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College of Winterhold; Home of Nordic Magic

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:07 am
by -MrWillis-
Here is my write up of a general outline for Winterhold, the actual hold, overviewing the potential conflict to be looked into. Sorry if some of the information is not lore friendly by accident.

Anyway here is the first draft of the Winterhold Conflicts and Themes Outline.

Winterhold: Ideas for Conflicts and Things to Cover

“When two cultures collide, one of two things happen: peaceful diffusion of culture creating a creole culture. Or one culture tries to dominant the other, leading to blood shed and war. History has proven, more often than not, the later happens. And a prime example of this being the conflict of Dunmer and the Nords.”-Brother Octavious, Scholar of the Imperial Library

I suggested Winterhold’s purpose in the Skyrim: Home of the Nords is to look at the conflict between Nords and Dark Elves, the status of magic in Nordic society before the Great Collapse, which has been sadly neglected in the lore before Morrowind. Therefore the majority of this post is basic, painting the wider overall themes that that environment, quests, and general populace would reflect.

Overall Themes and Ideas
Keystone points for the overall thematic approach and things to take into mind for creating quest.

Interaction Between Dunmeri and Nordic People: Winterhold Synthesis
With Winterhold be the main point of interaction between Dunmeri and Nordic people, this has lead to the city to having a unique architecture that has a mix of Nordic influence and Dunmeri. Large stone Nordic buildings decorated with Dunmeri salt lamps, Dunmer and Nord items being sold on market stalls. We have second generation dunmeri saying sera much more open-minded, and charming saying muth-sera and sera very casually, drinking mead alongside sujamma. Nord men and women getting, for the lack of a better term, “ash fever”. Essentially Winterhold in alcohol terms is a mix of vodka and sake drink; combination of dunmeri and Nordic cultures creating this collision and synthesis of culture and pidgin langauge like Spain-glish, Lousiana French, or Texas German.

In the countryside there would be Nord farmers now planting specialty crops such as ash yam, Dunmer hedge mages working and helping with researcher, helping crops grow better, and even some ashlander farmer hands. (Maybe a quest where an ashlander farm hand seeks to start his own business and he needs help getting out of his contract and starting his own business)

How this would look in quests?
Cute things like a Norse man (or woman) looking to earn the hand of dunmeri lover. Have a chef for looking dunmeri culture asking you to find someone willing to sell him a supply of ash yam for his new dish.

How this would look in dialogue?
Combination and use of nordic and dunmeri terms, with Example being:

You come upon a dunmer wearing bonemold armor at the bar with a couple Nords in nordic ringmail armor.

“Greetings, sera! Want to join me and my friend in a few rounds of drinking mead? We promise not to break your liver. ”

As you can imagine, that friendly sort of dialogue would not be normal in Vvardenfell, even Morrowind in general.
How this would look in the environment?
Specialty shops for dunmeri goods in dumeri sections of town, pawnshops selling Nordic and Dunmer wares. Essentially having stores having a mixture of Nord and Dunmer equipment. Have an old section of town having a few dunmer.

Architecture wise, there would be dunmer ornaments and silver wear hanging around alongside Nordic buildinds. Maybe have a section where Dunmeri influence is high, with signs looking like those in Vvardenfell, with an informal Temple tucked away for immigrants and refugees from the blightstorms.

Then we have outside world in witch camps of Dunmer refugees have been set up. There even may be an attempt at creating a permanent Velothi settlement in the mountain, which as you can imagine causes conflict among the local populace and the

Inevitably of Conflict: Winterhold’s Conflict
However interaction between two cultures has high potential for conflict, and Winterhold is no exception. The current standing community of this Old Hold are ambivalent of the new refugees and immigrants, especially the Hlaalu merchants who has been buying up land from war-veterans who are sufferings from skooma and moon-sugar addictions or buying land left behind by young sons and daughters who have left for the Empire who never returned and the elderly who has succumbed to the passage of time.

This can take place in different forms; a drunk, broke Nord trying to start a fight with a Dunmer refugee. Old school scholars at the College of Winterhold being outdone by new upstart dunmer apprentices. New dunmeri not integrating with mainstream Nord culture.

