Another lore session, another small summary of the questions asked, and the answers given.
Q. What is the shared goal of the Ebonheart Pact?
A. It began as an impromptu alliance of convenience against the overwhelming forces of the Akaviri invaders. Now, they are allied behind the common purpose of maintaining their independence of any and all budding empires, as well as ending the threat that Molag Bal poses towards Nirn. Unlike the other two alliances, the seizing of the Ruby Throne is not the primary objective of the Ebonheart Pact, but rather, a means to an end.
Q. What are the differences between the Nord religion and the Imperial religion?
A. The Nords worship a mix of the recognised Divines, the Missing Divine Lorkhan/Shor. In addition, they have what they call "The Old Ways", which is the orginal Atmoran religion, in which they worshipped animal totems as well as the All-Maker.
Q. Naval traditions of the Pact, whose fleet would be the strongest?
A. The Nords' have the strongest naval traditions, due to their history of naval travel, previously having been Atmorans and all. That said, the Dunmer do have a fairly impressive fleet. Argonians only use boats for piracy in the southern parts of Argonia, where they can hide among the mangroves.
Q. How can the Argonians and Dunmer coexist peacefully?
A. The Dunmer are fairly obedient when it comes to doing Almalexia's bidding. With this in mind, the Pact has officially ended the enslaving of Argonians in Morrowind; excepting a few slavers, who are hunted and usually killed by vengeful argonians, all is well. Their primary objective is still to maintain their independence and to oust Molag Bal, which is enough for most to set their differences aside.
Q. What role does the Tribunal play in the Ebonheart Pact?
A. Almalexia is the public face of the Tribunal; Vivec is present, but concerned with other affairs. Sotha Sil's whereabouts are unknown. See: AuA Variety Pack 4
Q. Imperials, Imperials, Imperials?
A. Those Imperials who might wish to restore the previous empire would be likely to seek refuge within the Pact. This is because the Pact has no intention of taking over the Ruby Throne permanently, or creating a new empire themselves.
Q. Since Windhelm was destroyed during the Akaviri invasion, will we able to visit it in TESO, now that it is the capitol of the Ebonheart Nords?
A. All things point towards Windhelm having been restored (partially at least), so it should be possible to see it in some of its former glory.
Q. Since Argonians have scales, do they have a sort of natural armour?
A. The Argonians have skin similar to a snake's (but no, they do not shed it.) It might be better at resisting bites and stings from insects native to the Black Marsh, but beyond that, it has the same qualities as human/mer skin. Outside of the humid environs of Argonia, the Argonians' is capable of self-moisturising. Hence why "dry-skin" is an Argonian insult.
Q. Do Argonians have families?
A. In a way, yes. The villages seem to function as extended family units, where a single "nest" is overseen by a "nestkeeper" or "clutchmother", who also takes care of newly hatched argonians. This doesn't mean that the parents don't form intimate bonds, just that for the initial part of their lives, the Argonians of the Black Marsh are cared for in a communal manner. Hatchlings of the same clutch are referred to as "clutch-mates". Parents can have a close relationship to their offspring, but it is more common among those who live outside of Black Marsh.
Q. What makes the Ashlanders and common Dunmer different?
A. The nomadic, tribal Ashlanders represent the remnants of Chimer culture in Morrowind. The primary bone of contention between the Ashlanders and the House Dunmer concerns the events of the Red Mountain, surrounding the defeat of the Dwarves. Ashlanders allege that the Tribunal murdered the wounded Nerevar, great hero and unifier of the Chimer, in order to use the tools left behind by the Dwemer to seize the power of the Heart of Lorkhan and make themselves gods. The official Tribunal version claims that Azura, Nerevar and the three members of the Tribunal worked in concert to defeat the dwarves using the Heart, and that Nerevar had blessed the newly divine Tribunal before he succumbed to his wounds from the battle. This religious schism sets the two segments of Dunmer society apart, though they are not in open conflict.
Q. Are Nords suspicious of magic in the 2nd Era, and what about the Mages College of Winterhold?
A. The College was partially destroyed in an arcane explosion at some point during the Oblivion Crisis. So you might be able to catch a glimpse of the whole structure in its original splendour in TESO. As for the suspicion of magic, Shalidor was one of the first Archmages, and he was a Nord, which makes it safe to say that the Nords are more relaxed around magic in this period.
Q. Will we see the Companions in this time period?
A. The Companions do exist at the time of TESO, maintaining their neutrality from ordinary affairs of the war. Although their Harbingers in the Second Era were of a declining quality, they would continue to uphold their traditional role (going back to the Companions of Ysgramor) as arbiters of important matters of honour among the Nords. See: The Great Harbingers