While I’ve been rather critical about the story in Elder Scrolls there are quite a few elements I really enjoy. I’ve talked about just how detailed much of the story is within and while they do tend to repeat certain themes much of it is tied into the overarching lore of the world and how it relates to the people. It is these stories I enjoy just by how much they immerse within the world, for all there boring nature at times it becomes not just a simple act of slaying to complete quests but being a part of a deep background.
The political elements within always seem to get my attention. Now I’m not talking about the entirely uncharacteristic and childish attitude of the alliance leaders, that’s rather ridiculous but more the way the various faction people get about in their daily life. Throughout these stories you get a picture of the various pressures place on certain groups and just the adherence to certain cultural Standards
The Orkish Settlements have there own rules governing their villages between being the chief and wives as well as what roles the villagers choose. There is always certain power differentials being worked out and as you can expect, much of it is physical but its just so natural.
There are many different Elven groups around Aldemeri Dominion that mostly work together yet have large differences in the ideals that govern them. I imagine conflict can happen over these but also, you see a lot of themes based around temptation, straying from a certain path. The political path of Most Mer people are extremely governed by many rules and guidelines with huge consequences to breaking them. I originally dismissed them as some sort of hippy nation but there adherence to these rules is almost militant in there fervent belief and action. Killing and eating someone that breaks an agreement actually seems normal to them.
There are other forces within Tamriel too vying for greater control and I can almost see the why and how of their actions. Many are after land, The colivians almost seems like a growing faction by themselves, a power weaker than that of the other alliances but that’s after more land, power and influence. Sometimes they are obviously misguided but then, they wouldn’t have the backing of their own forces if such actions were unfounded.
Then there is the guilds themselves and the pressures they face remaining in a neutral state within each of the alliances territories. To start apart of such fervent fighting places a huge pressure on them and the stories themselves touch on this at many occasions. Your helping them is often a way to get around appearing aligned to one force in particular. Constant political manoeuvring on their part but also many people trying to disrupt this.
The Other main element is the certain Caste System, Each village seems to have a tiered importance with its occupants and when you get to the larger Towns this is even more pronounced. An upper part of diplomats and dignitaries, governors and other law bodies. Then there is often a trickle down effect to local leaders and managerial types. It’s a rather apt medieval system but with much of the more unsavoury parts of such a system removed. Everyone seems to be working together
The area that interests me is the part religion plays within Tamriel. For many parts it is an important factor in peoples lives, guiding principles for behaviour and actions and as a result spurns many towards action.
Much of the Mer seem to revere the land itself, The green Pact guides and behaviour towards the land. Those creating harm to the forest, the plants and trees will need to be punished in order for the land to return to a neutral. A weird religion in a way as they still kill, animals and people but any action that harms nature is deemed inappropriate. Because of these beliefs there alcohol is created from meat as well with many ceremonies taking this into account. I guess it’s more readily available to them in this state of being.
There are also pillars of the Bosmer communities like the Silvenar and WilderQueen/King that have a closer connection to the land and thus become more revered. The share more knowledge and understanding but also have a stronger part in the decision making of the tribes. There is little flexibility in the decision although, with the force creating the imbalance usually needed to be killed or sacrificed. The Mer in this aspect are actually the more barbaric race, especially so when you consider the use and implications of the wild Hunt, a ritual designed to make them all nothing more than mindless killing machines that I’m guessing are still guided by the land in some way in order to protect it.,
I really enjoyed the Khajit religious tones throughout Reapers march too. A rather aancient feeling religion with a worship of planetary cycles, especially the moon. With this and the architecture it does have a lot of Incan elements. It’s funny being bestowed the title of Hollow Moon in this aspect as it denotes a central importance within the culture, that you are an inner and guiding space for the moon itself… For that of the mane, the ruler and guiding force of the people.
Now, where these Religions get tricky in there reflection of real world religion is that, for many of them it is not merely myth, it is a lived experience. These Gods are just some sort of embodiment of natural ideals given mythical form but active beings that shape these cultures as well as being able to influence. Our own religions foundation is that of faith, a belief in a certain order and higher power we neither can see, feel or witness the actions of. Here they are tangible elements that affect daily living… is that really religion or just being the subjects to a higher being.
I can even understand the worm cults actions in a way, those doing the bidding of the major protagonist for ESO. They obviously aligned with the stronger power in order to gain power of their own. Some stories even point to the act being one of coercion or of just seeing it as the only path, doomsday seems to be coming and better to be a servant rather than a slave. Add this to the fact that quite a few of the races and other important groups worship a range of the Daedric lords and then it’s just picking one among many.
There is just something about these elements in particular that create a more engaging story here and its good to see just how much detail has gone into creating the world, this lore and the people trying to make their way within it. It’s a very natural element to have in a game that creates some far more personal conflict points for the player to engage in and resolve… one that also enable many different mechanics in that resolution. Such themes are obliviously hard to do though, needing an insane amount of time devoted to the backstory and interrelationship of the various people and factions but I’m glad it’s here.
#ESO #Story #Lore