Morrowind, formerly known as Resdayn and sometimes called Dunmereth or Dwemereth, is a province in the northeastern corner of Tamriel. It is divided into two main parts: the mainland of the same name, and the island of Vvardenfell, which are separated by the Inner Sea. Solstheim is also considered to be part of the province as of 4E 16, before which it was a part of Skyrim.
Morrowind was formerly the homeland of the Dwemer and Chimer, and now of the Dunmer, also known as Dark Elves. Although the Tribunal was a great influence in politics, Morrowind was ruled by King Hlaalu Helseth and the Grand Council during the events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and Tribunal in 3E 427. The island of Vvardenfell serves as the setting for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
The prophet Veloth led the Chimer to the land that would be known as Morrowind at some point in the Middle Merethic Era. The Dwemer also settled the area around this time. It is unclear exactly which group of Mer arrived in the area first, although the records of the Dwemer allegedly reach back further. The Velothi built many towers at this time, alongside a number of "High Elven" towers. The term "High Elven" is unexplained in this text, as the Altmer are not mentioned by name as having any political involvement with the Chimer at this time.
This period of success was followed by an unexplained period of decline of the original Velothi Chimer culture, which allowed the Dwemer to gain a more established foothold on the land, and the first known Dwemer settlements date from this period. This ultimately led to internecine war between the Chimer and Dwemer, which lasted into the First Era.
Disputes over territory marked the early interactions between the two groups of Mer in Morrowind in the First Era. These battles were allegedly fueled by conflicting religious beliefs of the two cultures, with the Chimer affronted by the Dwemer's lack of respect for the Daedra they worshipped, and the Dwemer either worshiped an unknown force or were more agnostic in their beliefs.
Invasion of the Nords and the Formation of the First Council
This disorganization contributed to the conquest of Morrowind by the Nords under Vrage the Gifted, which took a mere 50 years. The Nord invasion forced the Chimer and Dwemer to overlook their differences and unite, forming the First Council. This coalition drove out the Nords and formed the nation of Resdayn, which stimulated the formation of the Great Houses. It was achieved largely because of the friendship between Indoril Nerevar and Dumac Dwarfking, but ended with the War of the First Council.
The War of the First Council
Some claim that the war was simply due to continued religious differences between the Chimer and the Dwemer, others because the Chimer found various Dwemer sorcerous practices detestable. The event that likely sparked the march to war was the discovery by House Dagoth that the Dwemer had unearthed the Heart of Lorkhan beneath Red Mountain. This led to heated negotiations between Nerevar and Dumac Dwarfking. Upon being told by Azura that the Dwemer were building a new god under the mountain, Nerevar and the Tribunal, currently only advisors, issued an ultimatum to the Dwemer to stop work on their new god, or face destruction. Dumac, ignorant of the discovery of the Heart, refused. And so the Chimer and Dwemer went to war.
The war saw the Chimer divided, as House Dagoth sided with the Dwemer against the other Dunmer houses. House Dagoth invited Orcs and Nords as allies, which the latter saw as an opportunity to retake their old domains and claim the Heart of Lorkhan. The exact course of the war is unclear, but all sources claim the war ended in the Battle of Red Mountain.
The Battle of Red Mountain
All forces involved in the war met at Red Mountain. During the battle, there was a major standoff at the chamber where the Heart of Lorkhan was kept. One tale claims Nerevar, the Tribunal, and Dagoth Ur snuck into the chamber where the Heart of Lorkhan was kept, and confront Dumac and Kagrenac. In the ensuing battle, Dumac was killed, although precisely who killed him is uncertain. Some sources claim it was Nerevar, others Wulfharth, and yet others a Khajiit called Dro'Zira. Sources are similarly unclear as to whether Nerevar was killed during the battle, died from his wounds afterward or was murdered by the Tribunal. All sources agree that the Dwemer disappeared, and some elaborate that Kagrenac's Tools fell into the hands of Nerevar and the Tribunal. Voryn Dagoth, a traitor of House Dagoth, was left guarding the Tools with the Heart while the Tribunal and Nerevar met to discuss the artifacts' fates. The resolved to destroy them. When they returned, Dagoth refused to hand them over, but was defeated and fled into the depths of Red Mountain.
The Tribunal's Apotheosis and Azura's Curse
Following the battle, either directly after or some years later, the Tribunal use Kagrenac's Tools to tap the power of the Heart and become living gods. Either at this point, or the point where they murdered Nerevar, Azura cursed them for their treachery, turning the Chimer into the Dunmer as a punishment, and prophesying Nerevar's return.[source?]
Formation of the Temple and Grand Council
Following their apotheosis, the Tribunal formed the Tribunal Temple, claiming that they were better-suited to look after the people of Morrowind than the fickle Daedra. The Tribunal also outlawed the inter-house conflicts that had been a part of much of Chimer history, sanctioning the Morag Tong guild to carry out assassinations in lieu of full-blown inter-house conflict. However, there are instances of conflict between the Houses even after this time.
The First Council was renamed the Grand Council, and consisted of only the victorious houses. The Ashlanders, nomadic Dunmer arranged into tribes rather than settled Houses, refused to worship the Tribunal, continuing in ancestor and Daedra worship. Over time, the webs of allegiances between the settled Dunmer and the peace brought by the Grand Council meant that they developed rapidly, forcing the nomadic Ashlanders into the less fertile lands of the province.
The First Akaviri Invasion
In 1E 2700 or 2703, a force of Tsaesci invaded Tamriel. The Tribunal joined with the Second Empire to defeat the Tsaesci, Vivec allegedly forming an alliance with the king of the Dreugh as part of this effort.
The Four Score War
Relations ultimately worsened between the Empire and Morrowind, resulting in the Four Score War breaking out in 1E 2840. The Tribunal took an active role in both the battles and negotiations of the war, which ultimately ended with no change of territories in 2920, the last year of the First Era.
At the same time as the treaty was being negotiated, Reman III and his sons were murdered by the Morag Tong. Some claim this was done on the orders of the Akaviri Potentate Versidue-Shaie, who also ratified the final treaty between the Empire and Morrowind.
The Second Akaviri Invasion and the Ebonheart Pact
Kamal from Akavir invaded the kingdom of Eastern Skyrim in 2E 572. The Dunmer joined with the Nords and Argonians to drive them out, forming the Ebonheart Pact. Following the expulsion of the Akaviri, the Pact made a bid for the Ruby Throne of Cyrodiil, led by the Nord Jorunn the Skald-King. The reasons for the traditionally insular Dunmer following this venture are unclear, but it may be that they believe that the divine nature of the Tribunal and their ability to defend Tamriel from external threats gave them that right, or as part of a desire to remain independent of any continent-spanning empire.
The Pact ultimately disbanded before the end of the Interregnum, in unknown circumstances.
War and Armistice with Tiber Septim
Tiber Septim made clear preparations to invade Resdayn after conquering Hammerfell. The Great Houses were divided on how to oppose the Empire, leaving House Redoran standing alone against the legions. There were several border skirmishes, and Mournhold was destroyed by Imperial troops.
Shortly after this, Vivec met with Tiber Septim and signed an armistice which integrated the new province of Morrowind into the Empire while guaranteeing "all rights of faith and self-government." The Empire installed Barenziah as a figurehead queen, and the Imperial Legions occupied Morrowind, but also agreed to not interfere with the affairs of the Tribunal, and left most of the local government to the Great Houses and the Temple. There are also rumors that Vivec offered Tiber the Numidium as part of the agreement.
The Armistice was unilaterally declared by Vivec, and came as a surprise to most of the Grand Council, and the Temple. It was accepted by Houses Hlaalu, Redoran and Telvanni, while House Indoril, backed by House Dres, swore to resist to the death. The head of the council, an Indoril, refused to sign the treaty, was assassinated and replaced by a Hlaalu, who also seized control of several local councils. Many remaining Indoril nobles committed suicide rather than submit to Imperial rule, further weakening the House.
The Arnesian War started as an Argonian slave revolt during the Imperial Simulacrum (3E 389–399). The revolt escalated into full conflict thanks to the alleged torture and death of Roris, who was later canonized by the Temple. The revolt caused the death of the Imperial general Symmachus, and the flight and abdication of Queen Barenziah. Despite these setbacks, Morrowind ultimately prevailed in the war, taking land from the Argonians.
The Rise of Dagoth Ur and the Nerevarine
Since their ascension, the Tribunal had to make annual pilgrimages to the Heart of Lorkhan to renew their powers. However, they had been unable to do so since 2E 882, having been driven off by Dagoth Ur. This began a series of raids against Red Mountain by the Tribunal, in an attempt to access the Heart, culminating in the ambush of Almalexia and Sotha Sil and the loss of Sunder and Keening in 3E 417. Meanwhile, followers of Dagoth Ur had begun to occupy various places and build up their strength, including their old headquarters in Kogoruhn, while recruiting followers by compulsion and visions in dreams.
In 3E 427, an individual who came to be known as the Nerevarine arrived on Vvardenfell. The Nerevarine, rumored to be the prophesied reincarnation of Nerevar, or a member of the Blades and an Imperial plant, recovered Kagrenac's tools, destroyed the Dwemer enchantments on the Heart of Lorkhan, and defeated Dagoth Ur. The Nerevarine also killed the deranged Almalexia, who herself murdered Sotha Sil, before disappearing.
Following the disappearance of Vivec, Lie Rock, a moon or meteor originally kept suspended above Vivec City by Vivec's power, began to fall again. A group of mages in Morrowind created the Ingenium, a soul-powered machine, to keep the moon suspended above the city.
Return of Barenziah and Coronation of King Helseth
Barenziah returned to Morrowind some time before 3E 427 when her son Helseth became king after the sudden death of King Llethan, and took the title of Queen Mother for herself. A ruthless and paranoid king, Helseth ordered the assassination of the Nerevarine by the Dark Brotherhood, fearing that they were a threat to his rule.
Sometime after his coronation, King Helseth outlawed slavery in Morrowind, and reformed the Grand Council to be closer to a traditional Dunmeri governmental structure.
