion Prism Textract (2020-06-07)Edit

The PGE warns against trying this stuff, so take the necessary precautions.

[The Scarcity of Elven Writings passage” from the First Pocket Guide to the Empire follows.]

On the original Altmer version of TES III: Tribunal set in Summerset (2020-06-13)Edit

Cover art created by Clyde Caldwell in 1996, when The Elder Scrolls III was going to named Tribunal and set in Summerset
They took a break from Morrowind because of development difficulties and went to Redguard and then went back to Morrowind with clear eyes and fresh ideas
Prior to that break, however, 'Morrowind' was Tribunal, and focused on a trio of High Elf Demi-gods. They then did Redguard, leading to the whole re-write, which ended up reinvigorating the concept phase for Morrowind.

The “Tribunal” version of Morrowind was never really in the cards when we started dev on the game. There was that Caldwell piece (that no one remembered) and a vague premise (that we immediately threw into the trash). It should be noted that there really wasn't a split between the Redguard and Morrowind teams at all at the end of the day. We were maybe, like, fifteen to twenty people back then.

Well, i certainly can't argue with a first hand account, now can i?

I will say that if Ted had not bounced to LA and Julian had not, er, well, been sidelined after Daggerfall and subsequently quit, then the High Elf version of Morrowind would have definitely happened. Ken was even working from what notes and conversations they had before Kurt and I pounced on him with stories of this thing called Lorkhan.

I don't particularly count Redguard as "inventing" Morrowind lore, though, given that the two games were in development somewhat simultaneously. They took a break from Morrowind because of development difficulties and went to Redguard and then went back to Morrowind with clear eyes and fresh ideas (also because Redguard flopped a little bit and they needed money, fast). (2020-06-13)

Redguard was indeed where the Morrowind lore started— the time periods overlapped. I was sketching bugs and Great Houses for Morrowind while building levels for Redguard.

And there was never an actual break in Morrowind's development (there was always someone officially on the team, even if it was just Kurt or Ken), not sure where you got that from.

Concept art of S'ratha
What's the earliest piece of TES art you ever did?

Good question. I want to say it was a pic of S'Rathra from Redguard since he was going to be modeled early.

I wanted to show the Khajiit as actual cat folk with cat heads rather than those nightmarish tailed humans in DF and Arena. (Whose existence necessitated the retcon creation of Ohmes.)

Might be wrong, though.

One of the most common examples of chirality is the difference between a right and left hand. Considering this is a name used in ancient folk-writing, there is almost zero chance it is not supposed to describe some kind of chiral alternation of Left-Handed elves. (2020-06-14)Edit

Non zero is about right.

Various comments on Tiber's race (2020-06-14)Edit

No one in the game debates if Tiber Septim was a Nord or not. This is yet another one of those, "Completely within the lore community," things that we pretend is a big mystery to the people in the world. No one, and I do mean no one, has ever heard the name "Hjalti Early-Beard," and thought, "Wow that could be a Breton." No one except people in the TES community.

You're using a heretical text that ties Hjalti to Tiber, so that proves that people in the game debate if he was Nord or not.

Doubting that he was a Nord is the respectable position here, not the unreasonable one you're claiming it to be. There are many theories worth questioning in the TES community, but "Talos not being a Nord" isn't one of them. (2020-06-15)

Even the fictional letters page of a fictional comic about the fictional world of Tamriel disputes Tiber's birthplace, discounting earlier Daggerfall guidebooks from the real world.

It's not so easy to pin down the Many-Headed.

You're using a heretical text that ties Hjalti to Tiber, so that proves that people in the game debate if he was Nord or not.
Jokes on you, I was using the Ghost in Old Hroldan. He looks like a Nord to me(and he is one in the CK), and he's from Alicaire too. Also I would never use something written by you the Underking as a definite source. I try to keep things as first hand as possible.

Oh right. A quest inspired by The Arcturian Heresy that provides no solid answer on Tiber's ancestry just like the document it's drawing from— that ol' chestnut. Good joke.

MK said he was an Orc once too. (2020-06-15)

One day that story will be told. I keeping saying that but I'm still gonna say it.

Would it happen to have anything to do with the Totem's claim that only those of Tiber Septim's bloodline can wield it, implying that Gortwog is one of his descendants, along with Akorithi, Eadwyre, and Gothryd?

That's part of it, yeah.

On his "Beneton approach to Tamrielicreation" quote (2020-06-16)Edit

[Editor's note: for the full quote, see above]

FWIW, this was a shitty decision on my part based on a shitty reasoning. I was younger and didn't realize how important it is for everyone to have someone that looked like them in any media. Being half-Pacific Islander myself, you'd think I would've been more sensitive and responsible that all cultures should be represented in a fictional setting that's far too white. This quote is one of the many I wish I could take back. I think it's from around sixteen years ago but straight up know it shouldn't exist at all.

MK wrote Mysterious Akavir?


Why did nobody ever tried to use dwemer technology? (2020-06-18)Edit


ERASMO y'all. Rode around in a Dwemeri ultimate gamer chair.

Not to mention my boy Trithik wanting to see Dwemer tech used in everywhere once the Empire figured it out, and of course, Richton's FULLY (albeit briefly) FUNCTIONING airship
Cmon people

“I may very well be the first Imperial Admiral to surrender at this altitude.”

On his take on Ebonarm compared to Marilyn Wasserman and Raymond Whit Crowley, and role in Daggerfall (2020-06-20)Edit

I doubt Raymond Whit Crowley considered his red-haired and blue-eyed Ebonarm (worshipped from Daggerfall to Dwynnen to Sentinel) a manifestation of a Yokudan god that was yet to be designed. No offense to MK, but I'll trust Marilyn over him when it comes to Ebonarm.

And you'd be right to do so, I guess? My gamespeak was maneuvering the Ebonarm (hnngh) idea into more contemporary Hammerfell lore where he could do some work.

I worked on Daggerfall the teeniest of bits. One of my first assignments of Bethsoft was to paint skimpy clothes over scanned in Penthouse pics they used for some of the in-world paintings. (You couldn't make out faces since the palette was only something like 16 colors back then.)

On ideas that didn't make it into the games (2020-06-20)Edit

I think he means Sky Lamps, which were in the concept art for Morrowind. I wish they'd made it in too.

On Sotha Sil's characterization in ESO's Clockwork City DLC (2020-06-23)Edit

Sotha Sil's regret can be interpreted as many things, chiefly utilizing the heart to achieve godhood against the dying wishes Nerevar is also something to regret, no murder necessary. It will never be confirmed if the Tribunal murdered Nerevar, because that confirmation would go against the spirit of Morrowind.


That whole DLC was on point.

On the purpose of Ted Peterson's Ancient Tales of the Dwemer and Kurt Kuhlmann's Collected Essays on Dwemer History and Culture being written (2020-07-01)Edit

No one throws shade like Tedders.

I wouldn't say no one. Kurt utterly wrecked him with “Collected Essays on Dwemer History and Culture” lol.

But wasn't Ancient Tales of the Dwemer being fake part of the obvious subtext, made even more explicit by the addition of the Publisher's Notes? (Said notes have been there since TES3, while Kurt's book only made its entrance in TES4.)
Kurt didn't so much wreck Tedders as he built up on what was already there. If anything, they seem to both be complicit in making Marobar Sul (or Gor Felim) look like a fool, since Tedder's shade is present in the annotations.

Look harder and infer. Kurt wrote “Collected...” because how wrongheaded Ted wrote the Dwemer, who only gave the new lore a passing glance. Kurt's response (originally an email written during MW dev) was a scathing commentary on their quality, their stubborn nonsense, and their author (both in and out of game).

EDIT: It made it into TES4 because Kurt had returned by then. He wasn't present for Morrowind ship. I may have urged him to dig up that email.

"Collected Essays" shows up in TES4 but the general thrust of "Collected Essays", that the Dwemer tales of Marobar Sul are inauthentic fairy tales with a Dwemer polish, is already present in the Publisher's Notes of Ancient Tales of the Dwemer published in Morrowind.
The text themselves in Morrowind seem to reflect that discussion you mention Kurt writing the email about, even if the email itself was only published in Oblivion.
There are similar critical notes on most of the Tales. Do you know who wrote the Publisher's Notes for Ancient Tales?

