Reachman Lore

Discussion of Elder Scrolls lore and how it will be used in SHotN
User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:14 pm

reserved

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:14 pm

The Reachmen, also known as the Witchmen of High Rock, are a tribal group of primarily Breton descent who inhabit the Reach in southwestern Skyrim[1] and the neighboring Western Reach in the east of High Rock.[2] Their ancestry includes not only Bretons, but spreads across many of the known races of Tamriel.[2] They mainly utilize primitive gear and hedge-magic, have a tribal appearance and nature, and typically inhabit makeshift fortresses built into caves and ruins throughout the Reach's battle-scarred landscape.[1][2]

History

The Reachmen have long held that they are the true owners of the Reach, and for centuries have only begrudgingly accepted the rule of the Nords and the Empire.[1]
[edit] Early Society

Following the collapse of the First Empire of the Nords, the Western Reach was retaken by the Aldmeri, who slaughtered the majority of Nord colonists; as a result, the Nordic ancestry of the Reachmen is comparatively weak. The proximity of Reachman settlements to Orcish villages meant that the Reachmen frequently traded goods and customs with their mountain neighbors, and it is partly from the Orcs that the Reachmen learned to use hedge-magic.[2]

The Legend of Red Eagle, an ancient tale from Reach folklore, suggests that during the time of the Alessian Empire, the Reach was ruled by ten kings, and that "though men were free, the people were scattered and warred amongst themselves". The legend also makes reference to the Reachman reverence of "the ancient and venerable Hagravens".
[edit] Invasion of High Rock

In 2E 541, the Reachman Durcorach the Black Drake captured Bangkorai, Evermore and Hallin's Stand. Within days, his army was across the Bjoulsae and bearing down upon Wayrest. Durcorach didn't have siege engines, so after fifty-seven days of besieging Wayrest, he left part of his army around the town's walls and marched off west into Glenumbra. Taken by surprise, the newly-independent city-state of Camlorn fell and was sacked. The Reachmen were defeated near Daggerfall's city gates after being charged from behind by Emeric's Heavy Dragoons.[3]
[edit] Battle of Old Hrol'dan

The Reachmen remained largely independent — although they frequently clashed with the Nords to the east — until the arrival of Tiber Septim at the end of the Second Era.[4] In 2E 852, King Cuhlecain's general successfully broke through the Reachman lines, forcing them to fortify themselves at Old Hrol'dan. The next day he approached the gates of the besieged city, protected by the winds created by a storm following his trail. Reports say that the ancient Nord art of thu'um was used to shout down the walls of Old Hrol'dan, after which the army of Colovian troops and Nord berserkers took the city with relative ease.[4] Markarth and the lands of the Reach were soon occupied by the Nords,[5] while Imperial propaganda branded the Reachmen as rebellious and lawless mongrels.[2]

[...] (The following segment refers to the events of Skyrim, and are obviously of no use for us.)


http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Reachmen" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:15 pm

Culture
Although the Elven Overlords were killed when the Reach was 'freed', Aldmeri blood is still strong in the Reachmen and share many Elven traits. They also learned customs and magic from the Orcs who share the mountains of the Reach.
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Western_Reach" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Muspila wrote:Society:

Largely based around the idea of a witch matriarch (human or hagraven) associated with each settlement. The way a witch matriarch performs jurisdiction among her people is very much dreaded. So they will mostly avoid her counsel beyond most important matters. By that she performs a very loose but effective leadership. Other than that a matriarch mostly lives on her own, sometimes even being absent from the settlement and seeked out if needed.

Most reachmen live rather self-sufficient in family bands that do not know any other authority but the matriarch. Reachmen „families“ can easily circumpass members of other races when those have been achknowledged by the matriarch. Here ancestry matters less much than ties to the people and the country. Exceptions are Nords or Colovians who will hardly find acceptance in a Reachmen community even if they historically make up a big amount of th

A village mostly consists of one family (tribe) and their matriarch. There is rarely contact or interaction between various settlements. Also each settlement will have a different mindset on different matters greatly impacted by the personality of the respective matriarch. Some communities will be less and some will be more hostile. Some live on hunting and gathering, others on agriculture, others on trading and magical services.

Even if the matriarch holds the power in her community the Reachmen have the concept of a king-like leader, the Konoch. In past times of independence they were ruled by Konochs that united them against their Nord enemies. And there will be Konochs again when they will one day be freed from their Nord- and Imperial surpressors. (Please note that I made up this name on my own, so it is discussable)

