I need to follow blogs for the video games I’m big on, so, if you post a lot of content from/about the following games (especially if you do metas) please reblog or like and I’ll take a look at your blog and probably follow!
Dragon Age (all)
Mass effect (all)
The elder scrolls (oblivion or skyrim)
Dibella, called Dibe by the Kothringi, is the goddess of beauty and love, and is one of the Nine Divines. In Cyrodiil, she has nearly a dozen different cults, some devoted to women, some to artists and aesthetics, and others to erotic instruction.
Mara is considered the mother-goddess and goddess of love. Some consider her as a universal goddess. Her origins started in mythic times as a fertility goddess. In Skyrim, Mara is a handmaiden of Kyne. In the Empire, she is Mother-Goddess. She is sometimes associated with Nir of the “Anuad,” the female principle of the cosmos that gave birth to creation. Depending on the religion, she is either married to Akatosh, or Lorkhan, or the concubine of both. She appears in nearly every culture’s pantheon in Tamriel.
Kynareth, called Kyne by the Nords and Kin by the Kothringi. She is the strongest of the Sky spirits and is the deity of the heavens, the winds, the elements, and the unseen spirits of the air. Patron of sailors and travelers, Kynareth is invoked for auspicious stars at birth and for good fortune in daily life. In some legends, she is the first to agree to Lorkhan’s plan to invent the mortal plane, and provides the space for its creation in the void. She is also associated with rain, a phenomenon said not to occur before the removal of Lorkhan’s divine spark. Kynareth is generally seen as the embodiment of nature, with the mysterious and deadly Spriggans representing her wrath.
Above is a screenshot from Dragon Age: Origins saying that men and women are generally regarded as equals in Ferelden. RPGs are thankfully past the days of minuses to Strength for female characters and often present worlds in which things like sexism and homophobia are said to not exist. I rather like attempts to make RPGs, Pen & Paper and Video Game alike, more inclusive. However patriarchy and heteronormativity aren’t superficial forces and you can’t just say they don’t exist while not changing key aspects of society. Despite claims of equality a lot of forces within society and underlying assumptions about gender that people have remain unchanged. Worlds which are said to lack patriarchy are still seeped in patriarchal values.
I’m going to use Skyrim as my example here, not because it’s particularly bad or anything, just because it’s a good example of “traditional” fantasy. In Skyrim women hold a wide variety of positions in society, you have women who are jarls, adventurers, generals, storekeepers, blacksmiths, bards, warriors, bandits, priests, guildmasters and wizards. Same-sex marriage also exists with such relationships being considered normal. But unless you get married you’ll never see a single same-sex couple in Skyrim and there’s still inheritance of titles based largely around having children, despite claims of equality the world itself remains heteronormative. And women still perform the majority of unpaid domestic labor, they’ll talk about how “there’s nothing a man can do that I can’t do better,” there’ll be a quest devoted to slut-shaming and being physically weaker or less aggressive than others is worthy of contempt, things you wouldn’t expect in a society free of sexism. It’s probably also worth noting there’s no trans people or people who present in ways that could be considered nonconforming for their gender in general, this is despite the existence of gods like Boethiah who is explicitly both a man and a woman.
You might say this is all proof that Bethesda weren’t trying to make a world free of sexism. But again, I’m not so much talking about Skyrim here as I am tropes common to worldbuilding in general. It’s far easier to imagine a world filled with dragons, elves and spell slinging sorcerers than it is one in which our societal understanding of and relationship to gender is fundamentally different than our own. Because if you’re trying to portray a world which isn’t sexist, those kind of standards would have to change. The Witcher 3 portrays a society which is patriarchal and characters who are sexist, but the narrative and protagonist view this as a bad thing. Geralt is good in regards to how he relates to the women in his life (if you told me when I started playing The Witcher 1 that Geralt will say “No means no - I get it” when turned down by a succubus I may not have believed it,) he’s a positive father figure and we see women like
Cerys an Craite and Ciri struggling against such societal standards and other great characters like Triss, Shani and Yennefer. The Witcher 3 isn’t perfect when it comes to portrayals of gender, the game certainly has missteps, but it does show you can have a sexist world with a narrative and heroes that don’t reinforce those ideas. And in some ways it’s better and more honest than pretending that sexism doesn’t exist.