The Oblivion Crisis affected Morrowind along with the rest of Tamriel, causing the destruction of Ald'ruhn and forcing the Imperial garrison at Solstheim, where no Oblivion Gates are known to have opened, to be recalled to Cyrodiil.
Following this, the Houses sent out various expeditions to help re-establish themselves, and House Redoran sent one such group to Solstheim. These assisted the East Empire Company with their mining operations in Raven Rock.
In 4E 5, a woman named Ilzheven was chosen to help power the Ingenium. Her lover, a Dunmer named Sul, fought to free her, destroying the Ingenium in the process. This caused Lie Rock to resume its descent and crash into Vivec City, destroying it.
This sent shockwaves which caused Red Mountain to erupt, triggering earthquakes and tsunamis across Morrowind. The ensuing natural disasters destroyed Gnisis, and heavily damaged Balmora, Sadrith Mora. On Solstheim, Fort Frostmoth was decimated. On the mainland, shocks reached as far as Tear, but Mournhold was unaffected.
A House Redoran councilor from Mournhold coordinated relief efforts and teams were sent to Vvardenfell to help rebuild a month after the eruption. Telvanni magelord Master Neloth also took in some refugees at his tower of Tel Mithryn. Ongoing relief efforts on Vvardenfell were however disrupted by the Argonian invasion in the following year.
In 4E 6, the Argonians invaded Morrowind at the bidding of the Hist, and possibly the Thalmor. Much of southern Morrowind was devastated by the Argonians, and also apparently some holdings of House Telvanni. The Empire's ineffectual protection and seeming indifference to Morrowind's plights made them reviled by the Dunmer. After the Empire "released its grasp" on Morrowind House Hlaalu's Imperial ties resulted in it being replaced by House Sadras on the Council of Great Houses. Furthermore, the An-Xileel's invasion of Morrowind during the Accession War prevented the Empire from reclaiming Morrowind.
The combination of the Red Year and the invasion forced most Dunmer to flee to Solstheim, then technically part of Skyrim, and into Skyrim itself. In 4E 16, Solstheim officially became part of Morrowind, forcing the East Empire company to give over the rule of the island to House Redoran.
Morrowind is officially a province of the Empire, governed by a titular king put in place after the Armistice. This king historically has very little power, with most administration falling on the Grand Council and the Great Houses. The Temple and, while they existed, the Tribunal, also had an input in governmental affairs.
King of Morrowind
One of the terms of the Armistice with the Empire was the creation of a King of Morrowind, who served as an Imperial representative. Traditionally a figurehead more than an active ruler, the king does have a variety of powers in Morrowind's government. His edicts have generally covered points of provincial trade and settlement, but have been more far-reaching in some cases, including a ban on the Morrowind slave trade, and a restructuring of the Grand Council.
The main ruling body of Morrowind is the Grand Council, instituted following the War of the First Council. The Tribunal had seats on the council, as did the Great Houses and the Temple. The Grand Council was governed by a Lord High Councillor at the time of the Armistice, whose assent is apparently required for motions to pass. The structure of the Grand Council was reformed by King Hlaalu Helseth in the late Third Era, although exactly what this has meant for the Council's composition and role in Morrowind governance is unclear.
Under the Empire, Morrowind was divided into districts, which were administered by Dukes representing the Empire, and self-governing preserves. The Temple and the Great Houses govern subdistricts within each district territory, under the guidance of District Councils. Local law is enforced under the mandate of these councils, resulting in a mixture of Imperial, Temple and House law being enforced, depending on precisely who governed the subdistrict in question.
The Great Houses have their origins in ancient Velothi tribes, and function effectively as political parties within the Morrowind polity, as well as controlling much of the trade and local administration in the province.
Representatives from each of the Great Houses sit on the Grand Council, the body that has ruled Morrowind since the late First Era. The Houses themselves also have ruling councils, which enforce House policy and conduct.
Great Houses that have been referenced in the games to date are House Dagoth, House Dres, House Hlaalu, House Indoril, House Redoran, House Sadras and House Telvanni. All but House Dagoth and House Sadras had a stake in Morrowind's governance for most of its history. House Dagoth was destroyed following the events at the Battle of Red Mountain, while House Sadras replaced House Hlaalu following the Red Year. During the time of Resdayn in the First Era, the Dwemer were also accorded the status of a House, referred to as "House Dwemer."
Membership of the Great Houses is generally a matter of birth, but members can be adopted into a Great House. This typically requires the sponsorship of an existing House councilor. Following House Dagoth's dissolution, many of its members were assimilated into other Houses thusly.
House Dres, whose influence stems from agriculture and the slave trade, is located in the south-eastern part of Morrowind, and has no holdings in Vvardenfell. A strong and rich House in the Second Era, with a thriving economy, its influence on Morrowind politics has weakened considerably since Morrowind's surrender to the Third Empire, which it strongly opposed.
House Dres is the most conservative of Morrowind's Great Houses, to the extent that the Daedra worship of the Chimer is still commonly practiced by its members. During the war in which Morrowind became a province of the Empire of Tiber Septim, it was one of the Houses, along with House Indoril and House Redoran, to resist Imperial forces, opposing the treaty even after Redoran agreed to its terms.