Naming
Unless biased against them, people will refer to the tribal people of The Reach just as „The Natives“.
Moreover each community will have an own name, which may translate into „Those at the river bend“ or „people of the canopy“ or „gatherers of the amber“. Assuming there is a Chlochan-Tribe, one member could then be referred to as Clochan-Tribesman or -Tribeswoman.
I'd like to avoid making our Reachmen as stereotypically barbaric as Bethesda is painting theirs. It goes without saying ours are going to worship Aldmeri gods instead of the Daedra, at least on average. There might be a place for Hircine in their pantheon, but I'm still not completely sold on that idea.
Yeti wrote: We should, however, come up with ways to make them seem wild and tribal without coming across as cliche. Child sacrifice on a limited rare scale (perhaps performed by hagravans during particularly trying times for the tribe) could be one interesting cultural mofit, and give the Nords a justification for treating the Reachmen so bad (much like how the Romans used rumors of child sacrifice to disparage the Carthaginians). This of course would be expressed through dialogue, seeing as we don't have child NPCs in our mod.
roerich wrote: What other issues could get the Nords to hate them that much?
- The Reachmen being warlike and independent
- Muspila's idea about some Reachmen magic damaging iron and steel
- The Reachmen being a mongrel race, considered animals by the "pure blooded Nords". I don't want the Nords to be nazis, but something could be done with this.
- Not understanding their culture: Matriarchy, sacrifices, weird gyrrg-induced shamanic rituals, maybe incest or orgies?
- The Reachmen being obsessed with elves, particularly the Direnni (and perhaps the Falmer), who have a bitter shared history with the Nords
- The Nords (sometimes fairly) accuse the Reachmen for droughts, earthquakes, famines etc.
Yeti wrote: The Reachmen also work as a convenient scapegoat for the Nords to blame shit on. Plus, Nords --especially the battle-proven warriors of the Reach-- really love fighting, and antagonizing the Reachmen provides them with a readily available foe. They have to get into Sovngarde somehow, after all.

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:15 pm

Religion and magic

Religion

Xahxes' Gift: The Reachman Creation Myth by french ninja

Magical abilities and knowledge

They also learned customs and magic from the Orcs who share the mountains of the Reach. The Reachmagic is still widely studied although banned by the Mages Guild who fear it as dangerous and wild. Reachmen are often refereed to as the Witchmen of High Rock.


http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Western_Reach" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Muspila wrote:
Reach-Magic

As suggested by the 1st pocket guide, Reach magic could be an adapted form of magic performed by orc wizards but banned by the mages guild for being „a dangerous and wild hedge-wizardry“.

The way I look at this, Reach magic actually does the same thing other magic does but may achieve it by means like involvement of drugs or self-injuring not sanctioned by the mages guild (there may be a more accurate explanation of this around the mages guild of Markarth or Karthwasten). That is possibly a bit clichee, but it would be the most obvious interpretation to me.

As for typical magical effects, I thought about a section of reach magic being based on influencing the state of materials by making it stronger or weaker. Orcs utilize it to create superior orc armor or to fortify the iron gates of Orsinium. Hostile reachmen may often be found to cast damage weapon or damage armor on you. And some remote living witch may have the secret formula for enchanting simple iron to be as strong as adamantium.

Other typical spells could be instilling rage, courage, fear or pain.

A further reason for banning reach magic could be the cruelty of some witch matriarchs and a dangerous and hurtful way her arts are teached to the learner. A most secret and occult area of reach magic is the implanting of briarhearts into the bodies of their warriors to turn them into powerful undead.



Magicka wells

To further show some link between the Reachmen and their Elven ancestry, I propose we occasionally implement a more tribal version of the Ayleid Wells featured in Oblivion. I have tried a few ideas in the Karthwasten Cave claim #06, and I think this looks particularly good. Perhaps wells like this could be added to some sacred Reachmen places in the wilderness, with statues of Magnus and Xarxes around and a place to leave offerings. Reachmen witches and shamans would be able to channel magicka from these wells.

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:22 pm

Naming

Yeti wrote: Suggestion for naming Reachmen tribes: Mix bird, nature and matriarchal imagery:

South-Wandering-Eagle-Mother Tribe
Crow-Dancing-Hag Tribe
Black-Dusk-Vulture-Girl Tribe
Scarlet-Eagle-Wife Tribe
Skin-Gashing-Sparrow Tribe
Raven-Bone-Sister Tribe
Talon-Climbing-Daughter Tribe
Keen-Eyed-Niece Tribe
Clever-Widow-Wing-Mending Tribe


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Cycle" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:13 pm

Very important resource when it comes to naming places and people in the Reach.

http://www.imperial-library.info/conten ... eachspeech" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Pargain Cnossach = Sundered Hills
Braig Cnoss = Strong Hill (the mesa between KW and DS, otherwise known as Scamp's mesa)
Bladach Fianncriag = Mighty Whiterock (Snowhawk Peak)
Mercath = Marketplace (Markarth)
Ambir Criag = Amber Rock (Karthgad)
Mernuin = Elf Town (Karthwasten)

User avatar
Yeti
SHotN Jarl
Posts: 468
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:38 pm

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by Yeti » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:33 pm

Interesting. This will be a very useful resource. Is the guy basing this on actual game lore, or is he developing it himself? I would like to know what sentence structures the language should use.

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:35 pm

I think he is developing it himself (but with words from lore such as Druadach, Faolan etc.), he has languages for most Tamrielic civilizations in that thread - it's pretty impressive.

