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Headscratchers: The Elder Scrolls
  • If the guy you meet at the start of Morrowind killed off all the Cliff Racers at the beginning of the Fourth Era, then why does Mjoll the Lioness in Skyrim say she used to go to Morrowind and hunt them with her father? Unless Mjoll is a lot older than her appearance would suggest, it doesn't make sense.
    • Given that some of the descriptions of what Jiub did specifies that it was in Vvardenfell, presumably Jiub didn't kill all the Cliff Racers — there might have been colonies left to be hunted on Morrowind's mainland long after Jiub's death and Red Year.
    • Accounts in the lore mention that Jiub drove them away from Vvardenfell, not kill them. The logical place for them to escape would be the mainland Morrowind.
  • How are there so many Divine beings in the Elder Scrolls verse? Could the Aedra and Daedra actually count as race of people since they're so numerous?
    • Why not? Anyway, the Altmer actually believe that they're descended from lesser Aedra. That's why the Thalmor hate Talos, he represents Man, who is local to Nirn, and Lorkhan, the trickster-god who trapped them and bound their power to Nirn.
    • Did you know that Hinduism has over 300 million deities in it, total? Classical mythology has dozens, Norse mythology has dozens. It's not that unusual.
    • In terms of active major gods, the elder scrolls universe only seems to have the daedra (17 since the events of oblivion), the nine divines (9 in total), light and logic (2), Magnus, Ebonarm and Mannimarco. That's only 30 major gods, which, as the above poster pointed out, is very little compared to many real life polytheistic religions
    • They (the et'Ada) seem to be either a race or several races of beings with God-like powers.
    • (Lore Explanation here; be aware that, since the Lore seems to change every two weeks, the details may or may not vary) - First there was Anu, the force of order and stasis. Then, there was Padomay, the force of chaos and change. From them was born Nir. Nir became pregnant with Anu; Padomay, in a rage, beat Nir, who then died of childbirth, birthing the Twelve Worlds. Anu then battled Padomay and cast him outside time. Afterwards, Anu went to sleep. When Padomay returned from outside Time, he saw creation and hated it, destroying the Twelve Worlds. Anu then woke up and battled Padomay; the battle ended with Padomay's death and Anu falling into sleep outside time. In Anu's sleep, he became the Amaranth, everlasting hypnogogic, a Godhead of his own world. Anu then dreamed of another Anu and Padomay; these two were mindless forces with no will of their own. The interplay between the two created an Aurbis; the original, primordial living spirits that inhabited the Aurbis are known as the Et'Ada, which includes all of the Aedra and the Daedra. To get an idea of the actual numbers; look at the sky. The stars, specifically. Each one of them is a hole created by one of the Magna Ge who realized that the creation of Nirn (Mundus/The World) was stealing their divinity. Not only that, but all mortals are descended from Et'Ada, all physical laws are built upon the bones of Et'Ada, and all lesser Daedra are just as well described as lesser Et'Ada. They are a separate "Race". Not a species, just a massive amount of gods. We don't see most of them because the majority want nothing to do with Nirn.
  • The legal system bugs me. You can go on a killing spree and then simply pay a fine! How the smeg does that work in terms of justice? Its basically enforced anarchy in a system that favors the rich!
    • Murder is a fine, but if you steal the original manuscript of the Bible (i forgot what its actually called, its been a while since i played. the native book of sermons thing that has copies all over the place. the original manuscript, worth 5000 gold is in a shack guarded by a monk guy) the penalty is instantly death.
      • It's the original manuscript of Saryoni's Sermons.
    • The rich would not have a problem with that, and the poor don't get a choice.
    • Why does it only apply to you? How can it be "Realistic" and "Immersive" if I can't watch other people resist arrest or get arrested because they are asleep on the roads and the guards tell me, "Move along citizen" when there's an enraged elf trying to punch me to death? That's just nitpicking though but I would love to see random events where guards have to break up a bar fight or street brawl, or part of a story-quest where one could to start a riot and then steal stuff for the Thieves' Guild while the guards are asking for everyone to pay fines or go to jail for a couple days.