As I said earlier this is an issue that’s really widespread in worldbuilding. I don’t hate works that fail to do it and conceiving of a world which is that different from our own can be hard. But I think if you want to make a world that’s truly free of certain types of oppression, that should mean more than just saying that oppression doesn’t exist and not thinking of what the broader implications would be on a societal and individual level. Equality isn’t like a paintjob you can put on the car which is the society/world you’ve created, true equality is going to change what that world looks like and how people behave on some fundamental levels. It can be hard to envision a society which is so different from the one we live in, but I think that kind of creativity and imagination is worthwhile.
Finally got round to getting an animation software so I can start doing more stuff for uni and myself! Started off attempting to sketchily animate my brother’s Dovahkiin/DnD character,
Brünmir! I’ll do my own next :3 Can I tell you right now Dawnguard armour is a terrible pain to animate
We last left our Armiger on the shores of the Sea of Ghosts, looking across the waters to the Castle Volkihar, having been thrown out after rejecting sanguinare vampiris from Lord Harkon, the father of his then companion, Serana.
Varen knew he would need to make the trek back to the Rift, to Fort Dawngard, but first he would need to contend with the elements of the frigid northern coast. He decided to raid a bandit encampment rather than set up his own camp, the n’wahs there felled easily by a few well placed arrows.
As he settled into the warmth of his newly won campfire, he reached into his bag to find something to eat when his hand touched upon the beacon he had found among the belongings of the Conjurer he and Serana had slain. He remembered Meridia’s voice, or perhaps he heard it again: her pleading with him to investigate her shrine. When dawn broke, Varen let the beacon guide him to the Shrine.
A giant (thought not as large as Azura’s, he noted with satisfaction) pearlescent statue of Meridia stood over him with her hands lifted to the sky. When he presented the beacon, it found its place on the pedestal in front of the shrine of its own accord. Varen felt himself lifted into the air, or maybe he only imagined it, looking down over the entire province from the sky, with Meridia’s voice taking a more commanding tone as it spoke with him. She appeared to him as a sphere of bright light.
“The Necromancer Malkoran defiles my shrine with vile corruptions, trapping lost souls left in the wake of this war to do his bidding. Worse still, he uses the power stored within my own token to fuel his foul deeds. I have brought you here, mortal, to be my champion.” She explained that this Malkoran could be defeated only by guiding her beam of light through the temple, to cleanse her artifact, Dawnbreaker, and defeat the necromancer.
Varen agreed to help the Daedra; Meridia stood against the undead, after all, and her favor would surely come in handy for him as he pursued a rivalry with clan Volkihar. Soon, he was in the depths of the temple itself, doing battle with Malkoran’s shades and guiding the light through as he had been instructed.
Stendarr is the God of Righteous Might and Merciful Forbearance. He is the inspiration of magistrates and rulers, the patron of the Imperial Legions and the comfort of the law-abiding citizen. Stendarr has evolved from his Nordic origins into a deity of compassion or sometimes, righteous rule. He is said to have accompanied Tiber Septim in his later years. In early Altmeri legends, Stendarr is the apologist of Men. In Skyrim, the fanatical Vigilants of Stendarr wander the countryside, looking to distribute justice. Their objective is to eradicate certain undesirables from Nirn, namely necromancers, conjurers, and especially Daedra.
Julianos, the God of Wisdom and Logic, is one of the Nine Divines. Often associated with Jhunal, the Nordic father of language and mathematics, Julianos is the Cyrodilic god of literature, law, history, and contradiction. Monastic orders founded by Tiber Septim and dedicated to Julianos are the keepers of the Elder Scrolls.
Talos, known as Tiber Septim, Ysmir, Dragonborn, and the heir to the Seat of Sundered Kings, is the God of Man and War, and is considered one of the greatest heroes of Mankind. Much of his life as the mortal Tiber Septim is shrouded in legend and hearsay, but one feat is undisputed: he became the first person to successfully unite all of the nations of Tamriel under a single Empire. Upon his apotheosis as the god Talos, the Eight Divines are said to have rewarded him for his accomplishment with a place by their side as the Ninth Divine. Talos is worshiped as the protector and patron of just rulership and civil society, as well as the patron god of warriors and heroes.