User avatar
berry
PT Modder
Posts: 661
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:16 pm

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by berry » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:04 pm

Something I stumbled across some days ago. It's ESO lore text on Reachmen religion, mainly in relation to Hircine and Namira.
Lady Solace wrote:TALES OF THE REACHMEN: LIFE AND DARKNESS

by Sorindaale of wherever she was born or calls home, amateur scholar

I was fortunate (or perhaps unfortunate) enough to live in the Imperial City during the time of the Longhouse Emperors. Though the Reachmen were quite cruel and their ways were quite alien to me, I developed a sort of friendship with one shaman who was eager enough to share knowledge of his people with me. Well, he was eager providing so long as I gave him a bottle of mead and a good meal each time I asked for a new story. Reachmen do not give things away so easily, not even their stories.

The first of these transcribed tales is one about the religious beliefs of the Reachmen.

“Each clan reveres their own gods for their own reasons. Necessity shapes belief when you must fight for your own life and the lives of those in your clan each day. Therefore there are clans who believe in the coldness of Molag Bal, and there are some who believe in the warmth of Mara. There are the revelers who worship Sanguine, and the pariahs who cry out to Malacath, and so on. But we all share two Gods, for each clan is told the same story by the revered Hagravens.”

“Hircine is Life. He is a part of each of us, the part of our mind that compels us to fight, to hunt, to survive. He gives us all so much, He sends beasts from His Hunting Grounds for us to hunt, He teaches us the magicks that let us control the world around us, He tests us so we may better ourselves and become stronger. We see Him in everything, in every leaf of every tree, in every beast great or small, in every gust of wind, in every storm. Hircine is the World, He is who we owe so much.”

“And then there is Namira, who is Darkness. When we die, She is our guide to the Darkness. She is who embraces us in death, She is our fear. But we do not mistake Her as being cruel or unkind, for She is also the bugs that eat our flesh when we die. She is what ensures the cycle of life goes on. She is the fire that burns the forest. Although the fire kills and destroys, it brings new life, it ensures the second generation will grow stronger than the first. She is a part of the natural cycle of the world, but is also detached from it, which is why She is the Darkness behind the World…”

“You must hide your disdain better, elf. I see it in your eyes, do not think me foolish enough to not notice. I know you see the beliefs of my people as nothing more than barbaric thoughts created by uncivilized wild-men with no real understanding of the world. I scoff at that, and scoff at you. Remember this the next time you see our magicks, see the way we bend the world, see how we bend the minds of beasts. We know more of this world than you do, for we understand what it is. We have been told the truth, and this is why we can do what we do. But do not look so scared, I would not hurt you in your own home. We may not follow your customs, but we are not so brutish that we would hurt a person who so graciously let us come to their own home. Pour another drink, and perhaps you’ll get another tale from me…”
Personally I don't think we should limit Reachmen religion to that Hircine-Namira duopoly, but one tribe or something with such beliefs could be interesting, if only we watch out and not break game decorum and boundaries of good taste, as Bethesda did with TES V Namira.

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:18 pm

In our Reachmen lore, the most important gods are Magnus, Mara, Xarxes and Trinimac. But we've discussed the idea about some tribes worshipping other gods or Daedra. Here, Hircine is certainly a candidate. Namira could be a candidate as well, and also Meridia given her affiliation with the Magna Ge and Magnus.

User avatar
worsas
Project Administrator
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:23 am

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by worsas » Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:07 pm

I like our aesthetical approach at the Reachmen, but I feel that they are still lacking depth in a few spots. A lot of what they are about simply goes along the natural vein of a clicheed shamanistic, tribal society. Then there is surely the idea of a matriarchical leadership, the mixed ancestry, the struggle for independence, reach magic, etc, all of which are derived from existing lore and are great ideas in and on themselves. But most of that still seems to be handled very superficially. On top of that I feel we sometimes implement elements from the 1st pg without translating them sufficiently.

This starts at the usage of the term 'Reachmen'. I can understand why TES V was avoiding this word (I would exclude ESO's take on them for now, as I've seen some very bad things there). 'Reachmen' or 'Witchmen of Highrock' does not hold up as a name for a people. I would place this name somewhere in the same category and usage with 'Elfmen'. I know that 'Reachmen' has some familiarity and fluency to it and that it is the name for which everyone knows them, but the latter thing would be the only reason for keeping its current way of usage. I neither want us to retcon the name itself, nor do I want us to make up a new name for them. In fact I would suggest that there isn't such a thing as a common name for the reach tribes of mixed ancestry, but rather a common set of beliefs and cultural legacy.

A much more fitting and neutral way of referring to them, would be calling them 'natives' or 'native tribes' and only have the term 'Reachmen' deluded to or used by people with a bad opinion of them. At the very least, I would not use it as their self-designation. Surely, foreign designations can become self-designations, but I imagine a more subtle reference at the commonly known term as it is done in TES V to have an interesting effect, so that when someone who hasn't read our forum discussions so far, will not know what he/she is approaching for certain and may only conclude that he/she is dealing with Reachmen. To make it short: I think it would be better to stop putting the fat REACHMEN label on them and try to get rid of a set of expectations and opinions connected to this term. The stretch of land between Falkreath and the Wrothgarian Mountains surely is a big one and to me it doesn't seem like each of the tribes scattered across this stretch of land should need to fit perfectly into the expected pattern, so to say.

