The Direnni

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The Direnni

Postby Luxray » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:30 pm

After roerich mentioned Pelinal in the channel I read the books about Cyrodiil at the time of Alessia and found this interesting, relevant thing in The Last King of the Ayleids:

Then in 361 ... most of the remaining Ayleids simply left Cyrodiil, eventually being absorbed into the Elven populations of Valenwood and High Rock. Indeed, the rise of the Direnni Hegemony may be linked to this exodus of Ayleids from Cyrodiil (a connection so far little studied by historians).


Pretty cool that some exodus Ayleids integrated to become part of the Direnni-clan. Potential scope for Ayleid influences on the Direnni interior set, maybe.

As Scamp would say, feel free to use the rest of this thread to discuss Direnni-stuff.
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Re: The Direnni

Postby Scamp » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:56 pm

As mentioned on the IRC... I do think the amount of Direnni Ruins currently placed around the Reach is simply too small.

You'd think the former rulers of this area would've established more fortresses or settlements in general. Especially if we are talking about a "rise of the Direnni Hegemony" it seems a bit odd to only have a total of about 2 or 3 ruins in the Reach. Not saying we should start putting them all over the place, but a few more could help establish the idea of this former instance of power.

Besides, isn't it a beautiful tileset to look at?
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Re: The Direnni

Postby roerich » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:22 am

Scamp wrote:You'd think the former rulers of this area would've established more fortresses or settlements in general.


Yes, this is correct. The Reach and (in particular the Western Reach I think), is supposed to have been a massively guarded border, securing the Direnni holdings from the Nords, as seen here:

As a prevention against further incursions from Skyrim, the Elves fashioned the Western Reach into an impregnable barrier. It was because of this that the Reach remained under Elven rule the longest of any part of High Rock which can still be seen today.

http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Western_Reach
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Re: The Direnni

Postby roerich » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:37 pm

I was thinking in term of artifacts and other treasures to be found in Direnni ruins, and I propose that it would be fitting to add several unique alchemical apparatuses on the same level as the grandmaster set or perhaps even more powerful. Other artifacts could be related to the Mercantile skill, like magically altered scales used by the Direnni to swindle the original Nedic population of High Rock and giving them an advance in trading. These would be scripted to give the player a Mercantile skill boost (+5-10 pts. or more) while in the inventory, or perhaps have an "use" function like other enchanted gear.
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Re: The Direnni

Postby Lord Berandas » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:24 pm

I like the idea of artifact alchemy apparatuses. We need more unusual artifacts...how about some rare "trash" as dwemers had - cogs, tubes, coins, dishes...I can imagine Direnni ruins full of antique vases, statues, symbols and stuff like that. And how about my forbidden Malachite Weapons set, wouldn't it be fitting? hm, hm? :D

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Re: The Direnni

Postby Luxray » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:14 pm

From the text "Father of the Niben"...

"It may be poetic license, of course, but we do have archeological proof that the Merethic Aldmer were sophisticated archers. Their bows of layers of wood and horn drawn by silver silk thread are beautiful, and still, I have heard experts say, millennia later, very deadly."

Scope for archery stuff if we want to go that way.
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Re: The Direnni

Postby roerich » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:45 am

Possibly another Direnni, Ayleid or Aldmer artifact?
- Silver Bow of Elenglynn
- Vanuan Bow
- Sercen's Bow

I think the artifacts added to the Reach should be mostly Direnni or Reachmen stuff.
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Re: The Direnni

Postby Yeti » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:59 am

Believe it or not, but there is actually some quality books from ESO posted online concerning the Direnni:

THE BRETONS: MONGRELS OR PARAGONS?

By Phrastus of Elinhir

That Men and Mer can interbreed has been known since the first humans began arriving on the shores of Tamriel in the middle of the Merethic Era. However, broad intermingling of Elves and humans only occurred in the far northwest of the continent, giving rise to the race of Men known as the Bretons. Given the history of conflict between humans and the children of Aldmeris elsewhere in Tamriel, how and why did this intermingling occur in High Rock?