      • Apparently ideas like this were considered but the AI, when made so "dynamic", encountered all sorts of bugs. Judging by how badly the AI handles in the vanilla game, even when going through preset motions... it's probably just as well. Also while it may have been more "immersive", it would be frustrating if you could not start or progress in a quest because a crucial NPC was in jail due to events beyond your control.
    • If I recall correctly, the actual legal system employed by the Norse worked something like that - one found guilty of murder was obliged to pay a fine to the deceased's kin, and if they couldn't pay they were jailed or exiled.
      • Yes, the Westrogothic Law had a fine for murder set at 21 marks—equivalent to the value of a small farm plus serfs and livestock.
    • I'm going to presume the OP lives in a Common Law Country- The most ancient law of the Common Law is that killing a man requires a Weregild of two cows to the victim's family or gold or goods of equivalent value in compensation. That rule still exists (obviously with more contemporary payouts), and it's the Tort of Wrongful Death (The one they got OJ Simpson on.)
  • Why does the "detect life" spell cause golems and undead to light up? They're not alive.
    • I assume it detects a soul present in a creature. Undead are souls bound to a corpse, and golems are souls bound to a structure. So, it does make sense. Of course, with this, maybe you should be able to detect filled soul gems with detect life. Maybe the nature of the soul gem makes the soul inactive or something, unlike when it is bound to a corpse or something like that.
    • That doesn't explain why it works on the robots in Morrowind.
    • Life refers to animation.
    • Skyrim has now separated "detect life" and "detect dead" spells, neither of which detect constructs. There is a nebulous concept of "Aura" in the form of a shout which detects both though.
    • Except they totally can. Most bows today are fiberglass, metal, or laminated wood. Even the ancient Hindus had metal bows according to some archaeologists.
    • If I recall correctly, the bows' cores are made of metal and are thin enough to be flexible. The surrounding material is still wood. Which doesn't seem to make much sense for glass, but... Yeah.
    • Actually they can. They are very different from wooden bows (generally the shoot "straighter" but they drop off faster), but a metal bow is just as feasible as a wooden bow. You'd be better off complaining about how a glass bow works.
      • "Glass" is actually rare metals studded with glass made from volcanic ash.
  • If the Cammona Tong are a xenophobic Dumner nationalist/supremacist criminal group, why is it they not only have a Nord in their ranks, but also have that same Nord in charge of one of their biggest operations?
    • The enforcement of equal-opportunity law is just as strict as enforcement of anti-theft law, and they figure acting otherwise is more trouble than its worth and they can kill the Nord later on?
    • Possibly Morrowind's history as part of the First Empire of the Nords, and its border with Skyrim, means the enmity towards Nords is a little different to that felt to the other races. Dagon Fel, of course, is mostly Nords, so it's possible he isn't an 'outlander' per se. One could argue that the dislike should be stronger, seeing as a war was fought to kick them out, but as that was a very long time ago, any descendents of those Nords or those now associated with that ethnos may be accepted as natives, moreso at least than the resented Imperials and those associated with them.
    • The Camonna Tong's policies extend beyond being racist - there are real-life anti-immigration groups which have members from ethnic minorities. The Cammona Tong do not like foreigners but, while most of their members may be racist, "officially" they "only" want an outlander-free Morrowind. It could be that they hired a Nord and promoted him to a notable position to combat allegations of racism in the past and to possibly garner more sympathy for their cause... they're bigoted, but they're not stupid, and they know that they're campaigning for an unpopular cause.
    • Maybe they couldn't afford to pay the fines.
  • So...How would they have an Elder Scrolls without Uriel Septim?
    • Easily. Since the Elder Scrolls actually have nothing to do with the Emperor.
      • It's a joke..but seriously, have you ever noticed how the emperor is practically involved with either starting the "main quest" or ordering you to do something that leads you to the main quest, somehow? He's more or less the reason you're even doing stuff in Arena, sends you to start the quest in Daggerfall, pardons you and sends you to Morrowind, then pretty much starts the quest in Oblivion.
      • Guess TES 5 will involve finding (or maybe becoming?) the Emperor - perhaps in Akavir where there is an emperor unaccounted for that may have had descendants? Or, perhaps, the Nevarine who was also suspected of going there? Good job for a prisoner as well ... "Go to this continent that eats people and find someone that may or may not exist."
      • Skyrim is actually about the fact that the Empire (and thus Skyrim) is tearing apart with the end of the Septim dynasty at the end of Oblivion. So even 200 years later, Uriel is still making prisoners escape into the outside world to smack some bandits' faces in.
  • In Morrowind, the Daedric Face of Inspiration (daedric_fountain_helm) looks like a leering demonic face, while the Daedric Face of Terror (daedric_terrifying_helm) looks like a fountain. Did the graphics files get switched?
    • Taking a second's look at the filenames you have posted there I can say, yes, the names were switched for some reason, probably accidentally. Why is that an issue?
  • Wait, how exactly is the fact that the PC of Morrowind is The Chosen One ambiguous? Throughout the main quest, you are plagued by nightmares, all concerning the Blight Storms, House Dagoth, etc, and last time I checked, dreams weren't part of Azura's portfolio. Not to mention that many of Dagoth Ur's servant's including his right-hand man, all refer to you as Lord Nerevar.
    • Just because Dagoth Ur thinks you are does not make it true. Remember, Dagoth Ur is the man who thinks that you'd appreciate being infected with painfully disfiguring doom-disease and has been living alone in a Volcano for the last few centuries brooding over how his mates betrayed him (and Nerevar).
    • Also, don't forget, the wise woman of the nomadic Ashlanders said that you were not physically Nerevar reincarnated, but she went on to say that that couldn't stop you from collecting Neravar's artifacts and claiming his title through skill, rather than birth. Also, the dreams were the effect of Dagoth Ur's blight: the sleepers and dreamers were all people who got these dreams, but were either corrupted by it, or saw a chance for a new beginning in them and joined Dagoth Ur's cause. You, obviously, were not a weak-minded commoner.
    • A LOT of people were thought to be the Nerevarine, and displayed different signs of this. It is possible that Azura just kept sending dreams and prophecies to people until SOMEONE pulled through. And Dagoth Ur got into the habit of infecting everyone who might pose a threat with the Corprus Disease; meaning that either his enemies would become horrible, brainless bloated monsters that everyone would either run away screaming from or kill on sight, or their brains would be warped enough for him to take over so he could turn them into Ascended Sleepers. Or Ash Vampires...
    • In many Buddhist traditions, reincarnation is not necessarily rebirth. It can be that one takes on the nature of the famed figure and BECOMES the reincarnation of said figure. I always figured that's how it worked in Morrowind. Either you pursue this prophecy and become the Nerevarine, or you don't and you aren't. *shrug*
      • That's actually a concept in the setting - it's called Mantling.
  • If Jyggalag is the Daedric Prince of Order, where does that leave Peryite?
    • Jyggalag is, essentially, the Void of change. He is immobile, dead, order. Peryite is just orderly order, similar to a hive mind or somesuch.
    • Peryite has also been attributed to "pestilence" and the "commanding of the lowest orders of Oblivion as the Taskmaster."
    • So, Peryite's really just a classic reference to Middle Managment and Lawyers.
      • He is considered canonly the wimpiest of the Daedric Princes despite his form being a dragon.
  • How is an axe a blunt weapon? It's got a big honking blade!
    • They had too many bladed weapons to begin with, and not enough blunt. Needed to balance it a bit.
    • Well, couldn't they have just added some pickaxe weapons? Maybe a sjambok?
    • I can't recall where, but I saw it explained as a matter of similar weight balance. Axes and maces both have heavier heads, while Blade weapons are balanced closer to the middle or hilt. Forgot the exact details though.
    • The main point is in the way they do damage; you don't simply hit things with a sword; when you make contact you pull the blade along the surface so it can cut/carve through. With an ax, you don't do that. You simply crush through, using the blade as a focus point for the pressure. Swords carve and axes crush, which is the same as a hammer or club, just that the damage is more focused.
  • The bizarre chop suey culture. It looks like it takes renaissance Europe, tosses in a little bit of Feudal Japan, and dumps in a metric crapton of magic. Does it even remotely make sense? NO, NO IT DOESN'T. the story is good, but the stitched-together culture ruins it for me.
    • It didn't ruin it for me. It made sense why the Blades look like European versions of the Japanese samurai. They're old, the history going back into time immemorial. Same with the Samurais. They are an old ideal, going back hundreds of years.
