Lore:House Indoril

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Founded early in the First Era, House Indoril has always been a political powerhouse. Orthodox and conservative in our beliefs and outlooks, we have always been firm proponents of traditional Dunmer customs and practices. For House Indoril, religion stands as our most cherished institution. We revere our blessed ancestors. We honor the Good Daedra, specifically Boethiah, Mephala, and Azura. And we celebrate the saints, including Veloth and Aralor. House Indoril believes that Dunmer culture must be preserved at all costs. Change is the enemy of tradition, and it will weaken our strong foundation if we allow it to take root.Understanding House Indoril

House Indoril is one of the five Great Houses of the Dunmer. It governed the Indoril District in the heartland of Morrowind from their historic ancestral capital city of Mournhold, also the capital of Morrowind until the Fourth Era. The Indoril District comprises the lands south of the Inner Sea, including large swaths of eastern Stonefalls and Deshaan, as well as the eastern coast and isle of Gorne.[1][2] Aside from Mournhold, House Indoril also controlled the holy city of Necrom and its CIty of the Dead. Another Indoril settlement of note was the port city of Davon's Watch.[3] House Indoril has never claimed land on the island of Vvardenfell, though ancestral tombs for Indoril families may still be found on the isle, such as those of the Aran, Ieneth, Raviro, Salothran, and Verelnim families.[4]

The Indoril were orthodox and conservative supporters of the Tribunal Temple during its millennia-long reign over Morrowind. Claiming kinship with the Tribunal themselves and boasting such ancient heroes as the Hortator, Indoril Nerevar, House Indoril has dominated Temple authority since time immemorial.[5] They have always held prominent positions within the Temple hierarchy, and throughout history the fates of House Indoril and the Temple have been closely linked. Through the Temple, House Indoril's influence was felt across Morrowind, even beyond their traditional borders.

Saint Olms the Just is the patron saint of House Indoril.[6]

First Era[edit]

"To my sister-brother's city I give the holy protection of House Indoril, whose powers and thrones know no equal under heaven, wherefrom came the Hortator." - Vivec
Indoril Nerevar - Hortator and Saint

House Indoril was founded in ancient times, when Morrowind was still Resdayn and the First Council ruled over the Chimer and Dwemer.[7] By the 57th year of the Golden Peace, House Indoril was already considered a political powerhouse, with religion standing as their most cherished institution. They believed that Dunmeri culture had to be preserved at all costs, and that change was the enemy of tradition that would weaken their strong foundation if allowed to take root.[8]

Like the rest of the Great Houses, House Indoril participated in the Battle of Red Mountain during the War of the First Council around 1E 700. The House played a more prolific role in the conflict than its counterparts, with Hortator Indoril Nerevar being of the House himself.

House Indoril adopted a set of wings as their heraldry, allegedly to "let them fly far above" the other Dunmer, whom they viewed as "far beneath them."[9][10] The House likewise adopted the color blue as a designation.[9][11]

According to Bristin Xel's novel the Poison Song, who's historical accuracy is highly contested, House Indoril adopted the heir of House Dagoth, Tython, in the aftermath of the War of the First Council. The boy realized his true heritage, and murdered some of his kinsmen before casting himself into the fires of Red Mountain.[7]

During the closing days of the First Era, Indoril Brindisi Dorom ruled as Duke-Prince of Mournhold. He played an active role in the Four-Score War as one of Morrowind's chief generals and political figures, before being killed during Mehrunes Dagon's sacking of the city on the 12th of Sun's Dusk, 1E 2920. According to Carlovac Townway's dubiously accurate account of the events, the Duke's death was brought about after a former mistress named Turala was tricked into believing that assassins in Dorom's employ had killed her child. She had been expelled from Morrowind on account of being impregnated by the Duke, and summoned Dagon from High Rock.[12] A plaza bearing the Duke's name would be erected in a rebuilt Mournhold.[13]

Second Era[edit]

"Justice knows no sleep: Indoril shall order, the Temple shall judge."Mottos of the Dunmeri Great Houses
Grandmaster Tanval Indoril, circa 2E 582

The Second Era saw House Indoril retain its First Era status as the most influential of the Great Houses. They controlled vast swaths of the Morrowind mainland, but did not stake claims on the isle of Vvardenfell as Houses Redoran and Telvanni did. Their largest cities remained the capital of Mournhold, the holy city of Necrom, and the port-city of Davon's Watch.[3]

At some point prior to the Second Akaviri Invasion, Davon's Watch was sacked by marauding Nords under the leadership of Thane Unnvald Ironhand.[3] In 2E 572, the Akaviri of Kamal under the leadership of Ada'Soom Dir-Kamal breached Morrowind via the Fort Virak pass into the Rift and laid waste to all in their path. Under the leadership of Grandmaster Tanval Indoril, the House's forces fought at the battle of Vivec's Antlers and drove the invaders into the sea with the assistance of Jorunn the Skald-King's army, and a contingent of Argonian shellback warriors under Heita-Meen. The victorious trio went on to sign the Ebonheart Pact. House Indoril was among the four Great Houses that joined the newly-formed Pact. After the eruption of the War of the Three Banners in 2E 580, House Redoran's warriors would be among those that fought for control of Cyrodiil and the White-Gold Tower.[14]

In 2E 582, the Daggerfall Covenant launched an ill-fated military invasion of Stonefalls. Grandmaster Tanval Indoril once more took to the field alongside his Indoril Vanguard, combating the western invaders throughout the region. In an effort to stop the siege of Davon's Watch, Tanval summoned the Brother of Strife, Balreth, to lay waste to the Covenant forces. While Balreth succeeded in this, Tanval would lose control of the Brother in the aftermath of the Covenant's defeat, and was forced to seal it away in Ash Mountain once more with the aid of the Vestige. After his son Garyn's death during the retaking of Fort Virak from the Covenant, Tanval was consumed with grief and became obsessed with the total annihilation of the Covenant. He and his Vanguard invaded Kragenmoor and took Grandmaster Omin Dres' son, Sen, hostage in exchange for access to Tormented Spire and the second Brother of Strife, Sadal. Eventually, the Vestige liberated the House Dres city from Indoril occupation and confronted Tanval on the slopes of the Tormented Spire. The Indoril Grandmaster repented, and gave his life to seal away Sadal for good.[15]

Later that same year, Magistrix Urili Vox's Maulborn Cult infiltrated Mournhold, plotting to infect its water supply with the Llodos Plague in a bid to undermine the rule of the Tribunal and turn the city against Almalexia. They were foiled by the efforts of the Vestige and the Morag Tong.[16]

In the late Second Era, Tiber Septim's legions turned their eyes towards Morrowind. House Indoril swore to resist the invaders to the death, with House Dres and House Redoran following their lead. However, the Indoril and Dres advocated allowing the western invaders to enter the interior of Morrowind, where they'd battle them via a guerrilla war. With the Redoran manning the western borders alone, the Telvanni remaining neutral, and the Hlaalu advocating accommodation, Morrowind was disunited. When Vivec signed the Armistice in 2E 896 after only a handful of skirmishes, House Indoril was shocked and angered by what many viewed as the Tribunal's betrayal. The Lord High Councilor of the Grand Council, an Indoril, refused to accept the treaty, and refused to step down. He was assassinated, and replaced by a Hlaalu. Considered a dwarf in comparison to the might of Indoril for millennia, House Hlaalu took the opportunity of their newfound strength to settle some old scores with House Indoril, and a number of local councils changed hands in bloody coups. More blood was shed in these inter-house struggles than against the Imperial Legions during Morrowind's transition from an independent nation to a province of the Empire. To make matters worse for the Great House, many Indoril nobles chose to commit suicide rather than submit to the Third Empire. This left the former ruling power of Morrowind weakened and in disarray - their influence and strength permanently crippled. Only by retreating into the ranks of the Tribunal Temple was Indoril able to save some face at the close of the Second Era, and retain some influence in the centuries that followed.[17]