Another thing is the question of reach magic/witches/shamanism/evil rituals and whatnot. It almost seems like 'witch' and 'heathen' were the presumptions everything regarding the reachmen is built around. In extenstion they naturally seem like candidates for Daedra worship. This is a poor foundation, because it is very superficial and removes the need of giving them a true identity. Reach magic should have a clear meaning rather than covering all kinds of evil/primitive magic, for example. If Reachmen worship Daedra Princes, which of them and why? Admittedly, these things are already touched in above posts. Still, at the moment they feel a little bit too much like a pure flavour race. They have their architecture, their clothing and other objects of use, their own aestethic, but still "witchmen" seems to provide enough explanation for all these things. I'm not sure, if that isn't an issue with other races aswell, though. I think it might be mostly a matter of providing some more background information in dialogue.

What are the animal names for (Red Eagle, the tribe names suggested by Yeti)? Do they just show their close ties to nature or is there some kind of totem belief involved? This is another thing that seemingly requires no explanation. It is all very bland and superficial.

User avatar
Yeti
SHotN Jarl
Posts: 468
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:38 pm

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by Yeti » Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:36 pm

You make many fair points, Worsas. We don't have a concrete identity for the Reachmen yet. That said, I really would rather have a commonly used name to refer to them, like Ashlanders have in vanilla. Otherwise it would just get confusing for people who aren't as familiar with Elder Scrolls lore. I also think they should mostly fit a general cultural pattern. Yes, they occupy a wide range of territory, and we'd expect more regional differences between tribes if Tamriel was blown up to a real-world scale, but we're not at liberty to go into such detail in a video game.

I agree the animal names are bland, and we should avoid Daedra worship and other cliched shamanistic rituals.

User avatar
worsas
Project Administrator
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:23 am

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by worsas » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:42 pm

I don't know, if the animal names are bland. If we want to use them, we should at least have some kind of background. That's all I meant to suggest. Feathers, bones and all that stuff is great for flavour, but it isn't tied to any particular philosophy or belief at the moment.

I would like to look at the Reachmen as a sister culture to that of the Nords, of Atmoran origin but penetrated by Elven and Orc influence. The totems are an Atmoran thing, so I don't think it is completely unreasonable. Really I think both the Nords and the Reachmen have a similar problem. Both are mostly defined by similarity with something people already know, and it is difficult to flesh out their very own identity as Bethesda did so successfully with the Dunmer in MW. The best thing we can do is explaining even those things one takes as granted, when they are depicted as tribal people, like the thing with the animals. Or we decide to exclude those bits for the sake of not having them stuffed with too many things that don't truly add up to one another in a worthwhile way.

Another question that arises in this connection is if an experience as original MW gave it can even be recreated at all and if yes if it even must be recreated by the same means. I think people will most likely have an experience of discovery, no matter if many of the things we show just go along as granted. People usually stop paying attention when they get to a point where they will always already know what comes next. 95% of the fantasy games you can play are like that, unfortunately. I don't think we are really running into the same danger here yet. There are probably other, more severe threats.

I think it boils down to providing background and stressing the things that set them apart. In this connection I'm thinking of showing them as really non-racial exclusive group of people. The way I imagine it there are many native tribal villages in the Reach, inhabited by various races with the Witchmen only being some kind of happy hippie punks in the middle of them all. A local tribe around the border of hammerfell could be adopting redguard deities without paying so much attention to the theological finickies. Maybe one tribe was converted by an imperial cult missionary at some point and now revers imperial divines alongside their own spirits. I don't think the size of the gameworld is a restriction on these things, as it is mostly a thing of dialogue. I don't know how well this fits into the picture of the hostile, aggressive Reachmen, everyone is used to, though. I can certainly see a number of tribes being less open to outsiders aswell, like some other tribes are openly hostile. I know this probably sounds like a confusing mess, but I have a very clear picture in mind that I grew attached to. The appearance of other races in otherwise Reachmen communities could be made less offputting by giving them the same garment. At the very least the members of the community would be sharing the same lifestyle.

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:44 am

You've managed to put in words something I've felt was missing as well. I tried to do some initial work in that direction with the tribal identities thread. I must say, I like your plans.

User avatar
berry
PT Modder
Posts: 661
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:16 pm

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by berry » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:56 pm

Wouldn't Red Eagle tribe rather be named after Faolan, the Red Eagle? I'd rather focus on that aspect of that name, though animal totem theme sounds like it should be reused with some other tribe.

I was thinking that 'Faolans' could paint/tattoo their faces with Red Eagle symbols, but that sounds quite Nordic actually on second thought. How about some kind of eagle pattern they would paint in red dye on some rocks and in their caves instead? Those painting could be accompanied by the words of the oath Faolan swore to his people:
Fight on, and when at last the Reach is free, his blade should be returned, that he might rise and lead them again.
[hsimg=]http://www3.tattootribes.com/multimedia ... -eagle.jpg[/hsimg]

We could make Reachmen worship the Red Eagle in messianic cult, though it should be developed with caution, to avoid resemblance with Nerevarine Cult.