That would be Kurt, as well.

EDIT: Though that first paragraph was probably Ted. The “University” were the folks getting all mad during that email chain.

The letter L shade is definitely Ted busting our chops. :)

I can understand the annoyance at the time of the Dwemer lore builders, but I think putting the real-life dissension on display in the lore text publisher's notes is an amazingly creative response. It's stuff like the academic controversy over fake fairy tales that really made Tamriel feel alive for me, when I was playing Morrowind.

Kurt's amazing at that stuff. “The Dragon Break Re-Examined” is him winning a breakdancing contest against me. He also did all the editor's notes to the Song of Pelinal. I remember him looking at the crazy small fragment of Book 8 and going wtf does this even mean and I was all, “Look, man, just do it for me, and then you can go ahead and write one of those editor's notes you're so fond of.”

Apropos of nothing, I was only contracted for six Pelinal books and ended up writing, like, eight and some change because I love me some gay cyborgs.

Could Domihaus have had a fair shot at the Imperial Throne had he not died? (2020-07-04)Edit

A Minotaur on the Ruby Throne is a thing that's happened.

How were the 36 Lessons written? (2020-07-16)Edit

Michael Kirkbride definitely was high when writihg them

No, I wasn't.

we all heard the story about the 36 sermons mk, i personally think that most of your work is really good and it makes tes a little bit more unique and interesting

thanks for the kind words. what story did you hear?

I have heard you were on lsd while writing the 36 sermons of vivec and Todd went to your house after you didn't show up to work for 5 days

You know that comes from a Photoshopped image, right? Come on now.

Anyway, that's all a lie. I've already given an account of how the 36 were written: a week of bourbon, smokes, and solitude. I've never dropped acid in my life.

Could the Insect God mentioned in Song of Pelinal be Mephala or Namira? (2020-08-04)Edit

I wonder if there are gods and demons that don't fit within the established pantheons.

big hmmmmmmmm
also pls gib more ayleid lore, preferably about White-Gold Knights and Anumaril

Just sayin', trying to slot everything into 9 or 16 is fun for awhile but loses its luster when you realize that they... don't have to. Yes moar [sic] ayleid lore when time permits.

What do those in Tamriel say instead of "what the hell"? In Redguard "hell" makes a number of appearances, mostly in Cyrus' dialogue, another character also used Oblivion in place of hell, so I assume at this point they were still ironing it out. (2020-08-11)Edit

No, it was deliberate. All of the language in the games is a translation from an alternate reality, so “hell” just works better than some dumb and awkward “what in oblivion”.

So what's with the pig Chevalier Renald followed in The Remanada, Chapter 2? (2020-08-19)Edit

“So what's with the pig” is exactly what's with the pig.

Damn. I was hoping for some quasimythical "Trinimac-as-serving-knight" myth-echo as a Pig savage, that is, the pervert shieldthane of Hrol that watched him mount a mound.
Eh, I can still dream.

I mean, I may get back to it and then who knows. It's not like an inexplicable pig doesn't just, y'know, demand more of a story.

On the descriptions of Cyrodiil as a jungle in Morrowind (2020-08-22)Edit

Cyrodiil was going to be as described in the first PGE, which the book you're talking about took its quotes from. The heart of the province being what you think of when you think of a traditional jungle, tumbling down to the fields of large rice paddies that fed the Empire, guarded by Romanesque troops and dragons everywhere. The Imperial City was to be vast, rolling across wetlands and swamps, with large sections lost and overgrown, full of too many cults to count, the oldest temples having obviously been around since the Merethic.

Then Todd watched The Fellowship of the Ring and mistakes were made.

On origins of names and the Crisis/Red Year serving as a catalyst to change them (2020-09-02)Edit

I think The Eternal Champion is another embarrassing name the early games cribbed from other fantasy works, in this case Michael Moorcock.

Hammerfell: Name swiped from Marion Zimmer Bradley. Valenwood: Name swiped from The Dragonlance Chronicles. Morrowindl [sic]: Swiped from Raymond E. Feist.