More recently, after the defeat of Dagoth Ur, House Dres has apparently undergone some significant changes. King Hlaalu Helseth has outlawed slavery in Morrowind, but Dres is apparently prospering in spite of this.
House Hlaalu was always one of the weaker Great Houses, and so tended to rely on trade and relations with external political forces to keep up with the rest of the Houses. This meant that they were one of the few sincere members of the Ebonheart Pact during the Three Banners War. The House itself positions this as the ability to be nimble and adjust to events, which is for them a political necessity. The House had holdings on Vvardenfell during the Third Era, and its old capital was Narsis. However, the key members of the Hlaalu council all resided on Vvardenfell.
House Hlaalu was always pro-Imperial in its outlook, urging accommodation with Tiber Septim in the period leading up to the Armistice. When the head of the Grand Council, an Indoril, refused to sign the treaty that Vivec negotiated, he was assassinated and replaced by a member of House Hlaalu. Their cooperation with Imperial authorities during the Third Era allowed them to expand aggressively and build and support many new settlements on Vvardenfell. The exact status of these settlements in the political climate following the events of Red Year and the Argonian invasion is unknown. Following the abdication of Queen Barenziah, Athyn Llethan, a member of House Hlaalu, became King of Morrowind. He died soon after her return, shortly before the events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
House Hlaalu saw its status of Great House revoked during the Fourth Era. This was due to the Empire's (supposed) abandonment of Morrowind during the Oblivion Crisis. Since the other Great Houses could not take their anger out on the Empire, they targeted House Hlaalu, who were staunch Imperial supporters. The House became an outcast and a pariah, losing almost all of its power.
House Indoril is one of two Great Houses that do not have holdings in Vvardenfell. Its capital is Almalexia, which also functions as the capital of Morrowind as a whole. The vast majority of members serve the Temple, a tendency which only increased following the events of Red Year and the fall of the Tribunal, resulting in all of House Indoril's power passing into the hands of the Temple in the Fourth Era.
The Chimer warlord Nerevar was an Indoril, and the House claimed that from it came the Tribunal itself. These connections allowed them to maintain a strong control of Morrowind's governance throughout much of Morrowind's history.
When the Third Empire invaded, House Indoril wished to fight to the death rather than submit and proposed fighting a guerrilla war against the invaders. Following the Armistice, many House Indoril nobles committed suicide rather than accept the treaty, and the House lost a great deal of influence because of it. This has only continued in later years, with House Indoril now effectively functioning as an ancillary part of the Temple.
House Redoran is a martial house that consider themselves the hereditary defenders of Morrowind. The House prizes the three virtues of duty, gravity and piety, and they are typically considered one of the more honorable Houses in the region. The house claims their first duty is to the Temple, although not as part of its structure as House Indoril is. The House motto is: "A Redoran is a warrior whose duty is first to the Tribunal, second to House Redoran, and third to family and clan."
They have holdings in Vvardenfell island and on the west of the Morrowind mainland. Their holdings in the mainland of Morrowind include a large portion of the northwest of the province. Their capital on Vvardenfell and council seat for much of their history was Ald'ruhn. In the Fourth Era, they also control much of the island of Solstheim, including the settlement of Raven Rock, following the departure of the Empire in 4E 16.
The House was seen to be in decline for much of the Third Era, losing influence on Vvardenfell as the more expansionist and underhanded Telvanni and Hlaalu houses, in addition to suffering from severe levels of crime organized by the Cammona Tong and the Thieves Guild. The most severe blow came during the Oblivion Crisis, when Ald'ruhn was destroyed.
After the Oblivion Crisis, House Redoran established holdings on Solstheim and mainland Morrowind, taking over Raven Rock after the withdrawal of the Empire. On the mainland, House Redoran was one of the least damaged houses following the Red Year and was able to take over the position of leadership on Morrowind's Grand Council.
House Sadras is a great house that rose to prominence during the Fourth Era. They joined the ruling Council of Morrowind, along with House Telvanni, Dres, Indoril and Redoran.
House Telvanni is a house governed by powerful and idiosyncratic mage-lords, with little formal code of conduct being imposed by the House hierarchy. As a result, many of the most powerful Telvanni lords work in solitude, and do not concern themselves directly with House affairs. During the Three Banners War, despite being a member of the Ebonheart Pact, the Telvanni were most concerned with keeping the other Pact members out of their territories.
Despite this, there is a de facto code of conduct in the House, which considers that might makes right. The House motto reflects this, being: "The forceful expression of will gives true honor to the Ancestors." This cut-throat attitude also means that murdering one's political opponents is a perfectly acceptable way of resolving disputes. It is also the way that the current ruling Archmagister must be deposed.
Their indifference to politics is reflected in the structure of House governance. While the Telvanni council is made up of some of the most powerful wizards in the House, they are represented and their votes are cast by "Mouths," who speak for their patron in council so that the actual Councillor does not have to. Most Telvanni Councillors on Vvardenfell do not live at the Vvardenfell district seat of Sadrith Mora, but have their own towers, populated by their retainers. Their isolationism is also reflected in the governance of their main territories. Non-members of the House are required to have "hospitality papers" to be in Sadrith Mora at all.