The answer lies in the peculiar (for Elves) culture of Clan Direnni, the once-dominant Mer of northwest Tamriel. In contrast to the Ayleids of Cyrodiil, who brutally enslaved any humans they came into contact with, the Direnni simply conquered their local Nedes and then ruled them as a caste of nobility. The aristocratic Elves established a system of feudal vassalage over their human subjects, with rights and privileges that included the "Perquisite of Coition" with any human they desired. Sex with attractive Nedes was considered casual recreation, and Direnni nobles competed to have stables of the most desirable human subjects.

The inevitable Half-Elven offspring from these liaisons were not adopted into the families of their Direnni parents, being considered sub-Mer, but were nonetheless often given privileged positions among the subject Nedes. Over time, this led to the establishment of a recognized caste of mixed-blood humans, who were given the name "Bretons" (from the Ehlnofex "beratu," or "half"). The Breton caste was only allowed to marry humans, so over time their Elven blood became more diluted, and the Nedic appearance predominated.

Though they wielded great power for a time in the First Era, even then the Elves of Clan Direnni were never numerous, and as their geographical hegemony expanded administration and rulership was increasingly handed off to the Breton caste. After defeating the invading Alessian Horde in 1E 482 Clan Direnni was scattered and effectively exhausted. As the Elves retreated to central High Rock, then finally Balfiera Isle, the Bretons stepped easily into their shoes, assuming the feudal hierarchy established by the Direnni and simply replacing them with their own noble families.

The Breton nobles, who had been forced to differentiate themselves from the Direnni part of their heritage, justified their new ascension by distancing themselves from Elves and everything Elven—ironically so, as the Elven blood ran strongest in the older noble families. The Direnni were increasingly vilified by their former vassals, and the island clan became ever more insular and isolationist. However, they were still known as powerful magicians, and they were strong enough to repel an attempted Redguard invasion in 1E 907.

The Bretons continued redefining themselves, inventing a myth of a history of noble resistance to Direnni rule, and developing a thriving merchant class that began trading around the coasts of Tamriel. By the time the Empress Hestra and her legions arrived at Bangkorai Pass in 1E 1029, they were ready to join the Empire of Men and embrace the Eight Divines. Under the Remans, High Rock was possibly the most stable and prosperous province in the Second Empire.

Which brings us back to the (deliberately provocative) question of our title: are the Bretons then mongrels, or paragons? The answer, of course, is both (though if you call a Breton a mongrel, he is liable to feed you an inch or two of steel). The passionate race of Bretons embodies the strengths of both Men and Mer—as well as their flaws.


ONCE

By Beredalmo the Signifier

Once, we were great.

Once, our battlereeves were masters of warfare, and our sapiarchs were wise and learned. Once, we ruled all High Rock from the Eltheric Ocean to the mountains of Wrothgar, and the Nedes were our thralls and concubines.

Once, Direnni Cygnus, the Swan of Tyrigel, discovered Balfiera and its Tower and claimed it for her own, decreeing that all of her clan who came after would bear her name.

Once, the art of Alchemy was all but undefined, until Asliel Direnni compiled his "Compendious Almanac of Reagents," and was invited to join the first Psijics on Artaeum.

Once, before Raven Direnni and her "Rules of Eldritch Binding," all Enchanting was unique, and enchantments failed nineteen times out of twenty.

Once, during the Alessian Reforms, Ryan Direnni stood up to the entire Empire. His Breton Legions, armed and commanded by Direnni Elves, controlled all the land as far east as Markarth and Elinhir. The Orc-hold of Orsinium has been sacked many times, but we Direnni sacked it first.
Once, at the Battle of Glenumbria Moors, Aiden Direnni's vastly outnumbered troops routed the entire Alessian Horde, then chased them back to Cyrodiil.

Once, before Corvus Direnni codified the rules of Conjuration, every summoning of even a minor Daedra was an act to be feared and avoided.

Once, Peregrine Direnni drove an entire Ra Gada flotilla back to Sentinel by merging her very will with the waves of the Iliac Bay.

Once, in a single day, Pelladil Direnni built Blackrose Prison from the scattered rubble of Lilmothiit ruins by summoning an army of Stone Atronachs.

Yes, we were great once. But no matter what our individual achievements, every Direnni since Cygnus has been eaten from within by failure.

Because we cannot solve the mystery of the Zero Stone, and use it to open the Argent Aperture which it wards.

