Religion in P:C

Discussion of Elder Scrolls lore and how it will be used in Province: Cyrodiil.
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Tes96
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Religion in P:C

Postby Tes96 » 12 Feb 2012, 05:34

Notice from DJGamer: This thread is split off from a number of posts in the original FAQ question-posting thread. It went off on a number of tangents, a few of which are better suited to individual threads.

I'm not sure exactly how the tangent got started. I suspect to some degree that it was intended to be posted in a different thread but accidentally ended up in the FAQ.


Helena said in this post regarding Stirk, that "most people worship the Divines, and there's a chapel dedicated to Kynareth". Well, yes I'm aware of that. But I meant in much greater detail, like what types of religious practices do Stirkians (or whatever they are called) perform? Or rites or ceremonies? How many times a day does the average person pray to the Divines, and to which ones and why? Does the government of Stirk, or Cyrodiil for that matter, have state(or equivalency thereof)-religious practices and families have more personal religious rituals? Rituals & ceremonies can be as simple as throwing mudcrab meat out the window at the neighbors house for good fortune or it can be as complicated as a one month long rite.

I'm taking (actually re-taking) Pagan Culture this semester at Cal state university and I see a lot of similarities between the Roman world and the stylized world of the Imperials in Cyrodiil. Whether or not Imperials are based off of Roman civilization is unclear to me.

I think it would be a great idea to have the denizens of Stirk more "involved" in their Aedric gods. Like, during the month of Hearthfire, you can hear rumors from various NPCs talking about making sure to praise and worship Zenithar I would guess. I have yet to find a god or agriculture so the god of work & commerce is the best I can do. (Question: are there many more gods out there in the Aetherius that haven't been discussed before, lore-wise? We have the eight main divines but are there more out there that Bethesda hasn't covered?)

Romans had a god for just about every damn thing you could do. And 'twas more important to say and perform the ritual correctly than it was the number of people doing it. The text book I'm reading is As the Romans Did.

Any ways, I'm just tossing ideas around here. But I feel that religion plays a much bigger role in the Elder Scrolls universe than Bethesda makes it out to be. And the reasons are obvious that kids want to hack n slash and shoot firey magic from their hands, not sit in church and listen to priests.
But if done well, we could make some very interesting quests regarding religion. Hell, I'll write out some ideas for quests for religion and ceremonial rites. I also need to enhance my Imperial lore, as I've said so in the past.

(I also don't have a computer and am vamping until the Alienware M18xR2 comes out this Fall)
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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby alex25 » 12 Feb 2012, 10:43

Religion does play an important role in TES and the devs depict it quite a lot when compared to other RPG games. Still I get your point about how various social, spiritual and economical feature's are undersimulated in the favor of combat and other stuff.

Firstly no race/region in TES is based 100% on a real culture so the Cyrodiilic empire isn't the roman one and religion reflects that. Romans worshiped lots of guardian deities like the "lares" and "penates". The closest thing to such spirits is in dunmeric ancestor worship and they are not specific of Cyrodiil. Redguards also have lots of gods but Cyrodiil worships only the Nine. However there are rituals done by state oficials indeed the emperor himself has a strong connection to divinity.

About the existance of gods there are an unspecified number of Et'ada (that include the Aedra and Daedra) and the Et'ada themselves are spirits that resulted from the interplay between Anu and Padomay.

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby Helena » 12 Feb 2012, 11:41

Well, firstly, bear in mind that Cyrodiil is a much more secular society overall than Morrowind. We'll actually be putting more emphasis on religious cults and stuff when we get to the Nibenese regions, but the people of Stirk are largely hard-working fisher-folk who don't have all that much time for religion. They might say a formal prayer to Kynareth before putting out to sea, for example, but they don't take a very personal interest in her or the other Divines.

That said, more quest ideas are always good. The Chapel Primate in Stirk, an Altmer called Tynellion, is a devotee of Kynareth and is a little disappointed by the general lack of interest in religion among Stirk's populace. So if you'd like to suggest some quests based around that, go ahead.