Third Era[edit]

"[T]he Indoril are orthodox and conservative supporters of the Temple and Temple authority. House Indoril is openly hostile to Imperial culture and religion, and preserves many traditional Dunmer customs and practices in defiance of Imperial law."Great Houses of Morrowind
An Ordinator in Indoril armor

At the dawn of the Third Era, House Indoril was the weakest it had ever been. Their dominant influence over Morrowind, present since the days of the Chimer, had come to a close. In their place, House Hlaalu became the dominant power in Morrowind, a result of their newfound alliance with the Third Empire. The remaining members of House Indoril retreated into positions in the Tribunal Temple hierarchy. The predominately Indoril militant order, the Ordinators, protected Vivec, Mournhold, and other Temple holdings. Its main resources being tied up in Guard duty and the maintenance of defenses against Dagoth Ur for the majority of the Third Era, the House, although not without influence, was far from its former glory.[13]

Outside of its indirect participation through the Tribunal Temple and its Ordinators, House Indoril's lack of lands on Vvardenfell meant that the House was entirely removed from the events of 3E 427 that saw the rise of the Nerevarine, the destruction of Dagoth Ur and the Heart of Lorkhan, the end of the Blight and the downfall of the Tribunal Temple.[13]

That same year, Mournhold was troubled by several strange occurrences, including ash-storms and the appearance of Clockwork City fabricant creatures on the streets of the ancestral Indoril capital. The Nerevarine traveled to the city, and discovered the source of these disturbances to be none other than Almalexia, maddened by the recent loss of her divinity and having murdered fellow triune Sotha Sil. Shortly afterwards, the former Living Goddess was slain in the depths of Clockwork City at the hands of the Nerevarine.[18]

Following the disappearance of the Tribunes at the end of the Third Era, the Tribunal Temple collapsed. House Indoril, whose power and influence was entwined with the Temple from the beginning, suffered greatly as a result. Unable to change with the times, House Indoril was said to be waning by 3E 432.[19]

A year later in 3E 433, citizens of Cyrodiil spoke of the new King of Morrowind, Hlaalu Helseth, overseeing the establishment of an alliance between House Hlaalu and House Dres. Allegedly, the two newly-allied Great Houses went on to "pick apart the carcass" of Indoril together. These Cyrodiilic rumors claimed that as a result of the machinations of the new king, House Indoril had been left in ruins.[20] The truth or validity of these rumors is unknown.

It is unknown how House Indoril fared during the Oblivion Crisis that saw Morrowind freed from Imperial rule.

Fourth Era[edit]

"House Indoril, whose fortunes were so entwined with the Tribunal Temple, suffered greatly from its fall. While House Indoril still technically exists, the priesthood of the Temple are now considered one and the same with House Indoril - those who become priests are now considered to have "joined Indoril." The political power of the Indoril has thus passed entirely into the hands of the Temple."The Reclamations

House Indoril was spared the brunt of the damage caused by the Red Year in 4E 5 due to its holdings being far from Red Mountain and Vvardenfell. Mournhold was the center of relief efforts to Vvardenfell led by House Redoran in the aftermath of the disaster.[21] However, the House was adversely affected around a year later in 4E 6 when the Argonians invaders from Black Marsh devastated the south and east of the province - much of the land having been part of Indoril District. Despite being saved from total destruction by the army of House Redoran, the heaviest blow came with the sacking of Mournhold, which ended the city's role as capital of Morrowind and removed the final vestiges of House Indoril's long-passed glory days. Subsequenty, Morrowind's capital became the ancestral Redoran seat of Blacklight.[22]