Despite being laissez-faire in their attitude to internal and political affairs, House Telvanni is one of the most competitive when it comes to obtaining resources and power. The House was in direct competition with House Hlaalu for land on Vvardenfell for much of the Third Era, and dominated much of Vvardenfell's eastern regions. Alongside House Dres, House Telvanni is one of the more vocal proponents of slavery on Morrowind, as it allows them to have a fresh supply of both test subjects and cheap labor. They even worked with House Hlaalu to break the Mages Guild monopoly on transportation magic in the Third Era.
During the Oblivion Crisis, the House was rumored to be defending Morrowind directly by invading and closing Oblivion gates. However, the House suffered from the subsequent Argonian invasion in 4E 6.
It is argued by historians and scholars that, aside from Cyrodiil, the Dunmer are the most powerful province in terms of military might, yet political division has always prevented this from being utilized effectively. Only during invasion has Morrowind stood united to any great degree.
During the Oblivion Crisis, however, it fell to House Redoran to organize the Dunmer into an effective fighting force against the Daedra. House Redoran had a very effective army by the end of the crisis and were able to hold their own when the Argonians invaded. While the southern half of Morrowind was ravaged, House Redoran led the Dunmer in the defense of the northern half and was able to hold the invaders. Redoran's demonstration of the superior effectiveness of its armies gained them much respect from their people, and from then onward they became the most powerful and respected Great House in Morrowind.
Dunmer warriors favored a wonderfully light armor made from the carapace of insects, covered over with a finely-woven cloak of spider silk and wrapped several times around the torso. A turban protected the head and face from the ubiquitous ash, with goggles of transparent resin; loose trousers and high boots completed the dress. While this made for an outlandish appearance, travelers would understand the utility of these garments the first time one is caught out of doors in one of the frequent ash storms without such protection. This natural, light armor was known as Chitin Armor.
Warriors of the Great Houses wear a unique heavy plate armor called Bonemold Armor. It was fashioned from actual bone that was reinforced with a resin-like material and then shaped to form the armored plating. Although it appeared brittle, it was said to be comparable to iron or steel armors.
Morrowind was originally an agrarian aristocracy; mostly free farmers and herders and fishermen, all ruled by the Great Houses and their noble councils. After the Imperial occupation, and especially on Vvardenfell, the Dunmer developed a mercantile economy based on the model of the Empire, ruled by the Emperor, law, and legions, but driven by trade in crafts and goods.
Morrowind's production was based on the mining of kwama eggs, ebony, and glass. One of the main reasons for the Empire's invasion was due to the vast mineable ebony deposits present in the province.
Located in the northeast of Tamriel, Morrowind is a largely alien and inhospitable place where the sky is darkened regularly by furious ash storms belched forth from the mighty Red Mountain, the largest volcano in Tamriel. The familiar flora and fauna of Tamriel is exchanged for bizarre and twisted forms that can survive the regular ashfall. In the Ashlands, cloaked and masked Dunmer tend to herds of giant insects and Netch. One can also observe Dunmer riding extremely large insects. Much of the landscape is as twisted and mountainous as its neighbor Skyrim, but it is a hot and desolate land, even far from Vvardenfell, where Red Mountain is located. Previously named Resdayn, Veloth, Dwemereth, and Dunmereth, it had been called "Morrowind" for the last two Eras.
Bal Foyen is a pocket realm along the Inner Sea, located east of Stonefalls, before the Telvanni Peninsula. Bal Foyen has a large population of Argonians in the area, likely a reserve for former slaves. The township of Dhalmora is built in the traditional Argonian mud-style and it is where the people of Bal Foyen generally live. Fort Zeren is a bulwark that protects the area from invading forces. Because Dhalmora is an agriculture and trading community, the Bal Foyen Dockyards serve as an in-between point for resources from Bal Foyen to the rest of Morrowind. Bal Foyen relays info to nearby Davon's Watch.
The Clockwork City is the domain of Sotha Sil, a member of the Tribunal. The Clockwork City is far more advanced than the rest of Tamriel, with artificial flora and sunlight to safeguard the people. The Brass Fortress is the capital of the Radius, the wild reaches of the Clockwork City. Throughout the Radius, Sotha Sil's factotums inspect the land, for various disturbances and other activities. The Mnemonic Planisphere is where Sotha Sil's memories are held and preserved. The location of the Clockwork City is largely unknown, but it is expected to be underneath Mournhold, deep in the ruins of Bamz-Amschend.
Deshaan is the grazelands along southern Morrowind, and it is the center of the province's theopolitical power. The city-state of Mournhold is the traditional capital of Morrowind, and it is the capital of the Great House Indoril. It is a part of the larger city of Almalexia. The neighboring city-state of Narsis is the capital of the Great House Hlaalu, and it serves more as a trading post than a fully-fledged city. The Shrine of Saint Veloth is the burial grounds of the Prophet Veloth himself; it also houses his artifacts. The Shad Astula Academy is the center of Magical studies in Morrowind, and it is due east of Mournhold. Deshaan is split into Lagomere, the Redolent Loam and Siltreen.
The island of Solstheim sits in the Sea of Ghosts, in an area between Morrowind and Skyrim. Because of that, Solstheim has been a territory for both provinces. The major township in the region is Raven Rock, originally an Imperial-charter town which has become the territory of House Redoran. On the northern coast is the Nordic settlement of Skaal Village, home to the Skaal Tribe of Nords. East of Raven Rock is the Imperial stronghold Fort Frostmoth, where the East Empire Trading Company had originally occupied Solstheim. Solstheim is split into the Felsaad Coast, Hirstaang Forest, Isinfier Plains and the Moesring Mountains. But with the Red Year, the Hirstaang Forest was obliterated, leaving the Solstheim Ashlands.
The Stonefalls Ashlands stretches from the northern portion of the Valus Mountains, the southern coast of the Inner Sea, to the eastern border to the Telvanni Peninsula. The capital of the region is the city-state of Ebonheart, which is a city of House Hlaalu. It is located at the center of the region. To the western edge is the city-state of Kragenmoor, a trading city with ties to House Dres. The city-state of Davon's Watch is a city of House Indoril, and it is located on the eastern coast. The twin volcanoes Ash Mountain and the Tormented Spire tower throughout Stonefalls. The region is split into Daen Seeth, Varanis and Zabamat.
The sub-continent of Vvardenfell is the massive island located in the middle of Morrowind, surrounded by the Inner Sea and the Sea of Ghosts. The center of the island is Red Mountain, perhaps the largest volcano on Tamriel. The city-state of Vivec is the capital of the region, and it is on the Ascadian Isles. The city-state of Balmora is a city of House Hlaalu, on the northern end of the Odai River, in a pocket of the West Gash. The city-state of Ald'ruhn is a city of House Redoran, and it was built around the carcass of Skar, the Emperor Crab of Vvardenfell. The city-state of Sadrith Mora, is a city of House Telvanni, among Azura's Coast. Vvardenfell has various regions, the most notable ones are the West Gash, Molag Amur, and Sheogorad, among others.
Named after one of the Tribunal gods, Vivec City lay on the southern coast of the island of Vvardenfell and projected well into the sea. The city of Vivec is owned by the Tribunal Temple, with Great Houses renting property from it in order to have a presence in the city. After Baar Dau fell, the city was destroyed, and the region where it once stood being named Scathing Bay.
The city of Mournhold, sometimes called the City of Gems, or Almalexia, was home to King Hlaalu Helseth, the current king of Morrowind, and the god Almalexia, a member of the Tribunal, as well being as birthplace of Queen Barenziah. It is referred to as "The city of light and magic" by the local people. Mournhold was sacked by Argonians some time during the Fourth Era, and the province's capital was moved to Blacklight. Nearly two centuries after the invasion Mournhold is rebuilt and is thriving once again.
Balmora is located in the southern part of Vvardenfell and is the district seat of House Hlaalu, and was the largest settlement on Vvardenfell after Vivec City in the Third Era. The Hlaalu Council Manor, the location of House Hlaalu's bureaucracy and leadership, was located within Balmora. The city was badly damaged during the Red Year, but is in the process of being rebuilt.
The town of Ebonheart is composed of several islands, surrounded by walls and connected by small bridges. There is also a port, offering ship transfer to various coastal towns on Vvardenfell. Ebonheart is the seat of Imperial rule on the island of Vvardenfell, the regional headquarters of the East Empire Company, the Imperial Legion, and the home of Castle Ebonheart, wherein the Duke of Vvardenfell, Vedam Dren resides. It is named after the city of Old Ebonheart on the mainland of Morrowind, across the Inner Sea. The castle is very well protected from attack, since it resides on hills surrounded by water. The Second Era faction the Ebonheart Pact was named after the city.
The coastal city Sadrith Mora is located on an island on the eastern side of Vvardenfell. It is ruled by House Telvanni, and in the Third Era was home to Master Neloth, one of the House's councilors. Sadrith Mora had the Imperial Fort, Wolverine Hall, which includes several Imperial guilds and an Imperial Shrine. Stalls, shops and homes line the curving main pathway that runs around the base of the central hill on which Master Neloth's tower, Tel Naga, was built. It was destroyed in the eruption of Red Mountain in 4E 5.
Ald'ruhn was the Vvardenfell district seat of House Redoran and a large settlement. The Redoran Council Chambers are located inside the shell of an ancient, extinct giant crab. Imperial-constructed roads lead north to the villages of Maar Gan and Gnisis, and lead south to the major city of Balmora. Ald'ruhn was destroyed by Daedra during the Oblivion Crisis, and the rebuilding efforts suffered significant damage following the Red Year.
Blacklight is a city located on the northwestern coast of Morrowind, near the border of Skyrim. Following the Red Year and the sack of Almalexia by the Argonians, it became the capital of Morrowind and home to House Redoran. Many citizens of Blacklight moved to parts of Skyrim, most notably Windhelm, and also a large proportion moved to Solstheim. A Temple of Azura is known to exist, where Neria Relethyl resides.
