The Dissident Priests are an offshoot of the Tribunal Temple based at Holamayan Monastery. They believe that the Tribunal gained their Godhood through treachery towards the Nerevarine. The Dissident Priests are persecuted by the Temple. They play an important role during the main quest in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
The members of the secret order of the Dissident Priests originally belonged to the Tribunal Temple. However, they started to have doubts about several of the Temple's official doctrines. They also think that political interests and love for authority and luxury has corrupted the Temple and many of its higher-ranking officials, which also tarnishes the realization of some of the Temple's fundamental doctrines the Dissident Priests support. The goddess Almalexia's change from a warm and motherly to a harsh and unsympathetic patron has also provoked discontent within the Temple and helped the group of the Dissident Priests to form and gain members.
The Dissident Priests describe the doctrines they challenge and their reasons to do so in their book Progress of Truth. The following is mainly a summary of what can be read there.
The Dissident Priests raise questions about the divinity of the Tribunal gods and the source of their power. They fear that the powers of the three "gods" might not be divine, but sorcerous. These powers, according to them, might come from the same source as those of Dagoth Ur, the Tribunal's arch-enemy.
Secondly, the Dissident Priests accuse the Tribunal of hiding the truth from the public, a truth that can be found in the Apographa, the hidden writing. They doubt the Tribunal's ability to protect Morrowind from Dagoth Ur and suspect that the true nature of this threat is kept a secret.
Taking Ashlanders traditions into consideration, the Dissident Priests challenge to Temple's official account of the Battle of Red Mountain and thus the doctrine of how the Almsivi gained their divine status. They doubt this divine status, and propose instead to recognize them as saints.
The Dissident Priests seek to find out the truth about events like those surrounding the Battle of Red Mountain, so as to understand better the true nature of the powers of the Tribunal and of those of Dagoth Ur. One part of this is to track down and collect the Apographa, the hidden writings of the Temple usually accessible only to high-ranking members.
To reveal incongruities of many of the Temple's official traditions, they perform textual criticism and collation between different traditions of the same events. For example, when talking to Master Gilvas Barelo about "Nerevar," they will give them one copy of each The Real Nerevar, Nerevar Moon-and-Star, and Saint Nerevar, thus demonstrating the very different impressions they draw of the historical figure of Indoril Nerevar, and revealing their sensitivity of observing such contradictoriness arising from different traditions. Also, their book Progress of Truth points out major discrepancy in the traditions surrounding the Battle of Red Mountain, the death of Nerevar, and the origin of the Tribunal's divinity.
Another source for their investigations are the Nerevarine Prophecies and the accounts of Ashlander traditions in general. The Dissident Priest's intellectual efforts result in written texts, Progress of Truth being one example.
The following books originate from within the order of the Dissident Priests:
- Kagrenac's Tools – A summary of the Apographa by Master Barelo.
- Progress of Truth – This book explains which Temple doctrines the Dissident Priests challenge, and why.
- The Lost Prophecy – This version of the Lost Prophecies contains notes from Master Barelo.
- The Seven Curses – This version of the prophecy about the seven curses contains notes from Master Barelo.
The Dissident Priests have a spiritual and administrative center in the monastery of Holamayan. The abbot of that monastery and at the same time leader of the order is Master Gilvas Barelo, who can be found within it.
The following are known members of the Dissident Priests. Most of them can be encountered within Holamayan Monastery.
- Beraren Sadri
- Daynillo Lleran
- Evesa Omalas
- Felayn Andral
- Master Gilvas Barelo – Leader of the Dissident Priests and abbott of their monastery.
- Malur Omayn
- Mehra Milo
- Mibdinahaz Addunipu
- Taren Omothan
- Tivam Sadri
- Vevrana Aryon
The Dissident Priests are a source of information for the Nerevarine during the main quest. Mehra Milo in the Temple library in Vivec City acts as the main informant. In the second main quest connected with the Dissident Priests, she must be rescued from the Ministry of Truth. After that, the Nerevarine is granted access to the main quarter of the order in Holamayan Monastery. There, Master Barelo gives them texts from the Apographa, which must be brought to the Wise Woman of the Urshilaku Tribe, Nibani Maesa.
The following main quests involve the Dissident Priests, in the order of their occurrence:
Apart from various citizens of Morrowind, who provide information, the following have more specific things to say about the secret order:
- All members of the Dissident Priest inside Holamayan Monastery.
- Galsa AndranoTR
- Gilvas Barelo
- Mehra Milo
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Progress of Truth
- ↑ Dialogue with BarenziahTR
- ↑ Events of the quest "Mehra Milo and the Lost Prophecies"
- ↑ Dialogue with Morrowind citizen
- ↑ Dialogue with Galsa Andrano
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Dialogue with Gilvas Barelo
- ↑ Dialogue to inhabitants of Holamayan Monastery
- ↑ Dialogue with Morrowind citizens reveals that Malur Omayn is being held in the Ministry of Truth for the offence of being a member of the Dissident Priests