The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

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worsas
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The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by worsas » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:44 am

Rather surprisingly we have never spent much time speaking about the way of the voice in our version of Skyrim and the mentioned College of the Voice, of which there was no trace in TES V's Markarth.

In general the way (or maybe rather usage) of the Voice seems to be associated with veneration of Kyne, a voice-controlled way of magic supposedly adopted from the Dragons that once inhabited the world. In TES V, the way of the voice is a way of Life pursued by the Greybeards of High Hrothgar, that combines the usage of the voice with a peaceful existence and contemplation. For Bethesda the College of the Voice probably didn't fit into this picture, so it was retconned. The College of the Voice was supposedly founded by Tiber Septim to train warriors in the usage of the voice for the battle. This seems like a conflict with the philosophy of the Greybeards. The hostile use of the Voice seems to be a common occurence among the Nords, though.

In TES V the voice was a mostly lost art, only still performed by the Greybeards and a handful of people. How would this look in our version of the province? Maybe more importantly: How would a Thu'um look like in gameplay terms?
Is the college of the voice in our Markarth a military school of some kind or has it possibly turned into a sanctuary of Kyne or even a secondary monastery of the way of the voice?

If the thu'um is supposedly Dragon Language, why is it associated with the godess of Kyne that much? Kyne/Kynareth is associated with the realm of air and the ability of speaking and being heard. So the effect of the voice magic happens in her realm. How does it work? Why does it work differently from the regular magic? Is it just a different way to do similar things or something completely different, to begin with?

In the beginning, there was the word...

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by roerich » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:09 am

I'm not sure we should try to add the voice in gameplay terms. As for lore, I think we should keep things as they were pre-TES V, mostly. Show, don't tell and all that.

For the college - I've had some drawings as I feel like it warrants an unique building. Even if it's rundown by our timeframe. I picture it as a pseudo-Nordic Imperial institution, a place where Colovian nobles send their sons to soak up some Nordic culture, with a few Nords as well but mostly foreign students. It serves as both a military academy and a scholarly school focused with the history and various elements of the voice.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by Scamp » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:55 pm

I'm strongly against adding the voice as some sort of spell. It's clearly a different thing and I don't think we need this "collect all Dragon Shouts"-kind of philosophy at all. We should stick to mentioning the voice in dialogue only, especially near the college.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by roerich » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:23 am

Moving the discussion here, from the Markarth thread.

In my vision the CotV interior should consist of:
- Hall (large central hall for practicing the voice, speeches etcera)
- Study rooms for studying old Nordic stone tablets and books (used by CotV students)
- Study rooms rented out to the Imperial Archeological Society who are examining various stone artifacts and findings from nearby barrows and old Nordic ruins, as well as Direnni ruins (a way to show the deteriorating nature of the institution, renting out rooms to other factions)
- Small shrine to Kyne
- Meditation rooms
- Combat training rooms
- Private quarters for students
- Private quarters for teachers
- Spartan dining hall and kitchen

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by Yeti » Tue Feb 17, 2015 6:26 pm

Looks like a good plan to me, roerich. I especially like the idea of hosting the IAS here.

A topic for discussion: why did Tiber Septim build the College in Markarth, which wasn't even the Hold's capital during his reign, according to our lore. Developing a complete history of Markarth would help clarify this. Edit: which I see you've already made a good stab at, roerich. Nice job! 8-)

For the sake of making them immediately accessible in this thread, here is the information about the College provided by The First Pocket Guide to the Empire:
Today, the most ancient and powerful of the Tongues live secluded on the highest peaks in contemplation, and have spoken once only in living memory, to announce the destiny of the young Tiber Septim (as recounted in Cyrodiil). In gratitude, the Emperor has recently endowed a new Imperial College of the Voice in Markarth6, dedicated to returning the Way of the Voice to the ancient and honorable art of war. So it may be that the mighty deeds of the Nord heroes of old will soon be equaled or surpassed on the battlefields of the present day.
"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 ~"
Due to their age and the clear biases present, these passages should be treated with a discerning eye. I think our version of the institution should display a mix of both extremes. Some of the school's staff believe they are continuing a noble tradition, but they're also fairly ignorant of the Tongue's true teachings. Having some of the students come from minor Pro-Imperial Nord noble families would make sense. None of them would be terribly important, since much of the school's prestige and relevance are in the past.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by Yeti » Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:34 pm

A minor contribution

Also, a character sketch for the current Grand Master:

Octus Voro - A Colo-Nordic Imperial who belongs to a somewhat influential Colovian noble family. At first, he appreciated his appointment as the Grand Master of the Imperial College of the Voice for the perceived status it granted him, but in the years since he has become more and more aware of the institution's declining prestige. Although he has a vague appreciation for the traditions of the Voice, and learned it in his youth, he is not immersed in its study nowadays and focuses more on administrating the College and attracting prestigious sponsors and students. Due in part to his diluted Nordic blood, he is also not particularly gifted at using Thu'um. Some of the College's students have even begun calling him "Octus Weak-Voice" and "Octus Mute-Mouth" behind his back.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by Luxray » Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:59 am

Neat character idea.

Are the members of the CotV aware of the Greybeards at all? Are they dismissive of them, or are they a mostly unknown quantity?
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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by Yeti » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:14 am

They're definitely aware of them. After all, the Greybeards were the ones who announced Tiber Septim's destiny, and Septim founded the College of the Voice. Of course, being aware of them doesn't extend to understanding their philosophies well.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by roerich » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:11 am

Great job Yeti.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by Infragris » Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:55 pm

I could see about adding the house of Voro to Colovia somewhere. Any specific place you had in mind for them?

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by Yeti » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:07 pm

I imagine they would live somewhere in the Colovian Highlands, though I haven't thought of a specific place. Thanks for the suggestion, Infragris.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by roerich » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:22 pm

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.
A random tidbit i found laying around. I think Musp wrote this.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by worsas » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:39 pm

roerich wrote:
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.
A random tidbit i found laying around. I think Musp wrote this.
That doesn't sound like something coming from me. In nordic belief the way of the voice (for a good reason) has got a deep connection to the realm of air, which again is embodied by Kyne.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by roerich » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:24 pm

I could be wrong, sorry. Perhaps it was just something I read elsewhere. I agree completely that Nord beliefs associate it very much with Kyne, and that they claim it is a gift from her.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by worsas » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:59 pm

It is not a question we necessarily need to answer ourselves. As you said in one post: Leave it open, show, but don't tell.

What I don't like about the voice in TES V at all, is how codified it is in their special dragon tongue explanation. Before TES V you could think of the thu'um as basically the violent counterpiece of the speechcraft of the Imperials. The whole air theme that was painted around it by the 1st pg and the Children of the Sky, allowed for a lot of interpretation, with the wind being a major force in the life of Nords. In TES V it is all about those letters. Apart from the fact that the whole Dragon storyline is a huge big pile of shit. And I don't care what any gamer kiddy or lore snob thinks of it. It is shit.

Edit: What a rant. Posts like these usually don't mirror my attitude on other peoples creations. But the main storyline of TES V has always been a thorn in my flesh.
Last edited by worsas on Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: rant

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by Infragris » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:20 am

roerich wrote:I could be wrong, sorry. Perhaps it was just something I read elsewhere. I agree completely that Nord beliefs associate it very much with Kyne, and that they claim it is a gift from her.
The idea originated elsewhere, I think. The theory is that there is some kind of connection between thu'um, Imperial speechcraft, Redguard Sword-singing, Dwemer Tonal Architecture, and a couple of other things I'm forgetting. All of these are special powers that influence the world through sound or music, as opposed to "normal" magical practice which relies on star-born magicka. The underlying argument is that reality is fundamentally musical in nature, and that you can influence it directly through tonal manipulation. Also see Dagoth Ur's "I AM OLDER THAN MUSIC" shtick, and the original concepts for Keening, Sunder and Wraithguard, which has them as tuning instruments.

This is all rather abstract lore background stuff, though. Thu'um as a gift of Kyne is the way to go for Nordic culture.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by worsas » Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:32 am

Isn't TES V disparating the Voice from other "tonal arts" by binding the effect of the Thu'um to the words of the dragon language? In TES V the words and their letters seemed to receive the main attention, at least. I know you could argue that the way of application of those words only turn it into the Thu'um, but in the end I think that those background explanations have little bearing to how the world is felt by the player in the game.

I don't know for sure, as I'm not a very knowledgeable person with regards to the lore on metaphysic stuff in the TES universe, but to me TES V always seemed to create a complete and utter (and maybe intentional) disparation of everything regarding Nord culture with previously established concepts, such as in disparating the nordic deities from what was believed to be their imperial counterpieces and generally retconning old lore where it seemed possible. The new things they brought up in their place often felt misplaced, too.

I know that I tend to sound like a clueless idiot in my forum posts. But I do have a little bit of knowledge, maybe not as elaborate as that of others, but I mainly really fail to get it across as I would like to. When I hear about the concept of "Tonal Arts", I'm reminded of the Kalevala for one where Väinämöinen creates a ship by singing it. I can also see a parallel between the Voice as it has been shown in TES V and Germanic beliefs of the Migration Period. Actually, I thought of the the Dragon Language to be an interesting approach, when first reading of it.

Maybe it is because I have taken so much effort into delving in the Nords and their culture for this mod before coming across the game. At least, I can say that TES V has messed up quite a bit, up to a point where I felt mocked by the game.

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Re: The Way of the voice - The College of the Voice

Post by Infragris » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:09 pm

worsas wrote: Maybe it is because I have taken so much effort into delving in the Nords and their culture for this mod before coming across the game. At least, I can say that TES V has messed up quite a bit, up to a point where I felt mocked by the game.
I feel the same way about Cyrodiil, sometimes. It's important not to take those things personal: a lot of it comes down to an unavoidable streamlining of the world, making it accessible and understandable to everyone - which isn't a bad thing in itself, even if they went too far with it in TES IV and V. Just means we have to do it the right way.

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