The Elder Scrolls

Why do the Bretons like/get along with Clan Direnni?

As I’ve played Breton characters, I’ve tried to read up on the lore surrounding their relationship with Mer and how my character in ESO might feel (if they had an opinion at all) about being dropped right onto Balfiera Isle in the new tutorial. Most of the things I’ve been reading seem to suggest that, for the most part, Bretons (and their Nedic ancestors) were somewhat friendly with the Direnni and, aside from political considerations, never really opposed them or viewed them negatively. As I understand it, Bretons existed above Nedes in the hierarchical system created by the Direnni, so they did benefit somewhat.

But I’m a little confused as to how the creation of the hybrid race is viewed positively. I don’t know how accurate Phrastus of Elinhir is considered, but in The Bretons: Mongrels or Paragons? he writes “In contrast to the Ayleids of Cyrodiil, who brutally enslaved any humans they came into contact with, the Direnni simply conquered their local Nedes and then ruled them as a caste of nobility.” What the Direnni did was 100% better than the Ayleids, but they were still an invading force that upended the Nedes normal ways of life. He goes on to say, “The aristocratic Elves established a system of feudal vassalage over their human subjects, with rights and privileges that included the "Perquisite of Coition" with any human they desired. Sex with attractive Nedes was considered casual recreation, and Direnni nobles competed to have stables of the most desirable human subjects.”

This sounds like the backstory of some tragic hero in a medieval themed mini-series: “My wife/daughter was abducted by a lord to be their concubine, I must rescue them.” And because the Bretons eventually became an entire race, it seems like this sort of treatment would be far spread. Since the offspring weren’t considered as good as the Mer themselves, it doesn’t seem like the kind of Dragon Age: Origins casteless Dwarf background scenario where giving a lord a son would elevate your position as well. It just seems like the practice must’ve been so widespread that not every concubine would acquiesce willingly and there would be some coercion involved, which means it ceases to be casual recreation and would turn into sexual assault.

Is there something I’m missing? It seems that if this is the case, the lore treats it pretty minimally and says the Bretons and Direnni got along like old chums when there would be plenty of bad blood to go around. In ESO, a member of Clan Direnni is the head of a noble Breton house, as well. The Bretons shrug off the Direnni later on and try to minimize their relation to them, but that seems more politically motivated rather than a resurgence of cultural anger.

TL;DR — It seems like the Direnni did the Nedes/Bretons dirty by putting them at the bottom of the feudal system and then subjecting them to widespread concubinage. Why don’t the Bretons care about this?

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