[Faction] The Nobility Factions

Any province related discussion not fitting into other categories
Post Reply
User avatar
Infragris
Project Administrator
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:51 pm

[Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by Infragris » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:36 pm

The Red Nobility is the traditional ruling class of Cyrodiil. Since the First Era, noble men and women of the blood acted as military and civil authorities, governors and judges both in Cyrodiil and in the conquered provinces. While the Cyrodiil of today remains a class-based society, the role of the nobility has been diminished by a more fluid and less stable meritocracy/oligarchy of merchant elites, administrators and urban patricians.

Still, there is a core of ancient families in Colovia and the Nibenay who hold on to their power and influence. These families remain relevant through their place in Cyrodiil's political apparatus, key positions in the Legions, the retaining of (legal and illegal) private armies, and as the owners of vast lands with the associated toll and taxation rights. They are joined by a new form of nobility, the so-called quill-princes of the Imperial Curia: these administrators have bought or seized large territories from impoverished aristocrats, and have awarded themselves noble titles in the process.

The old nobility is divided in two political factions: the Colo-Nordic Lords and the Nibenese Hierophants. These factions are opposed both to each other and to the Imperial Curia. Together, these three form the basis of Cyrodiil's political scene, similar to the Great Houses of Morrowind. the player can choose to join one of these factions, and progress through their questline to the ultimate reward: not only a position of influence over this faction, but also a seat on the Elder Council.

The Colo-Nords
The Colo-Nords can be seen as a Redoran-Hlaalu hybrid, as conservative martial clans in decline, faced with an uncertain future. They are much more vicious and power-hungry than the Redoran, and their modus operandi is comparable to Hlaalu practices (especially their relation to the Free Estates Movement). At the heart of the Colo-Nords is their obeisance to ancient codes of virtue and noble conduct, supported by the exclusive Shor cult. Their power base is the military, both their home-brewn militias and their influence on the Legions. Their weakness lies in the political ignorance of many powerful nobles, the limitations of their virtuous codes, and their lack of numbers: many Colo-Nords consider it their duty to serve in the Imperial Legions, meaning that of every generation, a good part dies on some foreign battlefield.

The Colo-Nords place great emphasis on blood, and will not initially accept the player as one of their own. If the player chooses to join them, they will first have to prove themselves as a “Scion of Colovia”, a defender and fore-fighter similar to Skyrim's Thane. Only in the later stages of the questline will they be ritually adopted into a family.

The Hierophants
The Hierophants are comparable to Telvanni-Hlaalu, as powerful wizard-politicians bent on intrigue. They differ from the Telvanni in two ways: they are not isolationist, and they are much less adept at magic. Most of their magical secrets are plundered scraps from Ayleid, Marukhati, and Akaviri sources, and the Hierophants themselves often do not understand the powers they invoke. Their main strength lies in their heterogeneous, unpredictable magical tradition and their extensive network of spies and supporters among the Niben's cults, guilds, and secret societies. Their weakness is their penchant for secrecy, internal division of opposing clans, and their bad reputation.

The Hierophants will be more welcoming to the player, but only because they see them as cannon fodder. The player must prove themselves in intrigue and survival skills, besting not only the faction's enemies, but also internal rivals and superiors who knowingly endanger them. At later stages, the player will be introduced to the Hierophant's inner circle of Akaviri-blooded masters, and be offered ritual adoption into the clans through an “Eat it to become it” blood ritual.

The Imperial Curia

The Curia can best be understood as a kind of Indoril-Hlaalu hybrid with strong Temple vibes. They have come into true power only recently. The Curia have no military power or special magical abilities, but they do have connections, secrets, and the prestige of White-Gold Tower. Their dignitaries hold key positions in the Elder Council. Their complete control over the Empire's machinery grants them extreme potential power, but this is undone by the weight of the bureaucratic process. Most of their political heft is dependent the political fiction that the Empire supports them, which is not always the case. Beyond this, the curia is adept at blackmail and forgeries, using their extensive archives to put pressure on their opponents.

Joining the Curia is mostly an administrative affair, and may require some bribes and the purchase of a semi-fictional title. Like the other two forms of nobility, progression requires breaking through a glass ceiling, in this case progressing from the ranks of the dismissible bureaucratic envoys to the ruling caste of managers and supervisors, culminating in a position as leader of a department.

User avatar
vrolok
PT Modder
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:14 pm

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by vrolok » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:02 pm

Great stuff! Personally I love it a lot and it already sounds exciting. There is not much for me to add, I will only add two things:

1) The names of the faction as they appear in CS and in player's stats should be more official IMO. While these names are good for referring in dialogues, I would love to see full names, sounding more official and imposing (e.g. "Tribunal Temple" as opposed to "The Temple")

2) Maybe slightly more appealing picture for the factions? I agree on all the points, but their good sides need to be expanded a bit. In original Morrowind I love all three Great Houses, they are very likable, even though they can be bastards to you :) Even Dagoth Ur is a very likable character. So, it's another thing which we can work out

Apart from these two very minor additions, I am impressed! ;) I very much like where this is going. Awesome 8-)

User avatar
TerrifyingDaedricFoe
PT Modder
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:07 pm

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by TerrifyingDaedricFoe » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:31 pm

The way I see it is that for these factions the main objective is increasing their own personal wealth and power. I don't find that very interesting from a gameplay/plotline perspective so we need to explore the other objectives of the factions (or just a majority of members in those factions, it seems to me that they're a collection of people with similar mindsets and ambitions rather than a centralised organisation with top-down leadership).

For the Colo-Nords and Hierophants this would be reducing the influence of the Curia (and by extension the Elder Council) in local affairs. The Colo-Nords publicly favour the Emperor having the authority, but privately they would prefer him to be a mere figurehead who delegates his authority to them to operate as they see fit. The Hierophants would be more heterogeneous in this respect, with personal religious/cult membership have a large influence on their position.

The Curia want to expand their authority onto the rest of Cyrodiil, which they see as replacing the anachronistic nobility with a system of better governance led by those with the best mentality and skills to rule justly and wisely (ie. themselves). They want the Emperor to submit to the "democratic" leadership of the Elder Council and some fundamentalists would even propose abolition the position of Emperor altogether. This isn't a democratic movement as we see it today in the West, but more like Britain in the early 1800s where the nouveau-rich merchants and factory owners demand more rights to vote to bring them up to the same level as traditional aristocratic land-owners. It's not about the common good but about personal self-interest.

What view do the three factions have on the Empire? Perhaps the Hierophants are generally in favour from a philosophical "united Tamriel" perspective but the Colo-Nords with more experience of life in the provinces from a military perspective can see the vast expense of holding down the peace (especially in distant Morrowind and Argonia) and feel jaded about the amount they have to do to maintain that peace with their armies. On the other hand, some Colo-Nords are jingoistic and some Hierophants are isolationist.

User avatar
Infragris
Project Administrator
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:51 pm

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by Infragris » Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:26 pm

What view do the three factions have on the Empire?
The Colo-Nords believe strongly in a dictatorial, suppressive regime based on military strength, and they protest the growing influence of "provincials" in the Imperial City (partly because they fear that, with borders dissolving, their economically underdeveloped region would fall to the level of the provinces in terms of influence). They also detest the adoption of foreign practices and influences. Some would be strong supporters of Septim's heritage - a unified Tamriel under military control - while other feel that the Septim Empire is played out, and that the Colovians must now isolate themselves to survive the coming Interregnum, as they have done in the past (the position of the Free Estates). Still other remember the myths of Cuhlecain and Reman - brave Colovian warlords who restored order in troubled times - and prepare their pawns to capture the Imperial City should the Septims fall.

The Hierophants have more commercial interests: they are closely allied with the merchant castes, and they benefit greatly from the Nibenay's trade (powerful Hierophants usually have taxation rights for parts of the Niben river). They tend to take a pragmatic view of the Emperor-Council dichotomy, and have in the past shifted their allegiance from one to the other. Many of them are completely uninterested in the provinces, colonization and occupation being a Colovian affair. A fair number of them feels that some provinces are unprofitable and not worth the effort. Ultimately, the Hierophants aspire to be the eminence grise of the Empire: they want control over the Emperor and the Council, but no accountability.

The Curia, as you said, are on the offensive right now, replacing antiquated systems with new and enlightened forms of government. These new methods will lead to economical revitalization of the ailing west, pacify the jungle in the east, and make the military expenditures of the Legion superfluous - at least, that's the intention. Internally, the Curia has a myopic view of the Empire: they are preoccupied with their internal power struggles and divisions. From their viewpoint, the Curia is the Empire - or will be, soon.

User avatar
vrolok
PT Modder
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:14 pm

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by vrolok » Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:57 pm

Great description and I believe it is spot on!

I have posted some ideas regarding how we could structure our factions in the faction topic. Would be great to slightly reorganize faction topics in a more structured manner, this one especially, so we can see if anything is missing and work on the missing details. If you don't mind of course, that's just an idea.

What you have written is very good, I believe you have nailed these three. Is it something you had in mind before? I think so, the details on these are very good.

User avatar
Infragris
Project Administrator
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:51 pm

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by Infragris » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:08 pm

I had some basic designs for the nobility written out for a while, along with the idea that they oppose/are opposed by the Curia in some way. A small step to an equal third faction.

User avatar
vrolok
PT Modder
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:14 pm

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by vrolok » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:55 pm

Yes, I thought so :D But if fits this three faction puzzle very well! It would be reminiscent of Morrowind's Great Houses, but there so many possibilities to flash these out, it's amazing!

TheDVI
Forumite
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:50 am

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by TheDVI » Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:14 am

So, how does one join the nobility? Well, with the Curia, you can just ask the local public official if they would like to hire any agents, of course. Should we copy Morrowind's whole "act as a hireling of the house for the first quests, then get adopted into the house by a Patron" pattern? I think we could get more creative than that. Maybe have you buy a knighthood or get assigned a title if your fame is high enough in recognition of your valorous deeds.

What would be the highest rank in the Curia, anyway? Colonordics and Hierophants would have the Duke of Colovia and Nibenay, I presume. What would the Curia have that would be equivalent to such, worthy of being on the Elder Council? High-Reeve of the Imperial City?

User avatar
Infragris
Project Administrator
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:51 pm

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by Infragris » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:58 pm

I think buying a title is likely, though we could supply some alternative options. Rising to the knightly ranks in the Imperial Legion should bestow you with nobility, for example.

The ultimate endgoal in all three factions is to get a seat on the Elder Council. For the Hierophants this is the Duke of the Nibenay, for the other factions we can get creative. The Duke of Colovia is in the hands of the Goldwine family, and somehow I don't think it makes sense to oust them for the player's benefit. I would give them a rank of martial significance, like the emperor's personal sword-bearer, or captain of the Imperial Watch, something like that. For the Curia, I think a bureaucratic title like Exarch of the Imperial Archives would be fine.

User avatar
vrolok
PT Modder
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:14 pm

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by vrolok » Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:28 pm

I might be wrong, but don't the Arch-Mage of the Mages Guild and Leader of the Fighters Guild also have a seat on the council? I've read it long time ago somewhere and I am not sure about it, but I thought so.

User avatar
Saint_Jiub
P:C Council Member
Posts: 443
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:44 pm

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by Saint_Jiub » Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:30 am

A thought on the Hierophants:
They were quickly superseded by the Alessian priesthood, whose inexplicably charismatic religion found purchase in the lower classes. The traditional Nordic pantheon of Eight Divines was replaced by a baroque veneration of ancestor spirits and god-animals, practices encouraged by the mutable-yet-monotheistic doctrines of the Alessian faith. The doctrines eventually codified nearly every aspect of Eastern culture. Restrictions against certain kinds of meat-eating, coupled with the sentiments of the blossoming animal cults, soon made agriculture and husbandry nearly impossible. Thus, many of the Eastern Cyrodiils were forced to become merchants, which, over time, allowed the Nibenay Valley to become the wealthiest city-state in the region.
Much of what we take for Nibenese culture in the PGE comes about as a direct influence of Alessian control during the First Era (replacing the Divines with god-animals and saints, restrictions on certain types of meat-eating, agriculture, and animal husbandry, etc.); these customs are what established the merchant class as the dominant power in the East. By the 3rd Era, the position of the Hierophants should be very tenuous due to the efforts of the Curia and mainstream Imperial society to modernize the jungles and do away with the old superstitions, as well as exposure to new cultural influences due to the influx of provincials post-Tiber Septim. They should have a vested interest in preserving the old ways of doing things, taking an active role in the priesthood of the animal and hero cults, opposing any efforts to integrate the Imperial Cult into the East and relying on their vast reserves of wealth to advance policies that restrict agricultural development in their territories.