I've already copped to inadvertently stealing “Nibenay” from Dark Sun, so I get that most of these were probably subconscious swipes. Still, I wish we had renamed everything that was cribbed when I suggested Red Year, a perfect time to change the map. But no go. At least I got to throw a moon-turd into Vvardenfell, keeping it safe from future tampering.

So the Red Year was originally supposed to be much more cataclysmic and affect more than just Morrowind? Kind of like the "Sun's Death" eruption from the First Era?

Yep, the Oblivion Crisis (of which Red Year was a result) was going to vastly change the literal and political landscapes by TESV. We- by which I mean me and Kurt- wanted to give Dagon's invasion real teeth across the whole of Tamriel. I don't think the term “Oblivion Crisis” appeared until after TESIV? In any case, it's a nod to DC's various status quo shattering events.

That's where the stuff like the Argonians saying aw hell no and invading Oblivion instead with heavy feathered flu-tyrants came from. Because that's just straight awesome. And Morrowind goes boom because I am a vain child who doesn't like to share his toys.

Other ideas that didn't make it were the Bosmer deciding to Wild Hunt themselves en masse to take on the Daedra, with the result that 1) Valenwood being renamed “Ghul-Mora”, meaning literally Monster Wood, since it was now full of monsters, 2) actual Bosmer were now very rare since after a Wild Hunt, those that change couldn't change back, 3) dropping the stolen name.

Summerset was going to change its name to simply “Alinor” as the Thalmor came into ascendancy. But also because “Summerset Isles” is a dumb cringe name anyway.

Hammerfell was going to split into two kingdoms, one for Crowns, one for Forebears, each bearing a distinctively more African sounding name because 1) that's rad and 2) dropping the stolen name.

Elsweyr was going to split back into Pellitine and Anequina because 1) it would give nuance back to the khajiit since they would effectively be two backgrounds at character creation, 2) the split being a result of the Thalmor gave the latter more weight, and 3) I could get rid of that dumb cringe pun name for the rest of fucking time oh my god I hate that dumb cringe pun so much. EDIT: Huh, this evidently did happen in the Great War.

To sum up: all the stolen province names were going to be replaced with original ones plus Elsweyr's name would get gutshot as it should've been years ago.

At least I got to throw a moon-turd into Vvardenfell, keeping it safe from future tampering.
Ah, so that's what it was all about.

Love. My will only. That kinda thing.

On his inspirations for lore and original plans in older games (2020-09-09)Edit

I'd say most of the Cosmology stuff came out over a short period of time. That's when the big list of pantheons of gods was created. I did write that particular document in a night because I remember the empty office being spooky. The Creation Myths and the Dragon Break stuff was done during this part. Ken wrote the Cyrodilic myth.

The first PGE was another short period- maybe five weeks, but Kurt did a couple of the province entries and lots of that lore came from previous conversations. We had to hurry this one as Redguard's ship date was fast approaching and I had to draw all the illustrations in it too.

The Morrowind concept art fueled the lore which in turn fueled the concept art. That stuff was done mostly during the development of Redguard. Actually got in trouble with Todd cuz I was drawing too much Morrowind stuff when I shoulda been making models for RG.

The big blasts were definitely the 36 Lessons - done in a week, siloed in a single room, food left outside the door by roommate but hey kids no drugs, just lots of smokes and bourbon- the Mythic Dawn Commentaries were all written on a couple of bus rides, and all the Towers lore which I wrote one night at a laundromat waiting for my sheets to dry.

So yeah, a mix of time with occasional brain blast all at once.

I read in an interview that there was a game concept for TES4 called Oblivion way back when Daggerfall was still being developed. Was Battlespire was originally designed as a teaser for that concepted Oblivion, given the groundwork it laid?

Yep, at least the name for IV: Oblivion existed during II: Daggerfall. If a plot existed, I never read it and it was completely different by the time the team got to the game.

III was called Tribunal then, too, before changing to Morrowind. I'd say Battlespire wasn't so much a teaser as it was a side game headed up by Julian, who definitely loved the Oblivion setting. Of course, lots of lore it laid out was built on later on.

There are some definite story hints about Dagon invading Tamriel in Battlespire. Were there any ideas for other tes legends series games that didn't happen?

There totally might've been hints to the invasion then. I admit that my Battlespire fu is weak and all I really remember is Ken cackling because he loved writing its trashy dialogue. Oh, and Julian- again- demanding that character creation include boobs.

There were never any plans for another Legends game. Fun fact is that Battlespire originally started as an MP dlc for Daggerfall, but ballooned into its own thing. Personally, I think it would've found a bigger audience if it had stayed its original course. I also remember Todd asking Julian not to use “Elder Scrolls Legend” as a subtitle because he didn't want to confuse the public with Redguard's already approved subtitle “Elder Scrolls Adventure”. (Subtitle is the wrong word, but you know what I mean.) Julian refused. Meanwhile, Kurt was trucking along as the sole designer on Morrowind with me constantly feeding the project art concept art of insect shell houses.

Chris Weaver certainly ran with it; In his letter that shipped with Battlespire he wrote that the new "Legend series would focus on pivotal times in Tamriel's history and bring a deeper but narrower focus to particular aspects of the great myths of these periods.", while in the Adventure series would have you play as "a famous historical character and alter history with your actions." How did the Morrowind tes3 decision come about after Daggerfall? I think Ken was doing some kind of preproduction on a Summerset Isle TES3, which was conceptually meant to involve the Mannimarco-Morgiah "first" thing with corruption the Psijiic Order, and the Tribunal elf dudes in charge. Iirc the game was switched to Morrowind in like '96 or so...

Oh man, Weaver. Yeah...

Tes3 as a setting was already Maybe Summerset Maybe Morrowind when I got there, though I have no idea if Ken's start on it was Morgiah stuff and nonsense. It was definitely not named “Morrowind” yet. I convinced Todd to switch it from Tribunal later. Like all great plans, the release schedules fractured after Daggerfall, with everyone switching roles or starting up games that were Elder Scrolls adjacent. By the time things has coalesced into tes3 or bust, the Elizabethan court intrigue version had been hammered away by the land of ash and warrior-poet version.

Nice find on that copy text.

The Psijic Order / Morgiah thing was definetely where Ted wanted to take the plot. The whole thing about her "first" never got resolved, but I think you toyed with that in Numinatus with Cousin and the brains, had a blast reading that! The original Summerset content that was cut from ESO before launch could hold its own in comparison to Morrowind; It had these varla power lines, manual labor varla-bound daedra slaves, orchestra gardens, planetary manipulation. They were gonna go all out. Did Ken do a considerable amount of design work on his Summerset?

If he did, it's been lost to time. I can't bring myself to talk about ESO's Summerset expansion. I know I'll just regret it. Anyway, now that you've mentioned Numinatus, I might go back and kick the tires on Cousin.

On regrets regarding The Arcturian Heresy, and what he meant by considering it his "worst" piece of writing (2020-09-12)Edit

I only regret the style of writing— which really came from an email— not the Heresy itself.

Well the style of the Arcturian Heresy was pretty approachable to me back in the day, and is what started to really get me to dive deeper. If I hadn't started with the Heresy, I would have never been exposed to (and fallen in love with) stuff like Vivec and Cyrus' sword meeting.

I mean, I *do* write nice emails.

Were the errors in Mankar's speech caused by your super rough draft with the intention of fact-checking and rewriting later? (2020-09-12)Edit

Dunno, but I can confirm it.

Should we ignore the mismatch as a typo then, or is it possible there is some accidental truth to it? Like some kind of musical chairs type of thing?

Like most errors in elder scrolls lore, I find it more fun to jump through hoops to explain it, however loopy and whatever its origin, and just generally making a game out of fantasy scholarship.

What's the deal with Khajiit in Daggerfall? (2020-09-17)Edit

The only reason Ohmes even exist was so I could explain away the Arena and Daggerfall khajiit.

I am more than happy to ignore all the unpolished ideas he posted in the old forum, like when he once said that Sovngarde was "on the moon". (2020-09-17)Edit

Sovngarde is totally on the moon. Ahem.

I'd much prefer if Kirkbride made Pelinal undoubtly gay instead of sexuality ambiguous. (2020-10-26)Edit

Huna wasn't Pelinal's lover, just a good friend Pelinal HAPPENED to share a tent at night with sometimes.
In all seriousness we can't affirm that Huna was in a romantic relationship with Pelinal. I'd much prefer if Kirkbride made Pelinal undoubtly gay, but since he decided to make his sexuality ambiguous, we gotta work with what we have.

I didn't decide, Bethesda editors did. As originally written, Huna and Pelinal were lovers. Morihaus also got a big bull boner when he'd go to war, but I can see why that was removed. Kinda.

I knew about the Huna and Pelinal being lovers, but I had thought the Pelinal's sexuality being ambiguous was something you intended and fine with?

I was fine with the requested edit of my original intention.

Bethesda made various Terminator games, is Pelinal a Terminator reference? (2020-11-08)Edit

Well, Bethesda did work on a Terminator game in the 90's...

And one of those was my first Bethesda game.

My first game really, the shareware thing that came out didn't exactly count, except to get me a portfolio that got me into Bethesda.

On Malacath saying in Lord of Souls that mortals are too literal minded regarding Boethiah eating him (2020-11-20)Edit

Of course he does, dude got shit out. Not a good look.

Mr. Kirkbride, I love your work, but I gotta ask--you weren't responsible for the Malacath vore dilemma..... right?

While I was not aware of it being a kink at the time, I am indeed the man that made this demon eat that god to shit out a different demon.

Did the idea of Orsimer skin carrying an origin myth about rubbing themselves in Malacath come later, or was that all one single visionary wave?

Iirc, it was a vast, singular wave of shit. Though if I squint my eyes, I can't remember if it was me or Uncle Ken that rubbed those dumb Orcs in it.

And though I might have been ignorant of the concept of vore, I definitely knew of the existence of scat play, but that is really neither here nor there.

On The Dragon Break Re-Examined (2020-12-12)Edit

My favorite book in the whole series.


What happened to Captain Tobias' Sword-Meeting with Cyrus the Restless? (2021-01-04)Edit

Michael Kirkbride and Michael Mack after recording the VO

The VO was recorded long ago. Some illustrations exist. Kurt's bit of the writing exists, but mine is scattershot. I love all of the existing elements, but I'm also well known for abandoning projects for large amounts of time. Short and unexciting answer: maybe one day.

It would be nice to see what was already created. But we also have to realize that unfinished works are not always in a presentable state. We are not entitled to a creators work until they themselves deem that they wish to share.

Right, and it's a story that needs to be told in a specific way, as the prose and voiceover intertwine. Also, I told Michael Mack in what format his voice would be used, and I must hold to that. But... who knows, maybe I could release a snippet of it sometime in the near future, because frankly hearing a bit of the story in his voice is fucking awesome.

What does the word Sharmat mean? (2021-01-04)Edit

It's the Devil. Inspired by the rl word Shaitan.

Why is this comment being downvoted? It's one of the writers outright confirming where the name came from. I'll never understand reddit

The writer that, in fact, gave the title of Sharmat to Dagoth Ur, but I guess reddit gonna reddit.

Michael Kirkbride, did you author Eso's sermon 37? (2021-01-10)Edit


On who else came up with Pelinal standing for Prototype Extra-Liminal Interstitial Nirnian Assault Lattice with Kirkbride (2021-01-14)Edit

I never let someone else's good idea go to waste.

Isn't Pelinal a machine from the future? (2021-01-15)Edit

I thought the hints were pretty apparent.

How do you pronounce "Tsaesci"? (2021-01-22)Edit


I recently heard that "dihr kamal" in Hindi means "air of fear" and that got me wondering, was that where Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal's name came from?

Huh, nope, but it's a cool coincidence.

I don't think I've ever heard it in games, but as a native romance language speaker i read it "zeshee", where the z sounds like the ts in "Watson" (2021-01-22)

This is the most correct

On Padomay being etymologically derived from PSJJJJ in-universe (2021-01-27)Edit

PSJJJJ is my contribution as a riff on YHWH in its aspect as unknowable name of God.

How are you supposed to pronounce CHIM? (2021-02-01)Edit


Of course, MK would suggest the least natural pronunciation for a native English speaker. It should have been obvious. (2021-02-02)

The chemist character in the chrome choir agrees.

According to MK it's probably pronounced as loudly as you can scream it. If your throat doesn't hurt, it's wrong

Also true.

According to Leamon, its pronounced chim, not kim (2021-02-02)

Leamon's wrong.

More on the Arcturian Herecy being considered his "worst" piece of writing (2021-02-18)Edit

“The worst” only insofar as the style of the piece, not the content. I love the actual Arcturian Heresy itself.

What exactly is Horde Mountain? (2021-02-27)Edit

In my head, it's Bruegel's Tower of Babel running around like a cosmic wire skirt frame across the desert, maniacs on every level talkin shit.

What does Gfeful mean? (2021-02-27)Edit

It's a name, not a descriptor or title of Djaffidd. Djaffidd and Gfeful are separate people, the comma might be tripping you up?

Did Kuhlmann write A Dance in Fire? (2021-03-03)Edit

That's a Ted entry.

Was Trueflame was based on Narsil from LOTR, given they're both ancient swords shattered during a battle at a volcano millennia before the present? (2021-03-07)Edit

No idea. That was Ken, I imagine. He was not not a Tolkien fan, so it could have been inspired by LOTR. Dunno.

On Glorantha as the inspiration for the Dragonfires (2021-03-10)Edit

You got it. Also, anything that gets more fantasy fans aware of Glorantha the better.

Did Old Run from Arena inspire the name for Ald'ruhn? (2021-03-19)Edit

Probably..? I know I started using ‘Ald' as an indicator for old/ancient/first. We were doing a sweep of name changes to the area.

Observations of a fan map of Cathnoquey in 3E 432 (2021-04-06)Edit

Llénnöcöcönnèll lol

Was the idea for Imga borrowed from Monkeyfolk from Glorantha for PGE1? (2021-06-25)Edit

Definitely borrowed and definitely monkeys.

How to pronounce "CHIM" (2021-06-28)Edit

ladynerevar: According to Michael Kirkbride, who invented the word, it's "kim" (like chimera)
According to ESO, it's like the chim in chimney.


ESO pronunciations are kinda inconsistent. For example, NPCs pronouncing "nerevarine".

That was cringe-inducing.

On early plans for the Elder Council (2021-07-14)Edit

The Elder Coucil

In my romantic notion of how things might have been, I really think Oblivion was poorer for not including the Elder Council stuff, the really elaborate kingmaker role the player would've taken on, and a horror vibe to what happened to Septim's heirs which we had set up way back in Morrowind. I understand why some weren't fans of all that, but those story threads made the Crisis better to me. It was all this one huge epic tapestry of story genres. But, hey, games are hard and people need to sleep.

and a horror vibe to what happened to Septim's heirs which we had set up way back in Morrowind.
Was it connected to these bits of dialogue in Morrowind?
"Uriel Septim is sick, and wizards say his heir, Geldall Septim, and the younger Septims, Enman and Ebel, are just doppelgangers placed in the household during Jagar Tharn's tenure as Imperial Battlemage. They say the Guard charged a mob demanding destruction of the false heirs -- lots of folks were killed."
"Uriel Septim was never a strong Emperor. And now he's finally dying of age and illness. A coward's death. They say Ocato makes the real decisions. They say Uriel's heirs are really Daedra or shapeshifters planted by Jagar Tharn. They say the Emperor might pull back the Legions to try and protect himself. Some of the generals in the Legions have one eye on Uriel Septim and one eye on the throne."

Yep, all that stuff. There was talk of holding a torch near important members of the court to see if they cast a human shadow and not some horrible, hunched over clawed thing. There was an invasion from another faction from within.

Was the Morrowind crew even aware of Ariella Septim, Uriel's eldest daughter and heir, from the original Arena manual?

Got no idea, sorry.

Did MK author The Song of Pelinal, v 10? (2021-08-03)Edit

Not one of mine. Reading it, kind of wish it didn't exist.

On validity of Arcturian Heresy and Totemic Religion (2021-10-16)Edit

I wrote all three— Orthodox, Heresy, Totemic.

Huh, well alright then. Is think Dragonborn totem treated as canon though? I thought the last time I checked the only Twilight God was Alduin.

You and I probably regard canon as two very different things. :)

That's fair, me and my friends are fans of a lot of your writings though. More esoteric elements of TESlore have been integrated in our ttrpg campaign so its been fun attempting to explore those in ways that we could at least try to comprehend.

That's very nice to hear. And I guess that's partly what I mean— the stories you and your friends are telling around the table are just as valid as any other journey in Tamriel. To think otherwise, to think they're lesser because of terrible ideas like canon, is doing all that imagination a disservice it doesn't deserve.

On the subject of Heresy, in an AMA you once said that The Arcturian Heresy is one of the poorer things you've written. Did you just mean the quality of writing or did you regret some lore ideas it introduced? (2021-10-17)

Just the writing as it was largely a hastily transcribed email. The lore content is cool.

If Red Year was mentioned in Greg Keyes' novels, who came up with it? (2021-10-28)Edit

I created Red Year, yeah.


What did the Dwemer look like? (2022-01-12)Edit

They look like this

that is fanmade. they're not blue.

Fine, I retroactively make it official. Deal?

Why did Michael Kirkbride say Arcturian Heresy is the worst thing he wrote for Elder Scrolls? (2022-02-02)Edit

The content rocks. The writing is bad. It's essentially an email that got folded into a book because I was on a super tight deadline. And yes, I made it super tight because I took so long on the Sermons. Can't win ‘em all.

It has one of my favorite lines from any book. When the greybeards say “remember the color of betrayal, King Wulfharth.”

I didn't say it was all bad. ;)

If you had the time, do you think it would have inevitably evolved into a series? (2022-02-03)

Less a series, but probably 3-4 texts of conflicting info, yeah.

In a way even if it's badly written it's fine because it now sound like a crazy book from an in universe conspiracy theorist. It work to explain aswell why it's widespread, the Imperial Cult prefer to allow the publication of a book badly written than one that would look more serious and be believed. (2022-02-03)

Are you saying my emails sound like they're written by a crazy person??

I guess not all of your email talks about the secret history of Tiber Septim hidden by the Imperial Cult. It's the association of the subject with how it's written that make it sound crazy, like ideas thrown without structuration. Sorry if my precedent comment looked like I was saying you're email were written by a crazy person, it was obviously not my intention.

Sorry, I was just kidding. :) I appreciate the kind outlook.

Anyone know some sources on the Reman dynasty space race with an earlier iteneration of the Aldmeri Dominion? (2022-02-20)Edit

Royal Mananauts and Aldmeri Sunbirds:

Who's arm is hanging from the arch in this piece of Gnisis concept art, and why? (2022-04-27)Edit

It's the right arm of a demon, used as a welcome/warning sign, the outward— and outlandish because the Dunmer are extra— expression of an implied contract between township and traveler. On entering, the right hand symbolizes the courtesy you're expected to give and receive during your stay. The right arm is also a larger symbol of strength— aggression will be met here with aggression.

A more pessimistic interpretation is that all of the above is bullshit, that really the arm is a declaration of wealth coupled with the insouciance that some of the most wealthy like to affect— look at this crazy gigantic demon arm, I hang cheap lamps on it, my casual bullshit is what real power looks like. Which demon doesn't really matter since everyone in Morrowind knows the message itself is more important.

Is the early description of the Imperial City based on Imrryr? (2022-07-08)Edit

Not a coincidence.


On the High Elf Spellsword and Orc Mansteed illustration (2024-05-17)Edit

That’s part of the “Elder Scrolls action figures” pics that were done a billion years ago. The goat-legged Breton came from the same batch. Piggyback jousters felt suitably Elvish, because Elves are just the worst.

That's awesome, thanks for the info!
Those figurine drawings are sick as hell and pretty vivid (re-)depictions of the races. Did any others surface? You mentioned once that the Argonian houngan is one, and my guess is the "Nord Barbarian" we see in the MW Art Book is too...?

Yep! Scamps were a big part of Battlespire, so obviously it meant that we needed a scamp-hide shield. The only conventional one was the Redguard, because we all just wanted a Cyrus toy.