General: Homestead Interview
This interview focuses on the Homestead update for Elder Scrolls Online, which introduces player housing. The interviewer is IceFireWarden, and the interviewee is Lawrence Schick, playing Housing Broker Canthion. It was conducted in or around February 2017.
Eis Vuur Warden, an Argonian vampire and a wayward & contract scholar, has just received a letter from the Architects Guild notifying him that as a former member of the now disbanded Imperial Geographic Society he has received a special discount on any new home he decides to purchase in the future. Because the Guild has begun promoting new, renovated, and stylish homes across the Starry Heart recently (and because the letter made a point that he should empty his barely touched coffers), Eis has decided to contact one of his few friends in the Guild and ask him a few questions regarding these available houses, as well as ask him a couple of questions about a few of them and houses in general.
Location: The Screeching Echkin Tavern, Ska'vyn
Interviewer: Eis Vuur Warden
Interviewee: Housing Broker Canthion, Associate of the Architects Guild. He is quite knowledgeable of houses and how they are built from culture to culture, as well as legends & lore surrounding the majority of them and information about their former occupants. He is also somewhat learned in Nirn's geography.
Eis Vur asks: "I find it a bit odd that the houses found in Alliance areas can be bought by individuals from different Alliances. Wouldn't the Three Banners view this as potential hazards to their war efforts?"
Broker Canthion says: "As you may know from your dealings with the Mages Guild, all the pan-Tamrielic trade organizations established in 2E 321 by the Guild Act consider themselves neutral actors as regards inter-province or inter-alliance warfare. Wars are expensive pursuits, funded primarily by taxation and levies on trade—which means that trade must be allowed to continue unabated during times of warfare, or the source of funds for those wars rapidly dries up. Since our housing brokerages are subsidiary to the Architects Guild, local governments can trust that our business will be conducted on a non-political basis. Since individual citizens from foreign states are still free to travel through the Alliances (trade would come to a standstill otherwise), we are free to sell them real estate."
Eis Vur asks: "As I read this catalogue of available houses and apartments, I have noticed that quite a few are being sold specifically because their former owners – a Captain Margaux, another Captain by the name of Izad, the jester-mage Z'za, and my dear friend Phrastus of Elinhir – are either dead, traveling, or have strangely disappeared, making their properties and furnishings freely useable by the Architects Guild. Wouldn't selling their property give your organization a bad name, especially if they returned from their whereabouts or if extended family wished to claim them?"
Broker Canthion says: "Title to a house must be free and clear of all encumbrances before a brokerage will consent to sell it, so you can be sure that every house in the catalogue is available for legitimate and permanent purchase. As for why some properties are tagged with famous names, that's just good marketing: houses formerly owned or occupied by celebrities generate more interest and therefore sell for higher prices!"
Eis Vur asks: "I have a friend, a stout Breton who prefers to go by the alias of 'the Acer,' who asked me a question about Altmeri & Dunmeri 'kinhouses,' as they are called. He's been traveling around the continent recently, and stumbled across an Altmer talking about building a kinhouse on Auridon shortly after leaving Morrowind and overhearing a Dunmeri couple arguing over their kinhouse. Since I didn't have the answer, I hoped you would tell me what a kinhouse is, exactly? And how do they vary between High Elf and Dark Elf culture?"
Broker Canthion says: "Elven cultures, of course, place a great deal of emphasis upon pedigree and family heritage, and hereditary clans wield great influence in their societies, particularly among the Altmer of Summerset and the Dunmer of Morrowind. 'Kinhouse' is the traditional name for a central clan building, whether it's used for residence, administration, as a gathering place, or some mixture of the three. The term is pretty general in its application to clan or (in the case of the Dunmer) 'House' structures, and shouldn't be taken to mean a single specific sort of architecture. If your Breton friend is interested in investing in this kind of real estate, I'm sure our brokerage can find something to suit his needs!"
Eis Vur asks: "Two of my former colleagues from the IGS, a Nord named Brynjar and a fellow Saxhleel named Sordak, were both very interested in the Grand Topal Hideaway, and requested via memospore that I ask you some questions about its peculiar nature during our meeting – I myself am very suspicious that the Guild had information about this island while the Society did not. What is the actual name and history of this small island retreat, and isn't it dangerous for it to be under the shadow of a volcano?"
Broker Canthion says: "I've looked into the brokerage's paperwork regarding the Grand Topal Hideaway, and found that all correspondence has been handled through the office of a reputable Senchal attorney, as the owner wishes, no doubt for privacy reasons, to keep their name out of the negotiations. (This is often the case with Khajiiti captains who are involved in what we might call the more entrepreneurial side of the sea trade.) As a result, I have no documentation as to the history or provenance of the property, though I will observe that an islet situated near the mouth of the storied Niben River has probably seen some interesting times indeed! As to the danger posed by the really quite insignificant volcano on the north side of the island, well—no past eruption has destroyed the Hideaway, so why should a prospective owner have any fears for the future?"
Eis Vur asks: "How is Forsaken Stronghold in such good condition after being abandoned by the Orcs? Better yet, how is it on the market considering that Orsimer strongholds usually serve as towns more than homes? I didn't think the Guild were interested in Orcish architecture or real estate."
Broker Canthion says: "On the contrary, Orcish architecture has many admirers within the Guild, and is the special study of one of our Master Architects. I can tell you that the Forsaken Stronghold is in 'such good condition' because when they choose to, the Orcs build strongly and well, since their history leads them to fear and expect siege and assault. This particular stronghold was 'forsaken' by its clan when it all at once withdrew northward deep into the Wrothgarian mountains. Why? We in the Guild may have a good understanding of Orcish architecture, but I must admit their clan politics are a mystery!"
Eis Vur asks: "I am very curious as to why Daggerfall Overlook, a grandiose manor that was once the seat of kings and the capital of the region in the past, has been suddenly placed on the market. Wouldn't a structure with such a legendary history be left as a historical landmark rather than be sold to a common – and absurdly wealthy – adventurer?"
Broker Canthion says: "It may come as a surprise to you to hear that this sort of thing happens all the time, and rare is the housing brokerage that hasn't handled the sale of a noble's town house or a royal manor. In my experience, only peasants have less cash on hand than aristocrats, most of whom seem to have annual expenses that greatly exceed their incomes. When princes or grandees find themselves financially embarrassed and in need of an infusion of money, country estates and hunting lodges are often the first things to be sold."