The tribes could consider themselves to be the progeny of 10 kingdoms of the Reach (some of them, as we are not portraying whole historic realm), seeing themselves not as savages, but knights indeed, stripped of their fiefs and authority for now and exiled to live in their very land; the Reachmen wouldn't use the word "tribe" among them, they'd rather go with "kingdom". That perception, being so contrary to the facts and arrogant as well, rings "Elven" bell to me, so it would fit Witchmen

We could develop that Arthurian motive Faolan cult/legend hints to even further, making members of each tribe revere their respective king and follower to the Red Eagle, similiar to how Bretonnians from Warhammer universe perceive Gilles le Breton and his Grail Companions.

With all these suggestions I'm by no means saying we should make the tribes uniform. I'd suggest opposite in fact. Let's settle on topoi we could say are common for all Reachmen and then let's diversify each of the tribes to the greatest extent possible. Those concepts
A local tribe around the border of hammerfell could be adopting redguard deities without paying so much attention to the theological finickies. Maybe one tribe was converted by an imperial cult missionary at some point and now revers imperial divines alongside their own spirits.
and others alike sound like a must-have to me. I imagine natives across the Reach to have - unlike Ashlanders - very few in common after all those years, oppressions, assimilations, but they still would see themselves as members of one nation, born from ten long-gone kingdoms, pastured by Hagravens.

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:07 am

I'm trying to prepare something on the 10 konoch'dals of the Reach, the largest tribes.

User avatar
berry
PT Modder
Posts: 661
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:16 pm

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by berry » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:49 pm

Long story short - I came up with some neat concepts for my Reachmen village, and then developed this half-baked lore to justify them :P If you don't like it as a general Reachmen motive, we can say it's just Ennflaith tribe thing, I assume?

Thoughts on meaning of iron in Reachmen magic (& some flavor screens)

Outsiders coming in touch with so-called Reachmen quite often cannot help feeling they are dealing with barbaric savages. The feeling is strengthened by the reluctance of those witch-people to use arms & armors made of metal, depending on their stone crafting & leathercraft skills instead.
Truth is, that impression is wrong. Reachmen know about metal; in fact, in their opinion every mere tribesman possesses the knowledge superior to all outsiders on the matter. With their high understanding of earth and its gifts - granted mortals by caring love of Ehlnofey - they consider using metals, the very essence of the earth, for such trivial means as hurting each other to be profane. Their understanding of metal's true nature lets them use it as a metaphysical connector with Aedra and other good spirits floating through the world.
And the Reachmen do not need metal weapons to be efficient at hurting people at any rate.
  • Those metaphysical understanding of metal could be the source of Reachmen weapon/armor destroying spells, suggested on old boards
  • I was thinking we could have some sort of big melting smithy on the mesas, where Reachmen would smelt captured iron weapons, being of no value to them, into rods, hooks and other stuff they could use for their rituals. It could be located underground, inside the cliff, with only dots of fuming Reachmen chimneys marking it's location atop the mesa. Such place would surely be rumoured by outsiders as another crazy stuff those native weirdos came up with. It could be located in the mesa north of Scamp's second mesa, that one west of Dragonstar, probably? I think it would be a sight to see.
http://imgur.com/a/2c1Oc" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Aeadra figures prevent vile spirits from entering the village (*)

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/uEDl8c8.png[/hsimg]

Triple horned aspect of Trinimac on guard

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/xGN0dqf.png[/hsimg]

Sweet offerings to mother Mara

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/GkibLi5.png[/hsimg]

Monumental shrine to Trinimac reinforced with iron ornaments

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/vNyhGyn.png[/hsimg]

Spiritual totem of bones and iron guarding entrance to witches cave (from my previous claim)

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/pZqeDDC.png[/hsimg]

Spare iron hooks laying idle

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/AlK0y5J.png[/hsimg]

Iron statue representing Clavicus Vile, by Lord Berandas. It's here as a proof we already have in our data great looking stuff that fit this concept aesthetically

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/22pZPUo.png[/hsimg]

Few in-game screens, took on stormy night

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/a202WyA.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/qfcyVwb.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/wLDlM71.png[/hsimg]

* - we can perhaps set the bridge as an activator, with HurtStandingActor script triggered if PC is a vampire or a werewolf (or a Nord :P ) How do Reachmen perceive lycanthropes/vampires, actually?

User avatar
worsas
Project Administrator
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:23 am

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by worsas » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:46 pm

I approve of the idea that there must be some kind of special relation to metal, seeing its abundance and availability. The primitive weaponry was copied from TES V, without paying much attention on whether it actually makes sense.

