The Cheydinhal Bird Trials

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Anon Chimer
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The Cheydinhal Bird Trials

Post by Anon Chimer » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:42 am

An academic's telling of a Nibenean folklore story that may hold more truth than previously understood. By Marukhati 'Monolith' I mean bland, oppresive, and angular indoctrinal and administrative chantries opened across their holdings. 'Paravania' refers to an esoteric ideal toward which the Marukhati desired to lead Cyrodiil and eventually all of Tamriel, a perfect representation of their perceived notions of Alessia's desires and fanatical adherence to 'The One'.
The Cheydinhal Bird Trials

By: Janus Scinia, Curator of the Imperial Archive

What the reader must understand is that the reign of the Alessian Order was a time of zealotry, fanaticism, and fear. None were untouched by their obsessive and paranoid ideals, such that even the Emperor Ami-El himself may have been conspired against. After their doctrine became common law, Nibenay underwent political assault by the Order, with assumed enemies of the Alessians coming under all manner of scrutiny. Perhaps most notorious of these were the Cheydinhal Bird Trials, which have long served as a common tale of comedic exaggeration of Marukhati philosophy. However, recent evidence uncovered in the excavation of the Marukhati Monolith outside Cheydinhal proves such exaggerations to be anything but. The following histories were partially excavated from the subterranean libraries of the Monolith; sections incomprehensible or lost have been replaced with the most apparently accurate retellings oral tradition has contributed.

In the ‘Year of Alessia, 119’ Provost Yviddiae Serle presided over the Cheydinhal Court. Professing the guilty as “traitors to the Holy Order and Dominion of Man, committed in colluding with the elven scourge in their crimes against Nibenay, Cyrod, and all of Mankind”, the Provost demanded proof of innocence, which was to be pledged before the Dragonfont by a member of the Court. This member would be Countess Selzettia Loyse herself, who through a complex series of political strategies by the Alessian Order, would be forced to represent this guilty party, whose sentence she would be forced to share.

Pledging her loyalty before the font, a ‘red commitment’ of elven blood (the origin of which being intentionally stricken from Alessian record) would be poured atop sacred soil, claimed to be of the idealized empire of Paravania. With her loyalty pledged, the Queen of Cheydinhal would realize her position when an enormous cage bulging with feathered creatures of various breed was brought before the court. Bewildered, she begged explanation from the Provost, to which he replied: “It is no mistake, these are but the feathered eyes and ears of the elven scourge; eaters of men and stealers of children. They have been found guilty under the Law of the Prophet. It is to the Court’s understanding you are the only one among us skilled in the Ayleidoon, the whispering words of those you represent.”

Realizing the machinations at hand, Selzettia would forfeit the opposition, preferring the expedient end to that involving an attempt at conversation with birds. Thus, the Countess would be held beneath the Canulus till death, as were the executionary traditions of the Alessians of Nibenay. To this day, Canulus and the greater region of Mir is said to be host to all manner of spirits, awaiting fair judgement by a servant of the Nine.

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Post by Infragris » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:57 am

I really like this text. The nature of it is pitch-perfect for early Marukhati dealings, the central thesis is great, and it connects well with other marukhati/ayleid texts. I also love the idea of calling a Marukhati monastery a "Monolith", it will go perfect with the oppressive classical/industrial architecture we have planned for these places. We should definitely use that for their eastern installations.

Couple of remarks and lore notes though. A lot of this depends on our own homebrewn lore, so it's not set in stone: if you have suggestions or think some of it is plain wrong, by all means tell me.
  • Curator of the Imperial Archive: might be better to go Imperial Library with this (debatable). We've been trying to take some distance from the "Imperial ..." naming scheme, because it can cause confusion for the player if several similar institutions are named the same (keeping in mind we will actually have to build these). The central archives of the Imperial state are called the Concordian Archives for now (something of a placeholder name), and source texts also mention the Imperial Library and the Imperial museum.
  • Provost Yviddiae Serle: not sure about the title Provost, seems out of place. Some of the Marukhati texts talk about Prelates. The name doesn't really register as early Niben-Nedic either - the first name is great, but Serle sounds maybe a bit too Breton (inspiration for Nedic names can be found in texts like the Song of Pelinal, or in the Nedic tribe-names).
  • Cheydinhal: this is kind of complicated. According to our notes, the name Cheydinhal is derived from the Ayleid Ceyadiil, translated as "country of shadows" (referring to the omnipresent jungle). This was later bastardized by local dialects, and only became Cheydinhal (or Hal Cheydin - "Village of Cheydin" in the Colo-Nordic tongue) under the influence of a displaced Colovian dynasty following the War of Righteousness. Depending on how you want to play this out (folklore or history) you could still use Cheydinhal, but it might be more interesting/appropriate to refer to Ceyadiil or Cheydiniil here.
  • Dragonfont: not quite sure what this represents - I thought maybe at first you meant the Dragonfires. If this is a fixture of the court at Cheydinhal, it might be worthwhile to clarify this. Shrine for Akatosh maybe?
  • Countess Selzettia Loyse: you refer to her as a countess here, but as a queen a couple of lines later. Queen might be more appropriate, as the whole county system was a Septimite innovation. The ruling nobility at this point were either relatives of the Emperor, descendants of Rebellion warlords, or (maybe) Nedic post-tribal nobility - not sure what kind of title they would front. This name also doesn't strike me as appropriate for the era (although that's debatable, I know). Another source of inspiration might be Emperors of this period (Ami-El, Gorieus, Hestra, Belharza), names of the early saints, or maybe the prominent tribes of this region (Sedorra, Kheti, Neda, something like that). Actually for nobility it might make sense to drop the surname entirely, and go by a single name (as the emperors of this time did).
  • (the origin of which being intentionally stricken from Alessian record): I like the red commitment part, but this might be superfluous - the Alessians were never particularly ashamed of their anti-Elven pogroms.
  • Canulus and the greater region of Mir: this is also slightly confusing, since at first reading all the action seems to take place near Cheydinhal - maybe add a line that she was transported to the temple-complex at Canulus to be executed there. I love that final sentence though.

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