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Muspila
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PostSubject: Skyrim-Culture   Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:07 pm

Another Discussion-Thread. This time let's talk about a fictive culture. The culture of the people of Skyrim.

Does it, at all, make sense to discuss about a non-existing people with a non-existing culture?
Isn't this just a game and isn't this just a mod for a game?
Ultimately, you must find the answer for yourself.

But those who enjoy gathering information on a Tamrielic culture and furthermore inventing cultural details, are invited to contribute to this discussion and bring in their thoughts and ideas. Each contribution is appreciated as long as the author is halfway serious about what he writes.

Along with the discussion-thread on the Landscapes of Skyrim the purpose of this thread is to serve as a source of inspiration for the modders who will eventually decide if they embed things suggested or not. Nevertheless I'm certain that any contribution will have a positive effect on the project and will increase the interest of people who accidently drop in.

Therefore I invite everyone to participate in this discussion.


What areas do I cover when saying 'culture'?


1. Things crafted by the skyrim-people

-Buildings, ships and other structures. Moreover architectural details such as doors, windows, pillars etc.
-Furniture of all kind and misc stuff for everyday use.
-Drinks and food
-Medicine
-Clothing and jewelry
-Weaponry
-And other equipment
-Agriculture and Domestication


2. The Skyrim society

-professions and classes
-Cities, towns, villages
-tribes, clans, ethnic groups, factions and their dominions
-Lords, chieftains, leaders
-Way of Life


3. The Skyrim religions

-Aedra, daedra, nature powers and heroes worshipped
-cults, sects, orders and their teachings
-Sacred buildings, altars, symbols, rituals, burials etc.
-myths and legends


Last edited by Muspila on Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:04 pm

Good call, i think its definatley a good idea to have a big discussion about lore and everything skyrim'ic(??) Razz

And i for one have always imagined the Nords to be very paganistic, as in they celebrate the earth and all things natural that they can see and touch. If you get what i mean

They may even be weary of religious dunmer and such, not exactly like that but im sure you catch my drift
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Muspila
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:55 am

A whole culture including all its aspects and details can't be covered with a few sentences. That'swhy I think, we should try to discuss single aspects of the nord-culture and try to work step by step. The aim would be to gradually build a picture of how we could implement the culture. I think it's important because Bethesda also drawed a profound picture of the dunmeric and the ashlander-culture in Morrowind. A well-worked-out nord culture might highly improve the quality of this mod.

Nevertheless, we are unavoidably going to break with the main lore since Bethesda is going to implement its own vision of Skyrim. If we stay close to existing lore... perhaps we'll be able to adjust some essential aspects after TES V has been released. So we are in a twisted situation: On the one hand we need to elaborate the nord-culture. on the other hand we are going to contradict the lore as much as we create new details. So what's our policy here? How much do we care about lore?

Having said this, I would like to introduce a few ideas that have come to my mind. They are based on the Morrowind-Book "Children of the Sky".


-Nords bringing their dead to the peaks of montains-
Lestat already knows this idea. For the others I will explain:
The common burial ritus of the nords is the burial in underground-tombs as we have seen them on Solstheim. But there might be as well nords that wish to return their souls to where they have come from, believing that they can achieve this aim by bringing their corpses to the tops of high mountains where Sky is the nearest. The transmitters into the other world would be wild animals, particularly the birds of Sky that bring their souls to their destination. To speak clearly, the corpses are left in the wilds so there's nothing between them and Sky, maybe, they are laid on stone piles built from natural stones found in the local environment. As a result of this custom there could be "hills of ancestors" spread throughout Skyrim.

Note that there is an analogy to the Skaals seeing it as a honor to be eaten by sacred wolves. My personal interpretation is that the nords who have a close relation to Nature, including the Skaals, want to integrate themselves into the cycle of eating and being-eaten and become one with Nature again. The custom described above would be kept by less civilized nords then.


-Nords holding their rituals open-air-
The ancient Germans probably had no temple-buildings, except for those who developed a mix-culture with the Romans. Apart from that I think it may also fit to the Nords if many sacred places weren't inside of buildings but at spare places outside of towns and villages. I was thinking of ruins. Although the Nords dwell in a much weirder environment than many other tamrielic people, they see it as a virtue to be outdoors a lot, near to Nature and Sky.