I would prefer to see a mixed usage of aldmeri and nordic deities. The statues were originally not meant to be as frequent as they have become. They weren't meant to represent the full reachmen pantheon, but rather an occasional flavour item for some of the villages or particularly holy places. I probably need to make some more statues, so we can mix them up a bit.

sirrah
Forumite
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 1:54 pm

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by sirrah » Mon May 18, 2015 3:55 pm

Something that might be cool to adapt for the Reachmen is the semi-nomadic Sami culture of Northern Europe and other Finno-Ugric tribes.

Wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people

In particular, I think the totemic embroidered metalwork fits well, and the brightly-patterned clothing indicating personal history would make them a lot more visually interesting than Bethesda's take. The way Reachmen territory covers regions of Skyrim and the city-states of High Rock is pretty evocative of Sapmi, too.

There's a 1977 Estonian film, "The Winds of the Milky Way", that documents some tribal Finno-Ugric cultures, including the Sami here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_dYIfsS9Cc (I can't find an English-subbed version, and the audio keeps cutting out, but it still provides a lot of visual inspiration)
English summary of film here: http://www.eesti.ca/the-winds-of-the-mi ... ticle29904

Metal embroidery: Image
Image
Image
Image Clothing: Image
Image
Image They also have cool raised storehouses: Image
Image
Image
Image A blog with some more pictures: http://saamiblog.blogspot.com.au/
A vaguely-tinfoily post on Sami culture, associating it with the Voynich manuscript, of all things. More nice pictures, a recording of Sami chanting: http://voynichbirths.blogspot.com.au/20 ... ll-in.html

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Tue May 19, 2015 7:30 pm

I agree with having the Sami people as one of our top inspirations for Reachman culture, it was something I tried to introduce on our old forums as well. Nice finds!

And welcome on the forums! Things are a bit quiet right now, as most of us are busy elsewhere these busy days. :)

User avatar
worsas
Project Administrator
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:23 am

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by worsas » Wed May 20, 2015 8:17 am

I'm not sure if there is any Sami influence similar to seen on Sirrahs linked photos. I only know that they have influenced our Colovian garment at P:C. Of all these things above I can only see the metal embroidery work for them. Reachmen garment and architecture has already developed into being far too different.

What we have got, though, is a number of vague african influences, like the orc drum and and the small thatch huts of the Reachmen.

User avatar
worsas
Project Administrator
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:23 am

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by worsas » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:49 pm

Another attempt:

The Reachmen are descendants of exilants from Atmora, who preceded Ysgramor and the Nord settlers by decades, if not centuries. Their beliefs, like the Nord ones, are derived from Ancient Atmoran totemic beliefs, but subjugated with Elvish deities and philosophies. In the core of Reachmen culture is an ambivalent mixture of mannish and merish philosopies, visible in the continued worship of Sheor and on the other hand myths revealing a merish world view, practically opposing to their very own Human existence. This fact causes the Reachmen to perceive themselves as a produce of Sheors corruption of creation. On one hand they embrace their own flawed existence, while on the other hand they tend to have low regard for themselves or other human peoples.

Ironically, they pursue the exact opposite of Altmeri attempts at purity, by having intermarried with almost any culture they have come in touch with in their history. This is because they actively and willingly live the Evil side of the Merish worldview, possibly because they feel, they cannot deny their Nordic/Mannish roots after all or the Direnni dogmatization has permanently locked them in their inferior role. Here is the biggest difference to the western Bretons who, like the Reachmen, share a Merish worldview but who have managed to modify the Direnni heritage to their own favour, enabling them to be good. The Western Reach was the area of Highrock where Elven rule lasted the longest. The late time of Direnni rule was marked with desparate measures of Direnni nobility of keeping reign over their northern dominion, which might be seen as the root of this difference.

Heritage-wise Reachmen by today are practically closer to Bretons than Nords, but a larger amount of Altmeri heritage mixed with a continued intermarriage with nordic and orcish neighbours still puts them apart significantly. While they are enemies to the Nords, their worldview makes it mandatory to incorporate evil nordic ancestry into their bloodline, this particularly happens within their cultic adherence of Sheor, their beloved corruptor.

In centuries of being part of Septims Empire, Breton missionaries have introduced a more Human-friendly worldview among many Reachmen tribes, in particular, among those close to larger settlements and the Reachmen living under Nord- or Redguard rule. But the extreme worldview is still present among the more remote settlements and periodically Reachmen have seen a revival of their old extreme worldviews, which have helped them to strengthen their bounds to the often self-hurting and violent Reach-Magic. This has also led to some tribes being actively hostile towards outsiders and imperial culture, while others have retained a temparate attitude and trade relations to their surrounding cultures.


Originally there were 10 Reachmen kingdoms spread across The Reach of Skyrim and Highrock. Most of these have diminished into single villages and most of their tribal identities have gone extinct. There are, however, the following 6? tribal identities that are still very strong and present:

Pachkan:
The Pachkanan inhabit the southern Druadach Highlands and are known for their agriculture. The Pachkanan today live peacefully alongside Redguards and Bretons and willingly pay tax to their Nord rulers.