Narsis, situated in the south of Morrowind, is the capital city of the Great House Hlaalu. In the Fourth Era, it was sacked by the Argonians of Black Marsh, during the Argonian Invasion, which is one of the reasons why House Hlaalu has lost great influence in Morrowind.
Tear is the southernmost city of the province of Morrowind. It is the capital of House Dres, and, as such, had a large population of slaves. The city was destroyed during the Red Year but seems to have been rebuilt.
Three major cultural groupings settled Morrowind: the Great House groups, the Ashlanders, and the Imperials. The smallest settlements were the Ashlander nomadic camps, compromised of small, portable huts. Recent Imperial colonies like Pelagiad display the same half-timbered homes and stone castles as might be found in High Rock or any other western province. The Dunmer Great Houses maintain a cultural dominance, however, with each displaying their own distinct customs and architecture.
Chimeri Daedra Worship
The Chimer were led away from Summerset by Veloth and Boethiah, who ate Trinimac to aid their exodus. He was joined by Azura and Mephala in leading the Chimer to Vvardenfell, and accompanied by Malacath, Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal and Sheogorath.
Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala are credited with bringing a particular form of advancement to the Chimer. Boethiah in areas as diverse as philosophy to architecture; Mephala in devising the House system that would define later Chimer and Dunmer society; and Azura taught them how to be different to the Altmer. These are seen as the "Good Daedra" in much Dunmeri folklore. The other four Daedra are traditionally seen as testing and opposing figures, although this may be a later elaboration originating during the Tribunal period.
The Anticipations and the House of Troubles
Following the apotheosis of the Tribunal, the worship of Daedra was prohibited by the Tribunal Temple because they claimed the Daedra were unworthy due to their inconstant and dangerous natures. This led to a decline in Daedra worship among the Great Houses, although the Ashlanders and House Dres carried on worshipping the Daedra as they had always done. Azura, Boethiah and Mephala allegedly consented to be replaced, and became the "Anticipations" of the Tribunal, sharing certain aspects with the Tribunal member who replaced them. Almalexia replaced Boethiah, Sotha Sil replaced Azura and Vivec took the place of Mephala.
The other four Daedra previously worshiped by the Chimer did not accept this however, becoming the Four Corners of the House of Troubles. Their roles as testing figures and obstacles to be overcome was solidified at this point.
The Tribunal Temple worshiped the three living gods: Almalexia, Sotha Sil and Vivec, also known as the ALMSIVI. Each god was a patron of different things for Dunmer people. Almalexia was a patron of teachers and healers, Vivec was a patron of artists and rogues and Sotha Sil was a patron of artificers and wizards. According to Temple doctrine the three tribunes gained their divine power through superhuman discipline and virtue, and supernatural wisdom and insight. The Tribunal saved the Dunmer from numerous disasters, such as when Baar Dau was flung from the sky by Sheogorath and was stopped by Vivec from landing on Vivec City, or when Almalexia and Sotha Sil banished Mehrunes Dagon back to Oblivion after he destroyed Mournhold. By doing these things, the Tribunal eventually gained the trust of the Dunmer people, displacing the original Daedra worship of the Chimer and moving themselves to a position of veneration, rather than worship. Some complied with this, but others refused to accept the Tribunal's new position. Those who resisted the transition became framed as tempters and devil figures by the Temple, known as the "House of Troubles."
After the Nerevarine destroyed the Dwemer enchantments on the Heart of Lorkhan, the Tribunal's power waned. Almalexia became unhinged as her godhood left her. After she murdered Sotha Sil in a fit of rage, Almalexia herself was slain by the Nerevarine. Vivec also disappeared, and it is unknown whether he is alive or dead.
Following the events of the Red Year in 4E 5, the Dunmer began to lose faith in the now missing Tribunal, and schisms broke out within the Temple. Eventually, the Dissident Priests emerged dominant, and reinstituted the worship of the three Good Daedra, with the Tribunal venerated as saints. As part of this, they were named the Reclamations, and the Ashlanders heralded as the guardians of the true path of worship.
On the Isle of Vvardenfell, which was only recently opened to settlement and trade, most of the island's population was confined to the relatively hospitable west and southwest coast, centered on the ancient city of Vivec and the old Great House district centers at Balmora, Ald'ruhn and Sadrith Mora. The rest of the island was covered by hostile desert wastes, arid grasslands, and volcanic badlands and thinly populated by the nomadic Ashlander tribes.
On the Mainland, the population is more evenly spread across the Province, with major cities such as Mournhold, Tear, Narsis, Necrom, Port Telvannis, Blacklight and Silgrad Tower holding very large portions of the Province's residents.
The grey-skinned, red-eyed Dark Elves seem admirably suited to their strange, ash-blighted region. They are known as the Dunmer in the Elven tongue, and now populate the great stretch of northeastern Tamriel between the Velothi Mountains and the sea, and between the southern edge of the Deshaan Plains and the northern coast. The Dunmer are descendant of the Chimer, who were themselves part of the Aldmeri tribes that chose to follow Veloth out of the Aldmeri ancestral homelands and into Morrowind. The Chimer were cursed by Azura for the Tribunal's transgressions, which gave the Dunmer the ash-grey skin and glowing red eyes that make them instantly recognizable. Like all elves, they tend to be tall and gaunt, but the Dark Elves take the Elvish haughtiness to an extreme, viewing humans as no better than beasts, fit only to serve as slaves on the plantations of Tear.