In 4E 40, there existed a minor House Sathil on the Redoran-ruled island of Solstheim, which ruled a castle and village by the same name. The patron of the family, Hleryn Sathil, had been allied with Great House Indoril until 4E 16, at which point he declared himself independent. The House played a role in the Umbriel Crisis of 4E 40, though no trace of it remained by 4E 201.[23][24]

Mournhold would eventually be liberated from the Argonians and rebuilt, though it remained a shadow of its former grandeur during the height of Tribunal and House Indoril rule. By 4E 201, the last traces of Almalexia were being removed from the city's Temple.[25] Plaza Brindisi Dorom now houses a large building used by House Indoril to accommodate the new priests and pilgrims who come to pay their respects at the New Temple.[25]

Though House Indoril still technically exists and remains one of the five ruling Great Houses of Morrowind,[22] the priesthood of the New Temple are now considered one and the same with House Indoril, and those who become priests are now considered to have "joined Indoril." The political power of the Indoril has thus passed entirely into the hands of the Temple (although members of the old House Indoril are still over-represented in the priesthood).[26]

Great House Indoril's modern holdings beyond the New Temple are unknown.

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

The old Indoril banner from ESO (left) and Helseth's banner from Morrowind (right)
  • ESO initially used a wolf symbol as the sigil of House Indoril, despite the fact that wolves are not native to Morrowind. This issue was identified during beta testing of ESO: Morrowind, and the reason for the discrepancy was explained by Lead Loremaster Lawrence Schick:
Early in ESO's development, like nine years ago, well before we had any lore-checking processes in place, the wolf got picked for the Indoril banner based on the stylized wolf-head that appeared on Mehra Drora's gorget in TES3. This got promulgated onto some other assets, and it didn't get spotted until ESO: MW was in PTS testing. We're gradually sorting it out, but doing that kind of thing means diverting resources from the next DLC, so corrections don't always happen instantly.[UOL 1]
The gorget worn by Mehra Drora was actually part of a generic robe, and the sigil of House Indoril was thus changed to depict wings. According to TES3 game files, the wolf symbol was actually King Helseth's crest, and numerous banners displaying it could be found on the walls in and around his palace in Mournhold (for example here).

See Also[edit]

  • For more information, see the ESO article.

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Great Houses of Morrowind
  2. ^ Poison SongBristin Xel
  3. ^ a b c Events of The Elder Scrolls Online
  4. ^ Ancestral Tombs with House Indoril crests in ESO: Morrowind
  5. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: MorrowindImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  6. ^ Mottos of the Dunmeri Great HousesVilyn Girith
  7. ^ a b Poison Song IIBristin Xel
  8. ^ Understanding House IndorilAndor Indoril, Grand Historian for the House
  9. ^ a b The Great Houses and Their UsesTel Verano
  10. ^ Poison Song IIIBristin Xel
  11. ^ Indoril banners and the Indoril Blue dye in ESO
  12. ^ 2920: The Last Year of the First EraCarlovac Townway
  13. ^ a b c Events of Morrowind
  14. ^ Pact Pamphlet: Congratulations!
  15. ^ Events of the Stonefalls quest arc in ESO
  16. ^ Events of A Favor Returned and The Mournhold Underground in ESO
  17. ^ On MorrowindErramanwe of Sunhold
  18. ^ Events of Tribunal
  19. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: The Temple: MorrowindImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  20. ^ Rumors in Oblivion
  21. ^ The Red YearMelis Ravel
  22. ^ a b Adril Arano's dialogue in Dragonborn
  23. ^ Lord of Souls — Gregory Keyes
  24. ^ Events of Dragonborn
  25. ^ a b To Milore from Nilara — Nilara
  26. ^ The ReclamationsThara of Rihad

Note: the following references are not from official sources. They are included to provide a rounder background to this article, but may not reflect established lore.

  1. ^ Reddit post by Lawrence Schick