I'll start by saying what seems to me the most important thing. I do not want either of us to play the Nerevarine, the Champion of Cyrodiil or the Dragonborn. In fact, I do not want either of us to play canon characters at all. The epic I want to scribble out is not that sort of epic. I do not want our characters to hold the world in their hands. I don't want them to be that high-powered, but mostly I don't want them to be as two-dimensional as that sort of power, and that sort of scope, could make them. By keeping the scope of our story smaller, but setting it within the enormous and epic world of The Elder Scrolls, I reckon things can stay personal for them. Important, edgy, ambiguous, while still occasionally getting glimpses of the sublime, terrifying, wondrous world they live in. It's all there. Only, they don't own it, control it. They're in it.
Of course, that doesn't mean there won't be adventure. Fuck yes, there'll be adventure!
I guess the most specific I'm comfortable with getting at the moment, when it comes to who our characters might turn out to be, is this. They'll be adventurers. In one way or another. Whether they're sellswords, after fame, fortune, glory and excitement or mercenaries simply trying to scratch together enough bounty coin for their next meal. Or archaeologists, or travelling con artists, or mages convinced they can learn more from the turning world around them than from turning the pages of books. Or bards and storytellers looking for subject matter, or soldiers, by choice or otherwise. That's all open to interpretation. But they won't be average. Then again, who is?
I've said I don't want either of our characters to be 'canon characters'. That doesn't, however, mean that they won't live in momentous times. If anything, I think it'd be pretty awesome if they existed on the peripheries of interesting events, impossible occurrences, that sort of thing. It'd be cool if they lived at one of the times shown in the games, only their side is the one you don't see so much. They might meet characters featured in the games, and in its literature. They'll almost certainly visit their places, hear about their events. They'll be on the edges of moments around which the world turns, but never quite in the spotlight. Who knows, perhaps they too have some role to play?
As for when and where I'd like to set our story, that's all very much up in the air. I admit, Skyrim, the province and the Era shown in the game, are freshest in my memory, and there's a lot of things about the both of them that I'm fond of. However, Morrowind is a fascinating place, and a diverse one. So's the Era in which the game takes place. Or perhaps, if we fancy a bit of creative freedom, it might be nice to interpret somewhere that we haven't yet seen in the games. Say...Hammerfell? It's all good. It's something I'd like to leave open for discussion.
However, I am currently leaning towards Vvardenfell/Morrowind or Skyrim as settings. While Era is negotiable, the same rough time period as Skyrim, the game, would work well for me. Morrowind, however, is home to my one solid idea for a plot. It would involve two characters either caught in the immediate after-shock of the Red Mountain's eruption, struggling for survival in Vvardenfell, or struggling to leave for Solstheim or Skyrim, or two characters (probably Dunmer) returning to the ruins of Morrowind after the Red Year, and finding it now a half-empty frontier-land full of hardship, hostility, new promises and new hopes.
Finally, before we get down to the nitty-gritty, I'll say one thing about tone. I'd like it to be just that. Gritty. Realism is a difficult word when you're talking about a high fantasy world, but it's one I want to include. I want to interpret the world shown and suggested in the games, as it might be if it were real. Cities are larger, distances are enormous, Skyrim is bitterly cold and the sands of Elsweyr really are warm. Not only that, but bandits are people who bleed, breathe, love and fear for their lives, and life is harsh and hard and cheap and easily lost. I'd like to emphasise elements of wonder, the sublime, but also of horror, greed, prejudice, lust - all the good stuff. Magic is difficult, powerful, and often feared and treated with suspicion. I imagine it's also more complex to work than is shown in the games. This might seem like a bit of a moot point, but the same goes for, urh, combat. I'm thinking nasty, short, brutal. The same goes for the psychological effects it might have on people who witness or engage in it. Survival is likely to play a significant part in the story.
I hope that puts us on the same general page here.