They consider themselves superior even to other Elves, who, in their estimation, are effete and decadent specimens of the pure Elven race. The earliest human records bearing on the subject (which remain the best source until the archives of the Altmer are opened to Imperial scholars) are the chronicles of the Nords. The Nords gave to the region the name of Dunmereth for being the land of the Dunmer, but in earlier ages, it was called Resdayn; and Imperial Librarian Elba Laskee traces the foundation of the Dark Elven nation back to above 3,500 years from the present time. Morrowind was not given its modern name until after the first eruption of Vvardenfell.
- The Elder Scrolls: Arena
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (mentioned only)
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Morrowind
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Provinces of Tamriel
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Events of The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Before the Ages of Man
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 Nerevar at Red Mountain
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Skyrim
- ↑ 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition: Morrowind
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 A Short History of Morrowind
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 The Battle of Red Mountain
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 War of the First Council
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 The Real Nerevar
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Five Songs of King Wulfharth
- ↑ The Tale of Dro'Zira
- ↑ Saint Nerevar
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 The Anticipations
- ↑ War of Two Houses
- ↑ Zainsubani's Notes
- ↑ Notes from Huleeya
- ↑ Legacy of the Dragonguard
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Other Lands
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - dialogue with Countess Narina Carvain
- ↑ Fire and Darkness
- ↑ 2920, vol 11 - Sun's Dusk
- ↑ Guide to the Ebonheart Pact
- ↑ The Time of the Ebonheart Pact
- ↑ Breaking the Cycle of Tyranny
- ↑ 28.00 28.01 28.02 28.03 28.04 28.05 28.06 28.07 28.08 28.09 28.10 28.11 On Morrowind
- ↑ Biography of Barenziah, v 1
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 The Arcturian Heresy
- ↑ A Short Life of Uriel Septim VII
- ↑ Lives of the Saints
- ↑ Pocket Guide to the Empire, Third Edition: Black Marsh
- ↑ Dagoth Ur's Plans
- ↑ Events of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- ↑ 36 Lessons of Vivec, Sermon 33
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 37.5 An Elder Scrolls Novel: The Infernal City
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 History of Raven Rock, Vol. I
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 39.2 The Red Year, Vol I
- ↑ 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 40.4 40.5 The Red Year, Vol II
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn - dialogue with Elynea Mothren
- ↑ 42.0 42.1 42.2 Lymdrenn Tenvanni's Journal
- ↑ 43.0 43.1 Rising Threat, Vol. IV
- ↑ Adril Arano's dialogue during Served Cold
- ↑ Lleril Morvayn's dialogue
- ↑ History of Raven Rock, Vol. III
- ↑ Lady Nerevar, Greg Keyes, Lord of Souls Lore Notes — Imperial Library
- ↑ Decree of Monument
- ↑ 49.0 49.1 49.2 History of Raven Rock, Vol. II
- ↑ Guide to Vvardenfell
- ↑ 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 51.4 51.5 51.6 51.7 51.8 51.9 Great Houses of Morrowind
- ↑ 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 52.4 52.5 The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn - dialogue with Adril Arano
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - dialogue with Hasphat Antabolis
- ↑ 54.0 54.1 54.2 The Great Houses and Their Uses
- ↑ 55.0 55.1 The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - dialogue with Vivec
- ↑ Grasping Fortune
- ↑ Yellow Book of 3E 426
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - dialogue with Ocato
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - dialogue with Marius Caro
- ↑ 60.0 60.1 60.2 60.3 The Reclamations
- ↑ 61.0 61.1 The True Noble's Code
- ↑ 62.0 62.1 Mottos of the Dunmeri Great Houses
- ↑ Guide to Ald'ruhn
- ↑ Red Book of 3E 426
- ↑ 65.0 65.1 Brown Book of 3E 426
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Rules of House Telvanni dialogue
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - dialogue with Master Aryon
- ↑ The Affairs of Wizards
- ↑ Guide to Sadrith Mora
- ↑ Hospitality Papers
- ↑ Telvanni Requirements
- ↑ 72.0 72.1 Rumors in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- ↑ Dialogue with Captain Veleth
- ↑ Guide to Vivec
- ↑ The Real Barenziah, Book I
- ↑ Guide to Balmora
- ↑ Ancestors and the Dunmer
- ↑ 78.0 78.1 Varieties of Faith: The Dark Elves
- ↑ 79.0 79.1 79.2 House of Troubles
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - dialogue with Elam Andas
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - dialogue with Tharer Rotheloth
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - dialogue with Tuls Valen
- ↑ The Living Gods
- ↑ Pilgrim's Path
- ↑ 2920, vol 11 - Sun's Dusk
|Tamriel||Cyrodiil • Skyrim • Morrowind • High Rock • Hammerfell • Valenwood • Elsweyr • Black Marsh (Argonia) |
• Summerset Isles (Alinor)
|Akavir||Tang Mo • Kamal • Ka Po' Tun • Tsaesci|