Hunnath:
Most Reachmen living in Vorndgad Forest are descendants of this tribe. The Hunnathan have seen a major revival of Altmeri philosophies in the recent centuries. Most of the members of this tribe are openly hostile or at least very unfriendly to outsiders.

Braign:
This tribe lives spread out along the eastern part of the Druadach Highlands (villages at -109, 6 and -112, 16). The Braignan are known to be unfriendly or even hostile to outsiders, even if less so than the Hunnathan. They live on hunting and maintain some cultic caverns (cavern tomb and cave of trials) around this area.

Farrun:
The Farrunan have always been one of the most-western Reachmen tribes and today consist of mainly imperialized individuals who make up a large part of the population in towns like Farrun or Jehanna. The Farrunan are famous for their advanced smithing skills and their abilities to magically influence the state of metals.


Tribe of the Falkreath?

Tribe of Western Haafinheim and eastern highrock?

Tribe on Mesa 2?

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:28 pm

Flawless work. This clarified a lot of things for me!

User avatar
Yeti
SHotN Jarl
Posts: 468
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:38 pm

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by Yeti » Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:02 pm

Great work on this, Worsas. I think we finally have a clear identity for the Reachmen, after it evaded us for so long. I do have few questions that would help me, and I'm sure others too, understand and write dialogue for the Reachmen.

If the Reachmen see themselves as a corrupted people, do they naturally seek to corrupt the world around them, through warfare and their Reach-magic? Or do they see "purity" as something that should be preserved, even if it is separate from them?

What would their goals as a people be if they were able to mobilize into a cohesive geopolitical movement? I can see them wanting independence, like in TES V, but to what purpose? What would an "ideal" Reach look like to them?

Do they still view the elvish races as their social superiors, and if so, would they take their side in a conflict with the manish races? As willing slaves, perhaps? What would they think of the Thalmor?

They hate the Nords and Imperials for stealing their lands, but they also hate them for not recognizing their flawed place in creation? Am I understanding this correctly?

To what extent do the more "imperialized" Reachmen see their radical kin as backwards or misguided?

I imagine the Reachmen have an affinity for Orcs because they were once elves, but are now "corrupted" like them, correct?


Sorry for the torrent of questions! I started typing and these are what popped into my mind!

User avatar
Scamp
P:C Council Member
Posts: 358
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:51 pm
Location: Falkheim
Contact:

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by Scamp » Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:38 pm

This is a fantastic write-up. I'm curious where the Reachmen on the northernmost mesa that I am currently working on would fit in. I imagined them to be rather unwelcoming and nomadic using temporary establishments only.

User avatar
worsas
Project Administrator
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:23 am

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by worsas » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:02 am

If the Reachmen see themselves as a corrupted people, do they naturally seek to corrupt the world around them, through warfare and their Reach-magic? Or do they see "purity" as something that should be preserved, even if it is separate from them?
Really good question. I could see both happening, depending on the personality of the tribe.

However, despite the somewhat self-harming, self-degrading worldview, I would like to put a pinch of self-acceptance within it all. While they see the world as corrupted and themselves as a produce of corruption, they still see their overall existence as an ultimately good thing and a necessity. Insofar their worldview is not purely Elvish. Sheors deed is seen as a crime, but one that needed to happen and that the current reality is the only right one.
What would their goals as a people be if they were able to mobilize into a cohesive geopolitical movement? I can see them wanting independence, like in TES V, but to what purpose? What would an "ideal" Reach look like to them?
I'm not sure that they would really build a cohesive thing. Depending on the individuals they would try to retain order similar to that previously established by the Empire. Others would act like probably typical barbarian/warlord - like rulers.
Do they still view the elvish races as their social superiors, and if so, would they take their side in a conflict with the manish races? As willing slaves, perhaps? What would they think of the Thalmor?
Some tribes would probably ally with them. But many if not most Reachmen have assumed a worldview that doesn't necessitate them as inferiors of the Elven and would allow them to retain independence.
They hate the Nords and Imperials for stealing their lands, but they also hate them for not recognizing their flawed place in creation? Am I understanding this correctly?
I think that many of the indoctrinations? by the Direnni targeted towards making the Reachmen refuse re-integration with Nords or Bretons. A part of this was the installment of a strong national identity and promise of independence against neighbours. Possibly all of their kingdoms were put in place by Direnni (or revived from a pre-direnni period) who also gave them a certain degree of self-governance to get them acquanted to the idea of indepence from other human kingdoms. The Highrock Elves, while not making humans or half-humans part of their own political system, had many half-elven children that would have been adopted into this new nobility. Anyway, that's just how I picture it.

I don't know if there is really an additional explanation within their worldview that would turn the Nords into arch enemies of some kind for not seeing their place in the overall picture. Though, their worldview at least dictates them to defend the Altmer from Humans, since it would only be logical to aid purity against corruption.
To what extent do the more "imperialized" Reachmen see their radical kin as backwards or misguided?
I think that the imperialized ones see themselves as more modernized when it comes to the radical aspects of ancient beliefs. Most Reachmen pursue the ancient beliefs in some way or the other, but they are more temparate at that and omit the parts that would conflict with their lifestyle.
I imagine the Reachmen have an affinity for Orcs because they were once elves, but are now "corrupted" like them, correct?
Something like that would be possible. The Reachmen embrace their corruptness after all and further corrupting them by incorporating corruption from neighbour cultures/people.