User avatar
LiquidHurlant
Forumite
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:06 pm

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by LiquidHurlant » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:07 pm

From my gathering, these factions are cultures in themselves? How each views the Imperial City could be themes in the Imperial Cult or faction storylines.

For example, the Heirophants may regard the Cyrodiil as a necropolis, and have developed an intuitively Ayleid faith in an afterlife. Why should the Ayleid inter their dead in noble palaces, if life did not continue after death? The political goal of the Heirophants may be to see Cyrodiil's honored halls protected from the living masses and their squalor, and restored as sacred space, as it was under the Moth Priests.

The Curia would take the alternative view. They see the Palace and thank themselves for the Empire. They would take the view of the PGE's author, and totally gloss the Ayleid history. Man stands alone and strong in the present, and if the Ayleid hallmarks remind them of anything, its the twilight of the elves. Their Cyro-centrism here would cloud their eyes like cataracts.

Then the Cyro-Nords would all together shun the city as a den of robbers. The free-states movement has focused and localized power within the socii. Those not closetly hostile to Cyrodiil still think leagues apart from the Curia and Heirophants, most never seeing the city, and dismissing pilgrims tales of golden roads as mad talk. For them, there greater glory in herding and sowing life, and in the deeds of sons and ancestors.

User avatar
Infragris
Project Administrator
Posts: 1177
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:51 pm

Re: [Faction] The Nobility Factions

Post by Infragris » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:01 pm

This design doc is kind of old, tbh. Not really up to date. The three factions are only different cultures in the way that the Great Houses in Morrowind were.

Can't say that I find a lot to agree over in your proposal. The Imperial City is at the heart of Imperial society, considered by many to be the only "real" city in the world. It's one of the things that unite the different strains of Imperial identity, much like the Imperial Cult. You cannot be an Imperial and not accept its majesty. To all three faction the City offers an aspiration and a battleground for their political struggle.

In terms of character, the Hierophants are meant to showcase the old core Nibenese identity, just like the Colo-Nords do for Colovia. Their respective cultures are rooted in, but not solely defined by their pseudo-Ayleid or Nordic roots, which are in the distant past. The interests and goals of the Hierophants are much more Tsaeci-oriented these days. The same can be said about the Imperial City: personally, I think people are way too hung up over its Ayleid origins. The City has been a human bastion for thousands of years now, and what little of it that can still be called Ayleid is buried deep beneath the surface. To depopulate the place would run counter to Hierophant interests, as they would be erasing their own culture (not to mention that this is the largest city in the world, so it cannot be effectively erased).

Colovian attitudes to the City are more complicated. They consider themselves defenders first and foremost, with the Heartlands being representative of the ideals that they serve and protect. Their antipathy is geared towards decadent Niben customs and bureaucracy, not the revered Imperial symbol itself. In times of struggle, Nord/Colovian warlords have traditionally come to the city to restore order based on their western customs and morality.

I think the biggest problem with your proposal is that you are attributing the wrong ideas to the wrong factions. To restore the Imperial City to its original state would be a dream of the Ayleid Revivalists or Meridian Cultists, not the Hierophants. The same goes for the Free Estates Movement, who are interrelated to the Colo-Nords but do not completely overlap or dominate the latter (a bit like the House Hlaalu-Camonna Tong connection). Most Colo-Nordic lords are still staunch defenders and loyal servants of the Emperor.

Post Reply

Return to “P:C Cyrodiil Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests