Witch-Knights should be endemic to Breton culture as, aside from just being a cool phrase, its a distinct idea that gives the province something emblematic if its themes. They should be the "mid-point of weirdness," something too strange for the bigger, more modern cities, but not quite the true depths of eldritch strangeness of, say, the Reachmen. Common enough in smaller knightly orders of the back country where the old ways of doing things are more embraced. The Witch-Knights of Jehanna
) being the only large order bold enough to refer to themselves as such openly in 'polite society,' probably at least in part to sound scary to outsiders.
"Just the phrase "witch knight" conjures imagery simultaneously dignified and wild. And not in an elfy way. More in a kind of intimidating way, like a castle in some spooky woods."
There was a conversation about King Dead Wolf-Deer
) and the Witch Knights. It wasn't clear what KDWD's role would be for the WKs, whether he would be a voice of prophetical wisdom or a dead end due to his violent aggressive disposition. I for one would maybe include the idea of needing to calm KDWD as part of the quest. There was also a bit on the WK's ending again, debating whether there should a less extremist ending for the PC to choose. It was decided that the PC would be allowed to disband the knights at this, their weakest point, to avoid them achieving their dark and despite plans. ThomasRuz also commented that it would be a fun idea to reinitialize the Dark Brotherhood script to spawn Witch-knights whenever you try to sleep if you disband them.
The totem of the Witch King is an ivory totem(probably fashioned out of whalebone, since the area is famous for making objects out of the material), and is/was in possession of the Jehannan Royal Family(Depending on how we want to feature the artifact in the questline). The totem itself is still regarded to be the ruler of Jehanna, so instead of ancestor worship, it is ancestor monarchy.
The totem in question will hold the essence of the last Witch-King to rule Jehanna. The totem whispers to the one that wields it. Crafting the soul of the last Witch-King into a totem probably required a very complicated and ingenious burial ritual (something that hasn’t been discussed yet).
The totem as an in-game item would either be a wearable; the totem would be suspended on a bead necklace, or an inventory item, that gives the power if the item is in the player’s inventory. It’s also good to note that the totem roughly resembles the Amulet of Kings and A’tor(King trapped in the sword in TES: Redguard), and even the Heart of Lorkhan in some respects, but that they all operate a little differently.
Lesser totems might be carried by all Witch-Knights, possibly growing in power with their rank.
Now we go deeper into the lore that involves the totem, the Witch Knights, Witch-Kings and Jehanna. This is definitely in the more brainstormy category, these ideas will need to be revisited eventually.
‘Why did they stop having witch-kings?’ There could be plenty of reasons why they stopped having Witch-Kings in Jehanna. The may have been outlawed, conquered, or the tradition may simply have fussed out. If the latter, the Witch-King in the totem could’ve been the strongest/most influential one, instead of the last of the line, as Roerich states ‘Cults might survive where rulers don’t’.
Gnomey said that they might also have a sort of Telvanni-lich thing going on, that the witch-kings are stored within individual totems, and maybe continue to fight for supremacy, so that the ‘last’ witch-king is basically the one to kill of his competition(Essentially the ‘There can only be one’ scenario in the movie Highlander
). ‘If a living witch-king is powerful enough to defeat the old witch knights and old witch-kings, you get a living witch-king. If there is no strong enough living witch-king, you have one stuck in an amulet’. Gnomey compared this approach to Egyptian pharaohs, as they sometimes had the practise to erase the names of their predecessors from monuments and such, except that in this case, the monument contain the souls of the previous pharaohs.
In the timeline of HR427 all other totems that existed were destroyed, either by Witch-Knights or foreign invaders(given that Jehanna was invaded by the Nords multiple times in history, the latter seems the most likely). Depending on how the questline will be done, the leader of the guerilla witch knights might have the totem in possession, trying to unlock the power of the totem. The totem is probably the last surviving totem because it was in possession of the Jehannan Royal Family.
Witch-Knights have obtained shards from the other totems that were destroyed, clinging onto them for the fragmented power they still possess, which they have fashioned into wearables, like Amulets, rings, belts among other things, with interesting enchantments. The enchantments depending on what the shard was originally from.
The witch-king will be from before the war of the Bend’r-Mahk.
There was a small discussion about the Witch-Knight's questline and a possible conclusion. It was conceived that the questline will end with Evermore using diplomatic means to free Jehanna but as a vassal to them. This will leave the player with a bitter sweet realization that the fall of Jehanna was inevitable
ThomasRuz was thinking about Witch-Kings that might have been buried in tombs:
"In my native High Rock, traditions dating back to the witch kings and nomadic horsemen mandate cremation of the dead. This is practiced almost without exception in the north, through an Imperial burial in a tomb or city cemetery is more common in the south."
ThomasRuz: “I was thinking an underground circular, downwards spiraling tomb, with witch-knight ashes in clay urns along the walls.
If we want to make Witch-Knight and Witch-King wraiths that are able to be summoned by the Jehannan Witch-Knights we could also multipurpose the creatures for such crypts/tombs
The tombs could also be the place where the ivory totems were held, or the weird [Witch-King] burial practices were enacted.
And a little bit of the history that could be behind the Witch-King/Knights:
“My take on it is that there were covens and secret brotherhoods keeping the ideas and knowledge of rituals alive, and that during the current Skyrim occupation of Jehanna, these people are working actively at using this forgotten magic to one-up the Nords and take back their lands. The name witch-knight was also kept alive by a chivalric order active in Jehanna, but few people knew that the name wasn't just a tradition. This order is now in hiding and is working together with the aforementioned covens and secret groups
The player will aid in their quest to make this ancient ritual work, and rally the Bretonnic forces under a powerful witch-king being.”