These ideas mostly refer to the Children of the Sky -Aspect of that book. There are some other things that we could discuss as for example how to implement the "Tongues".
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dirnae
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:38 pm

The Tongues

There are two types that'd need to be implemented, the tongues of Imperial College of the Voice in Markarth:
Quote :
Septim's new college is staffed by hacks and charlatans -- the so-called Grand Master is said to have formerly earned his living as a street performer in Windhelm -- the students are scions of the most obsequious Nord families, hoping to curry favor with Tiber Septim's New Order --

And 'the most ancient and powerful of the Tongues' that live on mountain peaks, they are gagged, and can only communicate through sign language and scribing runes.
So it might not actually be necassary to go through a huge scripting process implementing their powers (though it'd be awesome), they're either gagged or useless. Neutral
Some creative dialogue might be needed for the gagged guys though. scratch

If their powers are going to be implemented, some moving invisible collision could probably push the character, and you could even use HurtCollidingActor to do some damage with it if you wanted.

Religion

Now I'm kinda...er... well.... I know screw all about this. I've just skimmed the PGttE really. Razz
AFAIK, they worship kynareth most, cause of wind and all. Shor (or Lorkhan?) is also important, he honors the Nords and gives them a nice afterlife. What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:30 am

How would a college like this look? I'm reminded of american highschool-series. How about some students with caps? jocolor

I admit, I'm only roughly familiar with the lore that deals with the nordreligion as well.
It would be interesting to know how their portrait their daedra and aedra and what kind of symbolism they use. Finally, it would be good to understand the overall-ideology.

Edit: Glad to see you, dirnae Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:04 am

The college was created by Tiber Septim, so it'd be fairly imperial (see Oblivion).

The Nords and their Gods are described briefly at the bottom of this page in the imperial library, however I'm not sure what most of these stories they talk about are, or where they're from. They should set that place up like tvtropes, yeah we'd be doomed to spending hours in there whenever we look for something, but it'd be much easier to find stuff.
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dirnae
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:56 am

Maybe we should revive this thread guys, and start posting up ideas?

Sources of influence we could use are viking (though like Muspila said to me the other day, we should steer from stereotypical vikings, add a twist to them)
Muspila suggested the Slavs, sounds like a good choice to me.
Perhaps the inuit tribes could be used as well.

-Buildings, ships and other structures. Moreover architectural details such as doors, windows, pillars etc.
-Furniture of all kind and misc stuff for everyday use.

These could be wooden and carved. Also vikings and slavs carved images of their gods into the pillars and doorframes of their houses.

Weapons would probably be simple, effective and to the point, though the more expensive weapons could contan ornentations.
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:44 am

dirnae wrote:
Maybe we should revive this thread guys, and start posting up ideas?

Sources of influence we could use are viking (though like Muspila said to me the other day, we should steer from stereotypical vikings, add a twist to them)
Muspila suggested the Slavs, sounds like a good choice to me.
Perhaps the inuit tribes could be used as well.

-Buildings, ships and other structures. Moreover architectural details such as doors, windows, pillars etc.
-Furniture of all kind and misc stuff for everyday use.

These could be wooden and carved. Also vikings and slavs carved images of their gods into the pillars and doorframes of their houses.

Weapons would probably be simple, effective and to the point, though the more expensive weapons could contan ornentations.


To be honest....to me the nords have nothing in common with the slavs.

Ask yourself a question:

Why do other regions and proviences in Tamriel fear Skyrim and the Nords in general?

Because they are good hunters or fisherman?
Because of their of their lumber skills?
Because of their enormous speechcraft?

No...the fear them because they are warriors...it is in their blood...they can't change it.

The History of Skyrim is a History of blood and conquest...Skyrim was the first human empire on Tamriel and once included large parts of Hammerfell, High Rock and Morrowind.

They are not only similar to the vikings...they ARE the vikings, with all their cliches...The Vikings were warriors, invaders and sailors, but they only sailer to plunder or conquer...

I never read such history from the slavs
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:29 pm

Honestly, like I said on Skype yesterday, all I know about the slavs is from a few pictures on a website, and that they used to live with the Vikings, using the vikings for protection. So I'm sorry, I wasn't aware they are so different, perhaps you should discuss this with Muspila, I believe he has some good reasons for wanting them in.

As for Nords being the vikings, I agree about 60%. The majority of our influence should come from them, but not all of it, there are many Nords who are also nomads, and also farmers and herdsmen, not barbarians. And some are much more sophisticated and take influence form High Rock and Morrowind.

I don't want I want an exact copy of the vikings, they are stupidly similar, but they aren't the same,
I like Viking culture, but I don't want a plain boring copy with all the cliches, we should definitely put a twist on viking culture for Skyrim.

So basically, let's keep it like the original game, similar to the vikings, but different.

edit:

I've been thinking about this, and I'm starting to agree more with Lestat, especially when it comes to towns in Skyrim. This is how I see it:

Falkreath, a city of war: like the vikings, they love to make war on Hammerfell, though unlike with the dumner, for the most part they respect the Redguard as true warriors and skilled swordsmen.

Dragonstar, a city half-conquered by the Nords: Much like the vikings in personality, though the architecture is originally hammerfell by design (hammerfall/nord architectural mix maybe?). A lot of friction between the Nords and Redguards, they pretty much hate each other.

Markath side: Would probably be where the nords invaded from when invading Hammerfell and taking half of dragonstar. So it'd be fortified and very war-like.

Solitude: The more 'civilised' side the Skyrim. Very rich, a mix of Breton and Nordic culture. They annex several imperial locations, and so it looks like they have no problem with using underhanded methods. Very rebellious towards the Empire, with the King annexing imperial locations and the Hormer believing in the Wolve Queen's 'righteous' struggle.

Dawnstar: in the very center and north of Skyriim, would be pretty traditional in Nordic culture, religions and beliefs. May perhaps contain old wooden nordic structures still as described in the PGttE. It's a dark place though, with many smugglers.

Windhelm: There are supoposed to be Nordic raids on Morrowind, this is where they should probably come from. Very war-like and racist towards elves, they love fighting the dumner. Dumner aren't welcome in the city, and it should be either situated at a hill or riverside for strategic defense from the Redoran forces.
Perhaps their aim is to take Blacklight, and therefore the main area of resistance in western Morrowind.

The towns between Windhelm and other cities may house warriors who want to join in with the fight against Morrowind.

Riften: Not as bad as Windhelm, has imperial influence in the structures and is much more friendly to visitors, though perhaps some nords preparing for raids may use the taverns and inns or in the village while they prepare for attack. Bruma houses might be good for this village.

Winter Hold: a warm coastal city, it is ethnically diverse and very open minded. All races live together (no elven quarter), it is very civilised like Solitude and the scholars bring new ideas to the town. Very friendly, possibly the friendliest city in Skyrim, due to how all the cultures mix together.

Whiterun: The capital, the center of all Nordic culture and beliefs, this should be the main focus, the very essence, of Noric culture. High wooden, aged Nordic structures, the palace of kings carved out of some fine stone, with the statues of heros laid around the city. Nords travelling from all over Skyrim to make the pilgrimage up High Hrothgur to become a true Nordic man. Very Nordic, with some aspects which look like som sort of lancient proto-Imperial culture.

Smaller towns and villages will either be influenced by surrounding cities or follow some basic guideline.

What do you guys think? I haven't checked all of this, and it seems we are using that web page for the most part.
Still, these are just some quick ideas I had. I will read up on them and refine them later. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:27 pm

Interesting draft, dirnae. I'm lacking the competence to judge the things you're writing here but they sound all in all plausible to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:34 pm

Haha, don't worry, I'll check it myself later and refine it a little, it's just a draft for now.
I haven't even checked the lore behind these cities yet, so there could be clashes with lore as it is atm. I'll fix it up though. What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:16 am

dirnae wrote:


Windhelm: There are supoposed to be Nordic raids on Morrowind, this is where they should probably come from. Very war-like and racist towards elves, they love fighting the dumner. Dumner aren't welcome in the city, and it should be either situated at a hill or riverside for strategic defense from the Redoran forces.
Perhaps their aim is to take Blacklight, and therefore the main area of resistance in western Morrowind.

The towns between Windhelm and other cities may house warriors who want to join in with the fight against Morrowind.


Perfect, I love Windhelm!!!

Maybe cause I really hate the redoran...I hope the nords will drive them out of Morrowind again Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:38 pm

Redoran rule in my humble opinion tongue Wink

I don't see why you wouldn't like them Lestat. They're a warrior culture just like the Nords scratch

Back on Topic: All of that is really great stuff Dirnae. I like how each major city has it's own distinct feel Very Happy
I especielly like the discription of Whiterun.
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PostSubject: Re: Skyrim-Culture   Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:03 pm

Yeti wrote:
Redoran rule in my humble opinion tongue Wink

I don't see why you wouldn't like them Lestat. They're a warrior culture just like the Nords scratch

.

Hi Yeti,

It's because of the first time I've played Morrowind in 2002 I guess...I've joined House Redoran cause it was the first house I've found and I thought "Okay, let's join the party"...Later I was totally annoyed by the city of Aldruhn and the other Redoran Members and as soon as my Nord Warrior was strong and skilled enough with the battleaxe, I've slayed all redoran at their Headquater...later I've enjoyed it more being a Hlaalu or Telvanni...but that only personal preferences.


Smile
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