There are all sorts of gods outside of the Nine Divines pantheon - the UESP Wiki has an entire section on them. Going through them all would probably take all day

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby Tarius » 12 Feb 2012, 20:26

Helena wrote:Well, firstly, bear in mind that Cyrodiil is a much more secular society overall than Morrowind. We'll actually be putting more emphasis on religious cults and stuff when we get to the Nibenese regions, but the people of Stirk are largely hard-working fisher-folk who don't have all that much time for religion. They might say a formal prayer to Kynareth before putting out to sea, for example, but they don't take a very personal interest in her or the other Divines.

That said, more quest ideas are always good. The Chapel Primate in Stirk, an Altmer called Tynellion, is a devotee of Kynareth and is a little disappointed by the general lack of interest in religion among Stirk's populace. So if you'd like to suggest some quests based around that, go ahead.

There are all sorts of gods outside of the Nine Divines pantheon - the UESP Wiki has an entire section on them. Going through them all would probably take all day

Actually this gives me an idea. Anyone seen the newest "The Fog" movie? Well there is a diehard crazy religious lady in it. I think we need to have a town person thats highly devout, so much that it really annoys the other people.
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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby SGMonkey » 13 Feb 2012, 01:11

I fink it wer b gud if you make it tiny and disble flyin. smoov all d faces n only av 5 ouses per town. n i lik it wen da roks shine white like a NUCLEAR FUCKIN FALLOUT!

Sorry sorry... just realised I'm not 14, or a girl, addicted to Ritalin, a manga fan or a complete retard....


Carry on with your discussionz...

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby SGMonkey » 13 Feb 2012, 02:35

Eh?

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby SamirA » 13 Feb 2012, 02:36

You and him are very similar.
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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby Wollibeebee » 13 Feb 2012, 02:40

they influence each other.

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby SGMonkey » 13 Feb 2012, 03:00

Except he can map stuff...


EDIT: Wait, I'm not saying were similar at all. He's black you know?

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby Tes96 » 13 Feb 2012, 06:16

alex25 wrote:Religion does play an important role in TES and the devs depict it quite a lot when compared to other RPG games. Still I get your point about how various social, spiritual and economical feature's are undersimulated in the favor of combat and other stuff.
I agree that compared to other CRPGs, Bethesda incorporates religion the best. Yeah, it frustrates me how combat is 80% of their game(s). I became hooked on Daggerfall in 1996 because of its political and mundane aspects(owning a house, trading, banking); not so much the dungeon crawling.

alex25 wrote:However there are rituals done by state oficials indeed the emperor himself has a strong connection to divinity.
State officials? You mean in Cyrodiil? Are all the main cities in Cyrodiil "city-states" as far as their hierarchy in the Tamrielic empire?

In An Overview of Gods and Worship, it says: "The concerns of Gods in many ways may seem unrelated or at best unconcerned with the daily trials of the mortal realm. The exceptions do exist, however."

Keep in mind that that book is written by an in-game character, Brother Hetchfield, and the subtitle for the book reads: "Speculation concerning the worship of gods and their benefit from such" (keyword being "speculation")

And the fifth paragraph reads: While some gods are believed to take an active part of daily life, others are well known for their lack of interest in temporal affairs." So some do take an interest in daily life but it seems that most do not. There really is no way to prove who is right and who is wrong.
The only way would be to live in Tamriel and try experiments with praise and worship and see what happens. But since this is a video game world, I guess it is up to us to determine what should or would happen.
haha, I feel like a monk trying to interpret the bible. I wish all of us here could get together and have a TES version of bible study where we could discuss the lore of TES religion all day.


alex25 wrote:About the existance of gods there are an unspecified number of Et'ada (that include the Aedra and Daedra) and the Et'ada themselves are spirits that resulted from the interplay between Anu and Padomay.
I thought most of the Et'Ada fled the Mundus and thus created the holes, or stars, in the night sky. My question was aimed more at whether or not there are other gods that represent particular aspects of life. We have a god of work and commerce but is there a god of the sea? Or a god of harvesting? Or a god of the weather? You see where I'm going with this. I'm aware that some of the first Magna'Ge who gave themselves completely to the creation of Mundus became the Earthbones, which are the natural laws of Nirn (physics, thermodynamics, gravity). Would it be wrong or shameful of us to incorporate new "lesser gods" into the lore of Cyrodiil? I doubt Bethesda has named every god there is in TES, just as they haven't listed every animal, monster, lesser daedra and plant in TES. The video game just shows a portion of what Nirn beholds. Right?






Tarius wrote:
Helena wrote:Well, firstly, bear in mind that Cyrodiil is a much more secular society overall than Morrowind. We'll actually be putting more emphasis on religious cults and stuff when we get to the Nibenese regions, but the people of Stirk are largely hard-working fisher-folk who don't have all that much time for religion. They might say a formal prayer to Kynareth before putting out to sea, for example, but they don't take a very personal interest in her or the other Divines.

That said, more quest ideas are always good. The Chapel Primate in Stirk, an Altmer called Tynellion, is a devotee of Kynareth and is a little disappointed by the general lack of interest in religion among Stirk's populace. So if you'd like to suggest some quests based around that, go ahead.

There are all sorts of gods outside of the Nine Divines pantheon - the UESP Wiki has an entire section on them. Going through them all would probably take all day

Actually this gives me an idea. Anyone seen the newest "The Fog" movie? Well there is a diehard crazy religious lady in it. I think we need to have a town person thats highly devout, so much that it really annoys the other people.
Huh? Stirk people don't have time for religion? Religion and the gods is everywhere in Mundus. Every time you dream, you are experiencing Vaermina. When you step on a twig and it breaks in half, Mehrunes Dagon is there. When you work, whether it be fishing or coopering or tanning leather, that's Zenithar's sphere. Religion affects people on all provinces whether they like it or not. If there are fisherman and the fish are not biting, perhaps Zenithar is displeased with the mortals on Stirk, for whatever reason that may be. And so the fish mongers could make an offering or beseech Zenithar for bountiful fish bites so that the village on Stirk may have lots of fish food to eat. And in return, the villagers and fishmongers can make an offering to Zenithar and praise Him in return. After all, gods gain their strength through praise and worship. And the more praise they receive, the stronger they become. And the stronger they are, the better they are to help out the mortals on Nirn. At least that's how I interpret it.

I realize that it does take a lot of effort to incorporate stuff like that. And it could be something as just sentence or two under the Latest Rumors topic for Stirk denizens. But it baffles me how in a world where the gods are very much real and truly do affect the way mortals live on the planet, that they would not be praised and/or feared and communicated with even moreso than how the Romans interacted with their so-called gods. Know what I mean? And who knows, perhaps Bethesda would have invented new gods for the lore of TESIV if that was part of their focus or if they had extra employees on hand or if Stirk would have been an island off the coast. Since the people Stirk live so far out into the sea from Cyrodiil, what's not to say that they follow a slightly different or altered pantheon than their neighboring province? Like maybe a mix of Redguard and Imperial religion. But I know the focus in TES is mostly combat and I'm no we're trying not to stray too much from the lore that is already given in Cyrodiil.
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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby Wollibeebee » 13 Feb 2012, 06:40

Tes69 used Long Post!

P:C team sent out Djgamer! Djgamer used Lecture!
it's not very affective...

Huh? Stirk people don't have time for religion? Religion and the gods is everywhere in Mundus. Every time you dream, you are experiencing Vaermina. When you step on a twig and it breaks in half, Mehrunes Dagon is there. When you work, whether it be fishing or coopering or tanning leather, that's Zenithar's sphere. Religion affects people on all provinces whether they like it or not. If there are fisherman and the fish are not biting, perhaps Zenithar is displeased with the mortals on Stirk, for whatever reason that may be. And so the fish mongers could make an offering or beseech Zenithar for bountiful fish bites so that the village on Stirk may have lots of fish food to eat. And in return, the villagers and fishmongers can make an offering to Zenithar and praise Him in return. After all, gods gain their strength through praise and worship. And the more praise they receive, the stronger they become. And the stronger they are, the better they are to help out the mortals on Nirn. At least that's how I interpret it.


i'm a christian, i believe in god and heaven and all that (but not so muhc the bible, old testament makes no sense, hell is just a silly stupid idea that was taken to literally, and don't get me started on creation! ugh). And i don't go to church, ever, or do anything like that. only time i pray is when i'm, forced to. Just because there is a god(S) doesn't mean you have to 100% involved with them. (unless you're a monk, priest, pope, etc.)

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby alex25 » 13 Feb 2012, 09:00

Tes96 wrote:
alex25 wrote:Religion does play an important role in TES and the devs depict it quite a lot when compared to other RPG games. Still I get your point about how various social, spiritual and economical feature's are undersimulated in the favor of combat and other stuff.
I agree that compared to other CRPGs, Bethesda incorporates religion the best. Yeah, it frustrates me how combat is 80% of their game(s). I became hooked on Daggerfall in 1996 because of its political and mundane aspects(owning a house, trading, banking); not so much the dungeon crawling..


Daggerfall was both good and bad at this since it was totally unpolished. I liked Morrowind's build a stronghold theme since it gave the character a feeling of nobility. Skyrim improves economics slightly.
Tes96 wrote:
alex25 wrote:However there are rituals done by state oficials indeed the emperor himself has a strong connection to divinity.
State officials? You mean in Cyrodiil? Are all the main cities in Cyrodiil "city-states" as far as their hierarchy in the Tamrielic empire? .


There are NO city states in Cyrodiil the only thing close to that exists in High Rock. The main cities are administered in a feudal system although there are a number of centralized institutions like the Census and Excise.
Tes96 wrote:In An Overview of Gods and Worship, it says: "The concerns of Gods in many ways may seem unrelated or at best unconcerned with the daily trials of the mortal realm. The exceptions do exist, however."

Keep in mind that that book is written by an in-game character, Brother Hetchfield, and the subtitle for the book reads: "Speculation concerning the worship of gods and their benefit from such" (keyword being "speculation")

And the fifth paragraph reads: While some gods are believed to take an active part of daily life, others are well known for their lack of interest in temporal affairs." So some do take an interest in daily life but it seems that most do not. There really is no way to prove who is right and who is wrong.
The only way would be to live in Tamriel and try experiments with praise and worship and see what happens. But since this is a video game world, I guess it is up to us to determine what should or would happen.
haha, I feel like a monk trying to interpret the bible. I wish all of us here could get together and have a TES version of bible study where we could discuss the lore of TES religion all day. .


A TES bible would get rid of the confusion that makes lore so appealing. The Lessons of Vivec could be viewed as a bible for the Tribunal Temple and are very well written so looking there will help.


Tes96 wrote:
alex25 wrote:About the existance of gods there are an unspecified number of Et'ada (that include the Aedra and Daedra) and the Et'ada themselves are spirits that resulted from the interplay between Anu and Padomay.
I thought most of the Et'Ada fled the Mundus and thus created the holes, or stars, in the night sky. My question was aimed more at whether or not there are other gods that represent particular aspects of life. We have a god of work and commerce but is there a god of the sea? Or a god of harvesting? Or a god of the weather? You see where I'm going with this. I'm aware that some of the first Magna'Ge who gave themselves completely to the creation of Mundus became the Earthbones, which are the natural laws of Nirn (physics, thermodynamics, gravity). Would it be wrong or shameful of us to incorporate new "lesser gods" into the lore of Cyrodiil? I doubt Bethesda has named every god there is in TES, just as they haven't listed every animal, monster, lesser daedra and plant in TES. The video game just shows a portion of what Nirn beholds. Right? .


I would like to make a distinction between gods and worshiped gods. The daedra are indeed gods but they aren't worshiped in the official religion and the most of the population wouldn't miss them if they fled the Mundus to join the other Ét'ada. Also lesser gods aren't specific to Cyrodiil although they are specific to other regions. Their existence however isn't as "proven" as that of the et'ada.



Tes96 wrote:
Tarius wrote:
Helena wrote:Well, firstly, bear in mind that Cyrodiil is a much more secular society overall than Morrowind. We'll actually be putting more emphasis on religious cults and stuff when we get to the Nibenese regions, but the people of Stirk are largely hard-working fisher-folk who don't have all that much time for religion. They might say a formal prayer to Kynareth before putting out to sea, for example, but they don't take a very personal interest in her or the other Divines.

That said, more quest ideas are always good. The Chapel Primate in Stirk, an Altmer called Tynellion, is a devotee of Kynareth and is a little disappointed by the general lack of interest in religion among Stirk's populace. So if you'd like to suggest some quests based around that, go ahead.

There are all sorts of gods outside of the Nine Divines pantheon - the UESP Wiki has an entire section on them. Going through them all would probably take all day

Actually this gives me an idea. Anyone seen the newest "The Fog" movie? Well there is a diehard crazy religious lady in it. I think we need to have a town person thats highly devout, so much that it really annoys the other people.
Huh? Stirk people don't have time for religion? Religion and the gods is everywhere in Mundus. Every time you dream, you are experiencing Vaermina. When you step on a twig and it breaks in half, Mehrunes Dagon is there. When you work, whether it be fishing or coopering or tanning leather, that's Zenithar's sphere. Religion affects people on all provinces whether they like it or not. If there are fisherman and the fish are not biting, perhaps Zenithar is displeased with the mortals on Stirk, for whatever reason that may be. And so the fish mongers could make an offering or beseech Zenithar for bountiful fish bites so that the village on Stirk may have lots of fish food to eat. And in return, the villagers and fishmongers can make an offering to Zenithar and praise Him in return. After all, gods gain their strength through praise and worship. And the more praise they receive, the stronger they become. And the stronger they are, the better they are to help out the mortals on Nirn. At least that's how I interpret it.

I realize that it does take a lot of effort to incorporate stuff like that. And it could be something as just sentence or two under the Latest Rumors topic for Stirk denizens. But it baffles me how in a world where the gods are very much real and truly do affect the way mortals live on the planet, that they would not be praised and/or feared and communicated with even moreso than how the Romans interacted with their so-called gods. Know what I mean? And who knows, perhaps Bethesda would have invented new gods for the lore of TESIV if that was part of their focus or if they had extra employees on hand or if Stirk would have been an island off the coast. Since the people Stirk live so far out into the sea from Cyrodiil, what's not to say that they follow a slightly different or altered pantheon than their neighboring province? Like maybe a mix of Redguard and Imperial religion. But I know the focus in TES is mostly combat and I'm no we're trying not to stray too much from the lore that is already given in Cyrodiil.


I have no doubt that the fisherman think at Zenithar if the fish aren't biting (it would probably involve lots of swearing) but the Cyrodiilic people aren't so religious that they make offerings thrice a day or something. That kind of religious thinking belongs to Morrowind where the gods actually are there in the flesh. Are there are days dedicated to certain gods and people go rather often to the local chapel? Yes. But they aren't that involved and since the Empire is in a constant decline people don't even bother thinking about the Nine so much. Wizards would also know that gods exist but most of them are as concerned about this as we are of gravity.

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby The Khan » 13 Feb 2012, 09:11

Huh? The last tree post were way too much to read. I did it anyway though. I like the idea of a religious diehard. Sounds fun. Maybe a matching quest would be cool.

So there are going to be carts to travel by. Is there going to be Teleport like in Vvardenfell from mages?
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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby alex25 » 13 Feb 2012, 10:32

Yes for the teleport maybe for the carts.

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby TerrifyingDaedricFoe » 13 Feb 2012, 11:05

He meant Guild Guides.

I think the answer is yes.
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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby Helena » 13 Feb 2012, 11:32

TES, you may want to read this book regarding religion in Cyrodiil. I quote:

I have noted that Heartlanders like myself, and assimilated Imperial Citizens of other races, tend to impersonal and formal relationships with their gods and spirits. For us, cults are first and foremost social and economic organizations... With the exception of the Alessian Order, which Heartlanders regard as a dark age, religious cults have played only minor parts in Heartlander and Imperial history... Cult worship is regarded as a private and practical matter, and public pronouncements by religious figures are not welcomed.

It's true that the Gods have a lot of influence in Tamriel, but as alex explained, that doesn't mean people necessarily pay much attention to them on a day-to-day basis. Like I said, we will be exploring religious matters a little more with the Nibenese, because they're known as a more 'spiritual' people than the Colovians - but that doesn't necessarily mean the majority are overtly religious. Remember that we want to show the contrast between Cyrodiil and Morrowind, where people definitely are overtly religious.

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby alex25 » 13 Feb 2012, 11:45

I was too lazy to search for quotes so many thanks Helena. Also the Nibenese seem to be more artistic rather than more spiritual.

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby Helena » 13 Feb 2012, 12:17

The PGE1 does mention numerous religious cults in Nibenay (of course that was 400 years ago, but I'm sure some of them are still around). But you're right, they are artistic and philosophical rather than 'devout' as such. This is my point about how 'spiritual' doesn't necessarily mean 'religious' in the traditional sense.

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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby Tes96 » 13 Feb 2012, 23:22

alex25 wrote:There are NO city states in Cyrodiil the only thing close to that exists in High Rock. The main cities are administered in a feudal system although there are a number of centralized institutions like the Census and Excise.
I'm a little confused. Even wikipedia has several meanings for feudalism. You mean those who own land are the wealthiest? That type of thing?


alex25 wrote:A TES bible would get rid of the confusion that makes lore so appealing. The Lessons of Vivec could be viewed as a bible for the Tribunal Temple and are very well written so looking there will help.
I said that talking about religion the way we are on this forum reminds me of what a bible study would be like. I wouldn't want a bible of TES. A "bible study" is a group of people talking about the bible. Likewise, a "TES study" would be a group of people getting together and talking about TES. Would be much more efficacious in real life since we wouldn't have to wait a whole day for the next person to reply. :) Too bad none of y'all go on Skype; we could have real-time discussions and debates.



alex25 wrote:I would like to make a distinction between gods and worshiped gods. The daedra are indeed gods but they aren't worshiped in the official religion and the most of the population wouldn't miss them if they fled the Mundus to join the other Ét'ada. Also lesser gods aren't specific to Cyrodiil although they are specific to other regions. Their existence however isn't as "proven" as that of the et'ada.
True. Pertaining to Cyrodiil, the Daedra are not worshipped like they are in Summerset and Morrowind.



alex25 wrote:I have no doubt that the fisherman think at Zenithar if the fish aren't biting (it would probably involve lots of swearing) but the Cyrodiilic people aren't so religious that they make offerings thrice a day or something. That kind of religious thinking belongs to Morrowind where the gods actually are there in the flesh. Are there days dedicated to certain gods and people go rather often to the local chapel? Yes. But they aren't that involved and since the Empire is in a constant decline people don't even bother thinking about the Nine so much. Wizards would also know that gods exist but most of them are as concerned about this as we are of gravity.
You make a valid point, although your last sentence is odd in that of course Wizards know that the gods exist. I think everybody on Nirn knows of their existence. But I see that you're saying Cyrodiil doesn't practice their religiosity as fervently as Rome did.
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Re: Have any questions about the project?

Postby Wollibeebee » 14 Feb 2012, 00:15

none of us go on skype, but most of us are on the IRC while modding.
haven't we mentioned that on a thread? perhaps we need a sticky with info about it.

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