How would this reflect in quest?
Some things like a drunk Nord harassing a dunmer family every night and the player has to persuade the Nord to piss off and leave them alone. A rich dunmer merchant looking at buying up a local farm that belonged to a recently deceased farmer. The farm hand is furious because he rightly believes it belongs to him as the farrmer gave him his word.

Essentially we would have culturally conflicts between new immigrants and the older Nordic population. Maybe even have a Romeo and Juliet quest? With the original ending? Overall the conflict between the elves and Nords has to be believable and grounded. A couple things high end if there is really a need, but beyond that the conflict remains grounded, juxapositioning with Winter hold being the City of Magic in Skyrim.

How would this reflect in the environment?

In the City of Winterhold, the Ash Quarters would be wooden buildings made beautiful using decoration such as lamps tapestries. Have camps of Ashlander refugee destroyed, possibly script NPCs arriving at night in the Ash Quarters. Dunmer having little shines to ancestors in their homes. Have some caves act as makeshift ancestor quarters, which turn out to be ancient Nord burial ground, just buried.

Magic of the Nords
Winterhold is also the city of nordic magic, meaning it has the perfect opportunity for Quest Designers, Lore Masters, and others to explore. The player will have quest where they do research for the College of Winterhold searching for things such codexes, searching for hidden tombs, and other things.

How these affects the environment?
Ancient ruins maybe? Hidden Laboratories in the middle of nowhere. Something like that? I have to still develop the environment ideals. College of Winterhold would have a small owl shrines, in reference towards Jhunal. Another idea would be having a hidden temple in somewhere in one of the frozen islands off the coast of Winterhold. Maybe part of a large quest of pilgrimage.

Research, finding ancient texts to turn into the library to expand their size, and even does exchanging of notes between Dunmer and Nordic mages.

Sorry if this took a while to post up; I have been busy getting ready to move to another country while working full-time and a bunch of other stuff popping up. Also I wanted time to mull over this post and expand upon it. Hopefully it is not too much for a simple outline.

Re: College of Winterhold; Home of Nordic Magic

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:19 pm
by roerich
Thanks for the writeup!

Your view on Winterhold differs a bit from our concepts on a number of subjects, but there's sure something to be inspired from here. 'Ash-fever' if nothing else. :-D

The Dunmer population of Winterhold should make up around 15-20% of the the population, and the main refugee wave comes after the events of TES III and TES IV (and ultimately Red Year). In that regard, Dunmer influence the local culture of Winterhold, but not to an extreme intent. As a prosperous coastal city, Winterhold has traded with many cultures during the years, and when all comes to all, the Dunmer are just one of these cultures, although surely the biggest minority in the city.

Similar to some Dunmeri cities, the Nords of the Old Holds have special foreign quarters in their larger cities, mostly for Elves. In Winterhold, Dunmeri culture dominates this quarter, and there are many respected and talented craftsmer living here. The Nords of Winterhold hold a more favorable view on Elves than some of the other Old Hold cities, but to actually allow them to be citizens on the same level as those of Atmoran heritage is an absurd thought to most. Of course, some are less tolerable than others.

There won't be any farms near Winterhold, it is much too cold for that. Winterhold largely relies on fishing, food imports from Morrowind, and, like most of Skyrim, the bread basket of The Reach.

Nordic magic is a concept that will be explored more in the future. It involves elements such as runic-daedric, clever-men and shamanism.

Re: College of Winterhold; Home of Nordic Magic

Posted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:43 pm
by -MrWillis-
Ah okay. Thanks for the warning and update on Winterhold. Sorry for being out of the loop for what you already had planned. And yeah I kept keeping Windhelm and Winterhold climates mixed up.

Anyways, thanks for the response and critique and at the very least, it provides some help.

Re: College of Winterhold; Home of Nordic Magic

Posted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:07 am
by roerich
No worries, and thanks for your input! There's some interesting ideas there for sure.

Windhelm/Kynholm is quite frozen as well, but the large Eastmarch valley is more thawed and will likely have some farms and husbandry.