|By Rutskarn||Oct 3, 2015||Video Games||72 comments|
Morrowind‘s narrative is settled around a religious schism between the “real” gods, who are worshiped by the occupying Empire, and three home-grown mortals-turned-gods who are worshiped proudly and a little spitefully by the unwillingly colonized natives. Unsurprisingly, there’s a complex lore and backstory behind this state of affairs, and I admit that this is where I would normally check out; this sort of thing is so commonly tiresome in fantasy. An author creates a convoluted narrative of gods and wars and legends and thinks the reader will find it as interesting as they do, if only they relay every detail precisely. The result is a plodding, ponderous shaggy dog myth that competes for headspace with the dozen other lores the player had to memorize. What these fantasy authors fail to realize is that history is not story. It’s the tools for telling a story.
This is one thing that Morrowind gets exactly right.
How did the self-made gods come into being? Great question! I don’t know. All I or anybody else knows is that there’s a half-dozen different accounts all believed passionately by factions that bring their own prejudices and needs and grudges onboard. The history of the tribunal’s divinity resembles a real history: a he-said she-said conflict of mythologies and folk accounts that sparks heated arguments and debate even between people on the same side. History as a debate is much more interesting to learn and follow than history as an inventory, and conflict over who is right is more interesting that conflict over who is stronger.