At maturity, every Direnni of high blood is brought into the Tower, conducted to the Foundation Vault, and shown the Zero Stone. We are allowed to touch it—once—so as to feel the transcendent mystical power that courses through it, a power we have never been able to tap. And we are shown the Argent Aperture in the adjacent metallic wall, that door with its lock of thirteen slowly counter-rotating rings, a portal we have never been able to open.

And we console ourselves that if we Direnni have never been able to siphon the Stone or unlock the Aperture, well then certainly, neither could anyone else. We return to the world above, and we do something spectacular—so we will not have to face our failure.

But once, as our lives near their ends, each of us gathers together all our knowledge, the fruits of all our achievements, and once more makes that descent to the Foundation Vault. To try it. Just once.

Most are found within a day or two, dead and horribly distorted. Some, like my darling Heron, live on though terribly disfigured, too brain-blasted to understand what has happened to them.

Me? I keep to our chambers in the Tourmaline Steeple, caring for Heron by day, and translating Ayleid tomes in the library by night. And it's a good enough life, too.

Though sometimes, when working on an ancient grimoire or librus magus I question whether the arcane writings of our long-lost cousins are not better left a mystery.

But then I think, is not all knowledge useful for something? And I think, what might this knowledge be useful for?

And I think I might take that long walk downstairs.

Just once.
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Re: The Direnni

Postby roerich » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:08 pm

Nice find, Yeti. This fits well with our current Direnni plans, I think. The second text had some weird names for ES elves (Ryan? .. Peregrine? :-D)
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Re: The Direnni

Postby roerich » Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:45 pm

Direnni ruin questions:

What should the player be able to find in the Direnni ruins? Here's some assorted ideas that can be expanded upon:

- Daedra trafficking. Scamp pens, conjuration chambers, enchanting, soul gems. A Dremora lord seeking a long gone Direnni Warlock that owes him.
- Extensive alchemical laboratories
- General living quarters of the Elven lords and nobility
- Soldier quarters; the Reach was the first line of fortification against the savage Atmorans
- Slave quarters for Nedic, Goblin and Scamp slaves. Some Daedra
- Reachmen marauders and mystics

The Direnni ruins are the Dwemer ruins of the Reach, except not. We know why the Direnni dissappeared (from the Reach), they're still around on Balfiera and Sumerset, and probably a few will pop up in the Reach as well. They look weird (in a good way), and are powered by magic for lights and other mechanisms. The ruin gates have self-locking mechanisms, and as such some of them are still unopened since the Elves left them. Most have had their gates destroyed and ruins looted. The Reachmen are proud of their Elven heritage, and some seek the Direnni ruins to perform ancient magickal rituals, and some tribes even live in and among the ruins.

Further questions:

- What was the primary function of the stronghold ruins?
- How do we manage to not make the Direnni generic high fantasy Elves?
- How should the ruins be named?
- What enemies and loot should be found in the ruins?

Needed assets:

- Direnni armor parts
- Direnni furniture (chair, bench, table, chests, containers, beds etc.)
- Torn Direnni banners (the bull sigil on a red background)
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Re: The Direnni

Postby Worsas » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:04 pm

What was the primary function of the stronghold ruins?

They are clearly seats of power to symbolize domination. Obviously they are defensive structures aswell with their walls and watch towers. The glassy top of the main towers is still unclear in function. The way I have seen them so far is that they should concentrate magicka for a certain purpose. There were ideas like having them contain magical portals or magical wells.

How do we manage to not make the Direnni generic high fantasy Elves?

I don't see this as a major concern for myself. The fact that they are Altmer already makes them different from the elves in other realms. I assume we won't look at LOTR or Dungeons&Dungeons as main sources of inspiration.

How should the ruins be named?

If there are no references on altmeri place names, we could look about collecting aldmeri place names known from different aldmeri people (dunmer, ayleid, bosmer, orsimer) and make up something derived from them based on our best knowledge. Here I would consider a possible impact on place names in highrock (Balfiera, Glenumbra...) and maybe give our names a similar ring. I do not know if the edgy, rough sound of reachmen names could have an influence here aswell, assuming that there is any particular linguistic relation to be expected (I think of the Reachmen language to stem from Atmoran myself). Apart from those possible influences the ruin names should appear like altmeri place names you might aswell encounter on the Sumurset Isles.