User avatar
worsas
Project Administrator
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:23 am

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by worsas » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:17 am

I'm curious where the Reachmen on the northernmost mesa that I am currently working on would fit in.
Most likely your reachmen will be part of the tribe that also inhabits the western haafinheim.

I'm still wondering about the ones on mesa 2, though, whether they would be yet another tribe or part of a larger tribe from Highrock. Probably the latter, since western Reach of Highrock is currently not very inhabited yet.

User avatar
Scamp
P:C Council Member
Posts: 358
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:51 pm
Location: Falkheim
Contact:

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by Scamp » Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:05 pm

worsas wrote:
I'm still wondering about the ones on mesa 2, though, whether they would be yet another tribe or part of a larger tribe from Highrock. Probably the latter, since western Reach of Highrock is currently not very inhabited yet.
They sure aren't hostile as we've planned it so far. I think they would work as part of a High Rock tribe, especially seeing how far to the west this mesa is.

User avatar
roerich
Project Administrator
Posts: 1484
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:10 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by roerich » Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:16 pm

A few more and some suggestions:

Pachkan:
The Pachkanan inhabit the southern Druadach Highlands (mostly the Braig Cnoss mesa) and are known for their agriculture. The Pachkanan today live peacefully alongside Redguards and Bretons and willingly pay tax to their Nord rulers.
Prominent locations: Haimtír and surrounding lands.

Hunnath:
Most Reachmen living in Vorndgad Forest are descendants of this tribe. The Hunnathan have seen a major revival of Altmeri philosophies in the recent centuries. Most of the members of this tribe are openly hostile or at least very unfriendly to outsiders.
Prominent locations: No permanent villages, although they used to have settlements along the banks of the Karth. Have now retreated into the more remote part of the forest, where they hide and often moves camp.

Braign:
This tribe lives spread out along the eastern part of the Druadach Highlands. The Braignan are known to be unfriendly or even hostile to outsiders, even if less so than the Hunnathan. They live on hunting and maintain some cultic caverns (cavern tomb and cave of trials) around this area. Most are adept at hedge wizardry.
Prominent locations: Villages at -109, 6 and -112, 16

Farrun:
The Farrunan have always been one of the most-western Reachmen tribes and today consist of mainly imperialized individuals who make up a large part of the population in towns like Farrun or Jehanna. The Farrunan are famous for their advanced smithing skills and their abilities to magically influence the state of metals. They are probably one of the most populous tribes, if the term tribe even makes sense in this connection. Most outsiders could mistake them for regular Bretons, were it not for their continued tradition of face tattooing.
Prominent locations: Farrun, Jehenna, many smaller villages and hamlets in the surrounding lands.

Bordraigh:
The tribes that lived in the Lower Druadachs (the region between Druadach Highlands and Falkar Foothills) are known collectively as the Bordraighan tribes. Milleniums of living on a shifting border turned the culture of these borderer tribes xenophobic, distrustful of outsiders, aggressive and stubborn. The tribes were often seperated by a border, and were forcefully conscripted by different Nord warlords, Breton princes, etc. forced to fight their neighbours and raid the villages of family members. The Bordraighan have gotten very customed to a harsh, martial life, and raiding has constituted a large part of their income for years uncounted, Nord, Breton and Reachmen villages alike are put to the torch. On top of that, they are very talented horsemen. Following the war of Bend'r Mahk, King Vongyd of Markarth grew tired of these unruly tribes, and started a campaign to push them out of the region. Most have now migrated to the Sundered Hills or blended in with other tribes, fleeing into the Druadach mesas.
Prominent locations: Old Hrol'dan

Nourhtu:
Blanket term for the northern tribes in Western Haafinheim. Nomadic tribes that migrate with elk end reindeer herds across the northern tundras. Hostile when threathened, but otherwise they don't care much for the outside world. They are spread out in many smaller camps (4-5 small huts), but join one another in a large camp for the harshest months of winter. Their primitive religious beliefs are more Atmoran in nature than the other Reachmen tribes, as their rural lifestyle has led to less contact with the Direnni. No permanent, larger houses in their settlements, they only make use of the small huts and the shelters.
Prominent locations: Aaltu Camp, Laakhu Camp, Mearra Camp.

User avatar
worsas
Project Administrator
Posts: 1912
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:23 am

Re: Reachman Lore

Post by worsas » Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:48 pm

That sounds good so far. I think, however, that there needs to be one or maybe even two more highrock tribes to complement the tribe scenery beyond the border, even if it's a purely theoretical thing (like the Farrunan are).

Maybe call them Dratt and Shanath? Just a possibility. No particular thoughts on their character so far.

One of them should be the tribe containing the reachmen from mesa 2 who are suffering from lycanthrops (wereboars).

Post Reply

Return to “SHotN Lore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest