• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Henry v. Keiper

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Good to see all has gone well so far! Though I'd imagine many of the Dunmer were surprised at his speech and I can already see the Temple getting suspicious on that alone ...
Honestly, the Temple in this play stinks to high heaven. If I were to make suggestions on the mod, it might be to somehow work the Temple and Kingdom of Morrowind AI's to help each other out a bit more. Not that I'm knocking the mod itself, it's a great mod, and I've had loads of fun with it - I've just noticed the Temple/Kingdom AI treating one another as separate national entities rather than two political groups vying for power, like they are in the original lore.
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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And now some questions I have for my readers...

I'm feeling drawn to pause on the AAR for now. I have enough material to write a few updates, but if I were to continue playing, I'd have to play the game of revert-to-previous-update in order to play the current mod version. As it stands, I've been playing a lot more of up-to-date CK2 (and especially the Game of Thrones mod, which works with the current CK2 version).

Worse case scenario, the updates would probably slow down to maybe once a week, but would people want me to continue this AAR? Are there enough interested to warrant it?
 

KaiserWilhelmI

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I feel you. Having to revert-to-previous-update is exactly why my Skyrim updates take so long. :)
Do continue, it has been fun to follow this story.
 

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Gameplay wise, how certain were you that those mercenaries weren't actually needed? I'd bet you'd feel a bit silly if it turned out you did.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Yes, there are. Go on! :)
I feel you. Having to revert-to-previous-update is exactly why my Skyrim updates take so long. :)
Do continue, it has been fun to follow this story.
All right then! I'll keep updating!

Gameplay wise, how certain were you that those mercenaries weren't actually needed? I'd bet you'd feel a bit silly if it turned out you did.
Well the numbers were fairly even sans the mercenaries, and I had decent commanders. I figured I was going to win. If I had lost, I probably would have rage quit :p Well maybe not, but I probably would have reworded the reasons for dismissing the mercenaries.
 

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All right then! I'll keep updating!



Well the numbers were fairly even sans the mercenaries, and I had decent commanders. I figured I was going to win. If I had lost, I probably would have rage quit :p Well maybe not, but I probably would have reworded the reasons for dismissing the mercenaries.
Good, thank you!
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Good, thank you!
I'm happy to see you're continuing this! I love to read it.
I'm glad people are enjoying this :) I'll see about updating this tonight or tomorrow, hopefully.

I've also been very tempted to start a Game of Thrones mod AAR, alongside this one, hence once reason why my updates for this might be slower than they were before. However, since people are enjoying it, I won't put a complete stop to it :D

By Azura!
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Chapter 12

There was exceedingly great joy in the House Hlaalu. A war which had appeared lost at first had now been turned around, and ended with peace being restored to the Hlaalu lands. Nethyn was seen by all as a capable ruler, and one who could (surprisingly) handle himself in battle. Many of his councilmembers commented that he seemed to walk with more self-assuredness that he had before, albeit with no sign of pride or haughtiness. He now ruled not merely as someone in charge, but truly as a ruler.

Meanwhile, the entire Kingdom of Morrowind once again experienced war. Archcanon Farwil, still desiring to place a puppet of his on the throne, declared war on 4 Frostfall, 461. He gathered what forces he had left and landed upon the mainland, hoping to strike quickly. High King Rythe once again led his troops against the Temple forces and destroyed them, driving them back to the island. The war ended on 3 Sun’s Dusk, 464, with the Temple once again humiliated and returning home to more and more hostility from the Ashlander tribes still under their control. In fact, two more independent realms had popped up in Vvardenfell, with the Urshilaku tribes, inspired by the success of the Ahemmusa and Zainab tribes, rising up, creating the states of Ashlands and West Gash. By now, Vvardenfell was split in the middle between the Ashlander north and the Temple-held south.


The king called a celebratory feast in Mournhold to commemorate the recent victory; a feast which was held on 3 Evening Star, 464. Although he had not taken a direct role in the war, Nethyn was, of course, invited.


Everything was as he had remembered it before: the glory of Mournhold, the succulent food on the tables, the various nobles and heads of house from across the kingdom, and the fanfare and celebration that came with performers and musicians. The only thing that had changed was High King Rythe himself. Ever since Nethyn had come to know him, he was always cheerful and ready to show a sarcastic wit out about something, be it religion, politics, or the conundrum of day-to-day life. Now, however, everything had changed. Although he gave his guests and personal advisers smiles and courtesies, there was something under the surface. In the eyes of the high king, Nethyn saw a dead, unhappy look: he was breathing, he was talking, and he was moving...but inside, he was a dead man.

Feeling concern for his monarch and close associate, Nethyn stepped closer, making his presence known. When Rythe saw the Hlaalu head, his eyes did light up a bit, and he seemed, for a moment, to regain some life. He excused himself from his current conversation partners, and then approached Rythe, taking him aside as he had in the last feast.

“It is good to see you,” Rythe said, “refreshing, even.”

“Your majesty,” Nethyn began, cutting to the chase, “you do not look well.”

The high king frowned. His dark, dreary red eyes looked into Nethyn’s, then looked away. With a sigh, he said, “Am I so transparent? I suppose I am to others. A pity. I suppose people are curious about why a king who has won so many wars in his reign and kept Morrowind together would feel ill.”

“I am curious for your sake,” said Nethyn truthfully.

“Thank you, my friend,” Rythe said, and there seemed to be some tenderness in his voice that Nethyn had never heard before, “you have a right to know, I suppose, after all we have been through...I have been pondering things since our pilgrimage together. I win victories, and I solidify my rule...but what has it gotten me? Dunmer live a long time, but how long do we live? I have been thinking of that as well. When I am dead, what will everything I have done matter? Will I receive victory in the afterlife? Will I receive praise? I can see why the Nords are so fond of an afterlife with drinking and revelry - it makes death so much better.”

These words stung Nethyn, for he could not understand why Rythe would think this way. He gave a gentle smile, placing a hand upon the high king’s arm, whispering, “You have much to be prideful about, your majesty. You have held the factions of this kingdom together, and you have defeated the Temple twice in war.”

“Thank you for those words,” Rythe said, though there was no change in his tone, nor did he lift his eyes to meet Nethyn’s, “however, I have thought of that as well. I have seen Ordinators and Temple mages scatter and flee like any other Dunmer would in a defeated battle. I have brought the ALMSIVI’s personal toadies to their knees. And for what? Is it fully in my destiny to command my life? I cannot command death, however. The Dwemer thought they could, and were proven wrong. Everything I’ve done, Nethyn…” Only now did the high king lift his eyes to the grandmaster. “...what will it mean, in the end?”

The look in the high king’s eyes, and the words he spoke, left a mark on Nethyn that haunted him all night, and still haunted him as he made his trip back to Narsis.

Some years later, Nethyn was sitting with Athyn, his chaplain, in the manor’s library, discussing these things. Athyn, as he always had, served not only as Nethyn’s household spiritual advisor, but as his personal spiritual advisor as well. Nethyn had come to trust Athyn in all things, and found it easier and easier to chat with him about even the most difficult thoughts that entered his mind. Although Athyn was not afraid to tell Nethyn what was right and wrong, or black and white, he always did it in a spirit of love, and with an understanding that he, too, had crossed that path before. Now, the two men sat in among books and scrolls written by men of the past and present, and spoke of the future.

“I fear for the high king,” Nethyn said, “ever since Vvardenfell, he has suffered greatly. I can tell. Something has begun to eat away at him on the inside.”

“How do you know the cause is Vvardenfell?” Athyn asked.

Nethyn sighed, “Because as I look in his eyes, and hear his words, I can tell he is pondering eternity. He does not know where he fits.”

“I see,” said Athyn, nodding. He paused a moment then, in order to choose his words carefully, and then asked, “You are saying that he has tried to go under a crown, over a throne, and above a kingdom, and has found nowhere to hide his mortality?”

“That is a good way to word it,” Nethyn said, “I simply cannot understand, after all the fulfillment and enlightenment I have felt after the visit to Vvardenfell, the king has not felt likewise.”

Athyn nodded again, waiting for his grandmaster to continue speaking. When Nethyn seemed at a loss for words, the court chaplain replied, “There was a saint of old who said that the same sun which melts the snow also hardens the clay. The blessings which give peace to one man will give judgment to another. Good sir, you are the snow, and Rythe is the clay. Vvardenfell has melted your snow and brought you to spring, while Rythe is attempting to resist and harden against what you yourself are realizing.”

Another sigh left the grandmaster’s lips, “It simply saddens me to see him like this.”

“It saddens everyone when they realize what someone they know is really going through,” Athyn said, “all you can really do at this point is pray that Rythe will awaken from his stupor, and come to his senses.”

It was then that the door burst open. Athyn and Nethyn both leaped up, their hearts skipping a beat. It was a Hlaalu officer who had come in, his helmet under his arm and moving in quick steps. He glanced at the two men, who stared back at him, and he realized, with some embarrassment, that he had made a breach in protocol. After an awkward pause, he came closer to Nethyn and bowed low:

“Forgive me, grandmaster, but I and the bearer of urgent and horrifying news - High King Rythe is dead.”

 

Korbah

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And now some questions I have for my readers...

I'm feeling drawn to pause on the AAR for now. I have enough material to write a few updates, but if I were to continue playing, I'd have to play the game of revert-to-previous-update in order to play the current mod version. As it stands, I've been playing a lot more of up-to-date CK2 (and especially the Game of Thrones mod, which works with the current CK2 version).

Worse case scenario, the updates would probably slow down to maybe once a week, but would people want me to continue this AAR? Are there enough interested to warrant it?
Just to let you know, Elder Kings actually does work with the latest release patch. It was updated in the 17th to work with 2.1.4. It isn't savegame compatible though, but it does feature a huge list of changes (including better portraits for the Dunmer).
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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Just to let you know, Elder Kings actually does work with the latest release patch. It was updated in the 17th to work with 2.1.4. It isn't savegame compatible though, but it does feature a huge list of changes (including better portraits for the Dunmer).
Yeah I saw that in another thread. Thanks for letting my readers know. The portraits look awesome :D

Unfortunately I'll have to continue with the older version.
 

DumBMan

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Wow, I am amazed. For me, you really have captured the feeling of Morrowind and Elder Scrolls in general.
Continue, please. Things are getting pretty interesting from here onwards now that the king commited suicide.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Wow, I am amazed. For me, you really have captured the feeling of Morrowind and Elder Scrolls in general.
Continue, please. Things are getting pretty interesting from here onwards now that the king commited suicide.
Thanks for the compliment! That was what I was hoping to do.

I'm still continuing. I might update tomorrow or Wednesday, just FYI. Have a few RL matters to attend to, but they're not crippling.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Poor Rythe. I enjoyed him.
I blame the fact that CK2 tends to get rather suicide happy with characters who inherit the depression trait. I've read posts for the Game of Thrones mod where people have talked about a weird tendency for Eddard Stark to get the depression trait and then almost immediately commit suicide.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Chapter 13

On 27 Sun’s Dawn, 466, High King Rythe of Morrowind committed suicide, after a long and severe bout of depression. There was no evidence of wrongdoing, and (for once) none of the houses suspected the other of being behind it. Even Nethyn knew that Rythe had no real enemies within Morrowind - most were content with his rule, his personality, and his leadership. Only the Temple would have had reason to see him dead, but there were no signs that Temple agents had been involved, and there had been no rumors coming from Vivec that any such murder had been planned. No doubt Farwil would be praising the ALMSEVI for this fortune, but that was most likely the limit of his involvement in the affair.

The suicide weighed heavily on Nethyn’s heart. He remembered the high king’s pilgrimage with him to Vvardenfell, where he saw the king’s cheerful nature, his courage in combat, and his kindness towards Nethyn as a loyal subject. With quite a few successful wars under his belt, Nethyn had no doubt that Rythe could have gone on to be one of the greatest kings Morrowind had ever known. Perhaps, if his ambition had been a bit higher, he could have attacked the Nords to the northwest, and avenged them for all the centuries of oppression; perhaps he could have gone south, into the Argonian territories. Now it was all gone. In the blink of an eye, life had no longer carried meaning for Rythe. Most of all, Nethyn blamed himself for Rythe’s death: he had been there, before the king, and heard his laments; surely he could have done something more to try to reach the king and lighten his spirits. In his mind, Nethyn decided that he should have told him about Azura and his experiences in Vvardenfell - things which the grandmaster had never told his king, even during their moments alone. He blamed himself for that, and it caused the suicide to sting all the more.

According to Morrowind succession laws, the electors of the realm voted to choose a successor; this was one Yelithah, of the House Indoril. The new High Queen held a feast on 22 Rain’s Hand, 466, in order to gather the nobles together and ensure their loyalty for her leadership. Nethyn was there among the nobles and politicians of the kingdom, and when Yelithah entered, it was a strange sight. She was dressed in lovely Dunmeri robes, fitting for royalty, with intricate designs and detailed patterns, all of them in various hues of red and green. She was flanked by two royal guards. As she walked, most in the room became aware of a rhythmic sound that followed her as she walked: ker-plunk, ker-plunk, ker-plunk. Nethyn glanced down to the floor, near the hem of her robe, and realized that she only had one real leg. The other was a wooden leg.


“Training accident,” the noble beside Nethyn whispered, “though no doubt she will claim it was lost in battle.”

She made her way to the throne and seated herself down, facing all those present. As the end of her robe lifted up from her sitting position, it was now quite clear that she had one wooden leg. No one in the room, of course, was staring at the time, for most feared what she might do if they were caught. Glancing her red eyes about the room, Yelithah paused a moment before saying:

“I thank you all for coming. As is plainly obvious, I have been elected as your new queen, and I hope to continue the reign that my predecessor, the late High King Rythe, left me, with as little trouble as possible. If any had bad blood with Rythe, please understand that I will not continue to exacerbate it. If you lived in peace with the throne, know that you will continue to live in peace. Life in the courts shall continue as regularly as possible.”

Well, this is an auspicious start, by Azura, Nethyn thought to himself.

The queen continued, “I want all to know, however, that I am as strong and capable a leader as Rythe was. Therefore, I want to know everyone’s opinion regarding the city of Necrom.”

The nobles glanced at one another. One asked, “The city of the dead? What do you desire to know, your majesty?”

“Does it not rightfully belong to us, and not the Temple’s leadership? I believe it is an ancient Dunmeri city, is it not?”

She was speaking the truth, Nethyn thought. It predated the ALMSEVI and the Tribune Cult in general, and functioned solely to care for the dead that had been brought there. Most of the population was made up of priests and their attendants - not counting the dead, of course. Almost every family in Morrowind had at least one family member entombed within the walls. The queen’s intent with the city became all too clear: she wanted a legitimate reason to go to war with the Temple over the ancient and sacred city. She wanted to create more dead for the sake of owning a city full of dead men.

In either case, few seemed opposed to it. Nethyn did not see the reason why the kingdom should go to war so soon, but he began to feel that Yelithah had other reasons for this conflict. No doubt she wanted to win favor by beating the Temple in a quick and easy war, and she wanted to show the Temple that she was just as capable a commander as Rythe was. It could also be that, given her disability, she had certain fears that few would take her as seriously as they would a leader with two legs. She had to show that her slowed movement meant nothing in terms of her ability to reign.

In the end, she did declare war on the Temple, in the month of Heartfire of 466. It would not last that long, and would end with Morrowind taking Necrom from the Temple. Nethyn did not care much about it. Once again, it was a meaningless war happening far away, and not concerning him. He spent the year of 467 in his studies, learning more and more about the cult of the Nerevarine, and researching the arguments for and against the Nerevarine faith. In 468, the child he and his wife had borne - a boy named Athelyn - was taken into his care, and he began to raise and train the child to be a proper young Dunmer. He told him to be honest, to be courageous, and - when no one was listening - instructed him to always trust in Azura and the True Tribunal.


A big surprise came for Nethyn in Evening Star of 468: he was appointed chancellor of the kingdom. Yelithah had apparently been granted positions to people from the various houses and families, so that no one felt neglected nor worried that she was favoring one house over another. It was quite a change from court chaplain - the position that Nethyn had served under Rythe - but it was a position Nethyn accepted nonetheless.


Sadly, one of Nethyn’s first duties was to handle yet another war. In Evening Star, 469, the Temple invaded Morrowind to attempt to install Canon-Elector Telvon on the throne. The attack only lasted a year after more miserable military failures on the Temple’s part, and Nethyn was able to discuss peace terms that prevented the conflict from going on too long.


Matters at home continued to be of importance to Nethyn, who would travel back and forth from Mournhold to Narsis whenever he could. In 470, Nethyn found himself the father of a daughter as well. It was a Dunmeri baby named Faral, giving himself three children with his new wife, counting the sons Athelyn and Faram. The grandmaster of House Hlaalu truly felt that he was blessed by this, and everything seemed to be in order. Indeed, his blessings had come in a variety of ways: he was esteemed in the kingdom, he had kept the realm stable since the war, he had four children altogether (counting his eldest, Evos), and his leadership was more respected than ever before. Yet at the same time, he realized that he had lost sight of where this respect and esteem had come from. His duty, first and foremost, was to serve Azura, and to look forward to the coming of the Nerevarine. Had he forgotten about what was truly important? Had he been “intoxicated by blessings,” so to speak?

It was then that it became all too clear. Nethyn had come to a decision: for the first time since Vvardenfell, he would be open and honest with his entire council about his faith, and about his beliefs. He would move forward with what he believed needed to happen. He wanted House Hlaalu to be a house that worshiped and loved Azura, and which sought to prepare for the coming of the Nerevarine. He called a council to be held with his advisors and all the house nobility, and he prayed to Azura that he was not making a mistake.

There was a deeper meaning behind the council as well. The suicide of High King Rythe still found itself buried deep in Nethyn’s heart, twisting and turning and causing all kinds of spiritual agonies within him. In Nethyn’s mind, he had not done enough to help Rythe, and he had permitted his own king to die without knowledge of Azura’s love and mercy. Where the high king was now, Nethyn did not know, but he knew where those under him were: all of them were still following the False Tribunal, and putting their faith in those who were not real gods. He would not permit them to die in bitter ignorance - he would bring what he knew from Azura to them. He would show them the love of Azura by showing the love he had for them all.
 

ATempler

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I have to sympathize with Nethyn here. That's a really, really bold move. At least, it would be on Vvardenfell, and I'm guessing it's the same in Morrowind, but I might be wrong.
 

DumBMan

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Great chapter, itching to see how the council will react when Nethtyn tells them about his true faith.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Great chapter, itching to see how the council will react when Nethtyn tells them about his true faith.
The next update will consist entirely of the council. Which some people may not like.

I have to sympathize with Nethyn here. That's a really, really bold move. At least, it would be on Vvardenfell, and I'm guessing it's the same in Morrowind, but I might be wrong.
Not as much, because the secular powers are more in control in Morrowind than in Vvardenfell, where the Temple is in charge. Or it was, before the Ashlanders revolted in the north.