    • Um... if you paid attention to the history of Tamriel it would all make sense. The "Feudal Japan" bits were imported from the other side of the world, and preserved solely through isolated tradition. And if you think having Akavir be a Feudal Japan while Tamriel's Rennaissance Europe is weird, then how do you justify the difference in real life? They're both on opposite sides of their respective worlds.
    • Then would you rather have everything to be a bland Medieval Fantasy with a side of neutered wannabe-renaissance? I kid, but the real world alone have a crap ton of different cultures, so why shouldn't Elder Scrolls? Not to mention generalizing Elder Scrolls as being completely Renaissance Europe is completely false. Cyrodiil for example is a cross between Roman Empire and Imperial Chinese cultures(which was dropped for indiscriminate reasons and replaced with a generic Dungeons & Dragons setting in Oblivion, but then changed back in Skyrim). Underneath the alien qualities, Morrowind is quite Islamic and even Japanese (check the architecture of Mournhold), and Hammerfall has always been depicted as having an Arabic culture with Caribbean and Japanese elements (Sword-Singers yo). Even the Falmer/Snow Elves have a slight Indian tint to them.
  • The Khajiit forms being related to the phase of the moon when they're born thing doesn't make a lot of sense. The child has been developing, growing inside the womb for a number of months, one assumes it is going to have a predefined body shape before it actually comes out. What happens if labor's induced or the child is cut out before the full term? Would make more sense if it were determined by the phase of the moon during conception rather than birth.
    • Maybe it is determined by conception, but everyone calculates it wrong and the actual dates are nine months earlier. Say, for example, a Kahjiit Ohmes-Raht during one moon phase, and they call that phase the Ohmes-Raht phase, but the actual Ohme-Raht cycle really happened nine months earlier. They don't notice the inconsistency because all of their calculations are off by the length of the average pregnancy.
    • It's mentioned that when Khajiit are born, they are much smaller and less developed than the children of other species, but have a growth spurt afterwards. Presumably, its only during the growth spurt that they take their final form.
  • Glass weaponry. Wouldn't a glass sword shatter if you hit it against something?
    • Sigh. Once again, in the world of Elder Scrolls, the material 'Glass', does not refer to the same glass-made-of-sand. It's a volcanic material, similar to Ebony. It's used to make weapons and armor due to its flexibility, durability, and lightness.
      • You mean, similar to 'Ebony' (scare-quotes required). Because real-world ebony is a type of wood, whereas in-game 'ebony' is a kind of volcanic glass that looks like obsidian but behaves entirely differently.
      • Bleh, I was hoping someone would catch this now that Skyrim is out. Now that you have the ability to make weapons and armor yourself, you actually see that 'glass' is a colloquialism for weapons/armor forged using a form a malachite. 'Ebony' is still used in a manner inconsistent with our own real-world ebony, but I suppose artistic licensing can let them do that.
      • I think you're confusing real world "ebony" with real world obsidian. Ebony is, as mentioned, wood, and obsidian is volcanic glass. That being said, the ingame material malachite is apparently very different from real world obsidian, which while exceptionally sharp is also extremely brittle. The Aztecs used clubs lined with obsidian blades that were largely one use only weapons as the blades would shatter on impact.
      • For the record, it was clear since Morrowind that glass was some form of mineral rather than glass as such. There were glass mines in that game, remember? We just didn't know the proper name of the mineral.
      • Actually, the Aztecs used a certain type of jade (it's name escapes me at the moment) to make sharp blades, similar to obsidian.
  • Okay, so in terms of game world size, how big is Skyrim compared to Morrowind and Oblivion?
    • Roughly the same size as in Oblivion, but with fewer empty areas.
  • So what's the average lifespan of someone living in Tamriel? Do people in this world live about as long as we would have in a similair setting? Do all races live for about the same length of time? Do all Elves live to be 200 or more? What about Khajiit and Argonians?
    • I don't think definite numbers have ever been set down; Uriel was pretty spry for an 87 year old but didn't look like he had much left in him, so I'd put humans down for real world lifespans adjusted for region and access to restoration magic. You do meet at least one elf in Skyrim, a dunmer, who mentions that she's been around for over two hundred years and most elves imply they live considerably longer than humans. Orcs are implied to have somewhat shorter life spans than humans (a very likely allegorical ingame book says that all humans once lived as long as elves, that they were cursed with accelerated aging by one of the gods, and that another god took the bulk of that curse and slapped it on the orcs, drastically reducing their own lifespan).
    • Dunno about the beast races, but Dunmer are known to be quite long-lived (no word on the other elf races that I'm aware of). Queen Mother Barenziah was born during the reign of Tiber Septim, and looks to be in her mid-forties (in human terms) in Tribunal, several hundred years later. Then there's Divayth Fyr, that Telvanni wizard in eastern Vvardenfell who runs the Corprusarium. His Opposite-Sex Clone Alfe Fyr says that he's over four thousand years old, which unless I'm very much mistaken would make him a contemporary of Nerevar.
      • He was a contemporary (he was born before Nerevar, actually), but Telvanni wizard-lords are not the most reliable way to decide lifespans - they explicitly have access to and use life-lengthening magic of sorts that goes beyond the pale for ordinary people (and powerful wizards tends to live longer in general). A problem is that we do have words on the lifespan of the other Mer (at least, the Altmer)... but those words are connected to an average lifespan for the Dunmer that Skyrim repeatedly contradicts as being too low.
  • Why is it that people will use the strongest locks available to safeguard used paintbrushes, worthless earthenware, and spools of yarn?
  • So all the et'Ada get together and form Mundas. At some point Magnus leaves and tears a hole in space that becomes the sun. A bunch of others also leave, each one tearing their own hole, which become the stars. Why is Magnus' holes so much bigger than all the other guy's holes?
    • Magnus was one of the three main players in the creation of Nirn, the other two being Lorkhan and Auriel (the three represent the warrior/rogue/mage archetype). His being so powerful probably means he's bigger than the Magna-Ge (the other spirits who fled to the Aetherium).
    • Magnus was presumably one of the most powerful et'Ada, along with Lorkhan. Maybe power somehow translates to size?
    • One theory holds that the hole Magnus punched is considerably closer than the others. Mind you - they're all still infinitely far away, one just has to remember that not all infinites are equal.
    • It's said the Magnus brought with him all magicka in the world. Maybe he took some with him when he left? Actually, if the tears in reality only occurred when the et'Ada left does that mean Mundas is where they used to live or did they manage to not rip a hole in reality on their way in?
      • Magnus left before most of his powers were drained by Nirn, and the others followed afterwards.
  • A thought occurred to me recently. Why is Daedric armor considered valuable? Glass armor provides just as much protection provided you're good enough at wearing light armor, glass armor is lighter, and it's easier to make.
    • It's valuable because it's rare. Supply and demand.
    • But even then, why would it be so widely used? Light armor is just as effective, is less expensive, and easier to make.
      • Just as effective at a legendary level of skill.
  • Orsinium will be a province in The Elder Scrolls Online. Now, I'm not complaining about this as orcs are far and away my favorite race and I've been wanting to see Orsinium for a long time, but as ESO takes place in the second era, this creates a bit of an issue as Orsinium was destroyed in the first era and not rebuild and given provincial status until Daggerfall, late in the third era.
    • The official line on the Kingdom of Orsinium is that it was constantly destroyed and rebuilt dozens of times over the eras. It was never considered a province, however, only a kingdom.
  • In The Dragon War, a book in Skyrim, it's mentioned that the Dragon Cult originated in Atmora, and the Tamriel Cult turned evil. So, a few questions. Do dragons still exist in Atmora? Do they still exist peacefully with humans? Where any of the Atmorans Dragonborn?
    • a) We don't know. b) As far as anybody can tell, there are no humans left on Atmora. So even if there are dragons, nobody knows what they think of humans. c) Yes. Ysmir Wulfharth definitely was, and some believe Tiber Septim was too. If you are asking if any of the pre-Skyrim Atmorans were Dragonborn, we don't know. Miirak is reputedly the first, but we are given no time-frame nor location of his birth.
Ed, Edd n' Eddy: The Mis-EdventuresHeadscratchers/GamesThe Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

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