What enemies and loot should be found in the ruins?

loot:
- Direnni weaponry
- soul gems
- some fractions of ancient alchemy equipment, not necessarily a complete set.
- maybe moonstone, silver and other metals?
- direnni coins?
- direnni tableware?

creatures:
- goblins
- ghosts and skeletons
- i don't know

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Re: The Direnni

Postby roerich » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:12 am

Good points, Worsas. I still think Daedra should be a common enemy in some of the ruins. Here's what I could find on naming:

Direnni firstnames:
Aiden, Asliel, Jovron, Medora, Pelladil, Raven, Ryain, Vorian

Direnni placenames: Balfiera, Diren, Glenumbra, Tyrigel, Jehenna (conjecture, see below)


The Western Reach

The Western Reach is actually the easternmost section of the Breton lands; its name derives from its location on Skyrim's western border. During the First Empire, it was incorporated as one of the Holds of Skyrim, and many Nords settled in its rolling hills and pleasant valleys. But they paid a terrible price during the Dissolution of Skyrim's Empire; the Aldmeri retook the Western Reach with a vengeance, slaughtering the Nord colonists to a man; precious little Nord blood flows in the veins of today's Reachmen. As a hedge against future incursions from Skyrim, the Aldmeri fashioned the Western Reach into an impregnable bastion. Thus, the Western Reach remained under Elven rule the longest of any part of High Rock, and the legacy of this dark sojourn can still be seen today.


I think it's safe to assume Jehenna and maybe even Dragonstar or Evermore have Direnni origins, or at least traces of the hegemony having ruled the city. Not too sure about the names, perhaps Jehenna has an Elven origin.

Isle of Balfiera

This island in the Iliac Bay has been used for centuries as a neutral meeting place for diplomatic negotiations and treaty signings by the kingdoms of High Rock. It is also famous for the enigmatic structure known as Direnni Tower, a circular tower soaring hundreds of feet into the sky. The traditional ruler of the island is known as the Castellan of Balfiera, perhaps reflecting his original role as commander of Direnni (or Balfiera) Tower, which was used as a fortress, prison, and palace by the infamous Direnni Hegemony. Even more curiously, the hereditary Castellans are High Elves, the only known Elven ruling family remaining in human lands. The Castellans continue to reside in the Tower, although its true provenance and purpose remains a mystery. A recent archaelogical study, using the latest techniques of divination and sorcery, has pushed the Tower's construction date back to around ME2500, making it by far the oldest known structure in Tamriel. Although it has been much modified and added on to over the years, its core is a smooth cylinder of shining metal; the Tower is believed to extend at least as far beneath the surface as is now visible above, although its deepest bowels have never been systematically explored.


If I'm reading this correctly, only a small Direnni family stay on Balfiera to live in Ada-mantia.
The Reachmen are a mongrel breed, even for Bretons. Descended originally from one of the earliest Atmoran tribes to settle Tamriel, their lineage now partakes of nearly every race imaginable. The uprising that finally "freed" the Western Reach ended in the extermination of the Aldmeri overlords, but Elven blood still flows strong in the Reachmen, and they share the secretive, haughty demeanor of that race. [...][/quote]
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Re: The Direnni

Postby Luxray » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:54 pm

We can always give some of the Direnni locations English names like 'the Sundered Towers', though that doesn't help for all of the ruins. Interesting and evocative Nordic and Reachmenic placenames are just as good as pseudo-Direnni names IMO.
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Re: The Direnni

Postby Scamp » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:13 am

roerich wrote:[...]

Direnni firstnames:
Aiden [...]


Played too much Watch Dogs lately? :mrgreen:

I don't feel like we should use English names as Luxray suggested. We should stick with what Morrowind did: give ruins names that come from the respective language.

...not too much of an Altmeri expert here, though.
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Re: The Direnni

Postby roerich » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:36 pm

No, I pulled all those names straight from UESP.

Also, I agree with Scamp on English names in general, maybe an exceptionally unique location like Sundered Towers can have an English name.

Fun fact: In Tamriel the common language (Tamrielic (English)) is derived from old Aldmeric. Like Ald->old etc.
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