The Plan to Defeat Dagoth Ur
For the past twenty years the Tribunal have tried unsuccessfully to execute this plan. However, we failed because we were required to stage an assault and simultaneously maintain the Ghostfence to prevent the threatened large-scale breakout of Dagoth Ur's blighted hosts. With the Nerevarine leading the assault, and the Tribunal free to devote their full energies to maintaining the Ghostfence, this plan has a greater chance of success. Unfortunately, however, the loss of the artifacts Sunder and Keening, and the recent increase in Dagoth Ur's strength, poses new problems for the execution of the plan.
Therefore, our proposed plan has the following five phases:
- A series of aggressive raids to scout inside the Ghostfence.
- A series of aggressive raids to neutralize Dagoth Ur's ash vampire kin, and recover artifacts from the bodies of his kin.
- An assault of Gate Citadel Vemynal to neutralize Dagoth Vemyn and recover the artifact hammer Sunder.
- An assault of Gate Citadel Odrosal to neutralize Dagoth Odros and recover the artifact blade Keening.
- An assault of Citadel Dagoth with the artifacts Wraithguard, Sunder, and Keening to sever Dagoth Ur's connection to the Heart of Lorkhan, and thus to Destroy Dagoth Ur.
Phase 1: Raids inside the Ghostfence
The Tribunal, Ordinators, and Buoyant Armigers are familiar with the terrain, and will provide maps and current intelligence reports. The region inside the Ghostfence is dangerous, and the Nerevarine will need to be familiar with its particular challenges. After measuring skills and resources against Dagoth Ur's defenses, the Nerevarine will know better how to pace a campaign, alternating raids with improving skills, getting better equipment, and stockpiling resources.
Phase 2: Raids upon Ash Vampire Citadels
Dagoth Ur's kin have become markedly more powerful in recent decades, after remaining stable for thousands of years. If they can be individually isolated and destroyed, they will not be able to support Dagoth Ur in later stages of the war. It may also be that the dramatic increase in their power comes from items enchanted by Dagoth Ur. Salvage of such items might contribute to our resources.
Phase 3: Assault on Gate Citadel Vemynal
Essential to recover the artifact hammer Sunder for Phase 5. The Ash Vampire Dagoth Vemyn has possession of Sunder, and probably seeks to discover the secrets of its enchantments. He may also have access to notebooks and journals of Kagrenac that have survived in the Dwemer workshops of Vemynal.
Phase 4: Assault on Gate Citadel Odrosal
Essential to recover the artifact blade Keening for Phase 5. The Ash Vampire Dagoth Odros has possession of Keening, and probably seeks to discover the secrets of its enchantments. He may also have access to notebooks and journals of Kagrenac that have survived in the Dwemer workshops of Odrosal.
Phase 5: Assault on Citadel Dagoth
All the previous stages are preparations for this stage. Recent expeditions show that Citadel Dagoth has undergone extensive expansion; the location will need to be explored carefully. The known route to the Heart Chamber will be well-defended; alternative routes may exist. Dagoth Ur will have anticipated our plan to destroy him by attacking the Heart, and he will almost certainly personally oppose approach to the Heart Chamber. Together the Tribunal could not defeat him, and he has grown stronger since then. Admittedly, the Tribunal had the distraction of maintaining the Ghostfence simultaneous with fighting Dagoth Ur, but, even so, the challenge seems daunting.
The adoption of this phased campaign seems to offer the best chances for success. In retrospect, the Tribunal's decision to directly assault Citadel Dagoth rather than proceed step-by-step through lesser objectives must be seen to have been a serious error. The Tribunal did not feel it had the option of a slow-paced and deliberate campaign, given that they had many other competing priorities, not the least of which was the maintenance of the Ghostfence and the outer defenses surrounding Red Mountain. The Nerevarine, on the other hand, should be best served by a careful, step-by-step advance, with the additional advantage of building confidence along the way while successes would undermine Dagoth Ur's own assurance in his defenses.
Employing Kagrenac's Tools against Dagoth Ur
The source of Dagoth Ur's supernatural power is the Heart of Lorkhan. The Heart is also the source of the Tribunal's divine powers.
During mythic times, the gods took and hid Lorkhan's heart beneath Red Mountain as a punishment for creating the mortal plane. The Dwemer discovered the heart while building underground colonies. High Craftlord Kagrenac created enchanted tools intended to tap the power of the heart. The War of the First Council was fought to prevent this sacrilege. Kagrenac's use of these tools and the disappearance of the Dwemer race marked the end of the war. Kagrenac's tools were recovered by Lord Nerevar and Dagoth Ur. Dagoth Ur was left to guard the tools while Nerevar came to consult with us, his advisors. In Nerevar's absence, Dagoth Ur experimented with the tools upon the heart, and was corrupted. We returned to discover a deranged Dagoth Ur who refused to turn over the tools. When he attacked us, we drove him away.
We left Red Mountain with the tools, and subsequently Sotha Sil discovered their secrets. Collectively we used the tools to establish a connection with the Heart, enabling ourselves to transform our mortal natures. Thus we became the Tribunal.
Dagoth Ur had survived our attacks, and without the tools, in a manner not well understood, Dagoth Ur also managed to establish a connection with the Heart and to transform himself into an immortal being.
Our plan to destroy Dagoth Ur also runs the risk of destroying the Tribunal. The plan is to permanently disrupt Kagrenac's enchantments upon the Heart, severing connections withand ourselves, and rendering us all once again mortal. A mortal Dagoth Ur may then be destroyed by mundane means. The loss of godhood and the possible death of the Tribunal are judged a necessary risk and sacrifice.
The normal procedure for establishing connection with the Heart is a three-step process. The wearer of Wraithguard strikes the Heart with the hammer Sunder, causing the Heart to produce a pure tone. Then the wearer of the Wraithguard strikes the Heart with the blade Keening, shattering the pure tone into a prism of tone-shades. These tone-shades are then imprinted upon the substance of the wearer of Wraithguard, giving him an immortal and divine nature.
The Nerevarine will not be taught the secret rituals required to perform the third step. Instead, The Nerevarine will strike the Heart with Keening for a second time, causing its tones to diverge into unstable patterns of interference. Further repeated strikes with Keening will further disrupt the tones, with the ultimate result of shattering and dispelling Kagrenac's original enchantments binding the Heart, thereby severing the Heart's links with Dagoth Ur, and with any surviving Heartwights, and with the Tribunal. Destroying Kagrenac's enchantments on the Heart will also stop the corrupt effusion of the Heart's divine power, and end the Blight on Morrowind.
The Nerevarine may be tempted to steal the power of the Heart. Dagoth Ur and Sotha Sil alone know this secret. Dagoth Ur may, in extremity, propose to teach the Nerevarine to use Kagrenac's tools to become a god. We doubt that the Nerevarine is fool enough to trust Dagoth Ur, and are content to take this risk.
Be warned! The Nerevarine cannot safely equip either Keening or Sunder unless wearing Wraithguard. The Nerevarine will be injured every moment while holding either of these artifacts unless protected by Wraithguard; persistence will be rewarded with death. If Nerevarine can equip an item while not wearing Wraithguard and receive no injury, the item is a counterfeit.
One last note. Dagoth Ur must not get hold of Wraithguard. The Nerevaine must prepare and use a Recall or Almsivi Intervention if there is any risk of death or capture.
The Element of Surprise
Dagoth Ur will not expect you to destroy Kagrenac's enchantments on the Heart. He does not know it is possible, he would not do it himself, and he knows we have never tried it. He will not believe anyone would want to sacrifice the promise of such power. Further, advancement in House Dagoth, as in all Great Houses, is by challenge and confrontation within the hierarchy. The Nerevarine's challenges and defeats of ash vampires and battles with the Sixth House will be viewed in that light.
Dagoth Ur and his kin may assume The Nerevarine's ambition is to control the Heart. Given that assumption, it is only reasonable that the Nerevarine would try to defeat each of Dagoth Ur's subordinates in turn, working up to Dagoth Ur. If the Nerevarine can defeat Dagoth Ur, and control the Heart, so much the better. But logically the Nerevarine would wish rise as high in the hierarchy as possible before cutting a deal with head of the House.
Dagoth Ur should try to recruit the Nerevarine into House Dagoth. It may be possible to pretend to join him, then betray him. However, any attempt to deceive him will be very risky. House Dagoth has a tradition of subterfuge and treachery, and because he is a deceiver, he will expect deception.
We place no compulsion upon the Nerevarine to adhere to the plans described here. We believe that they offer the best chance of destroying Dagoth Ur. But we have also chosen to place our trust in the Nerevarine's judgement and skill. Frankly, we see no alternative.
If there are doubts or questions, speak with Vivec. He has agreed to serve as the Nerevarine's guide and counselor for this campaign.
It may be that if the Nerevarine succeeds, the Tribunal will not survive. Such sentiments as might have been expressed to the Tribunal should, in that case, be addressed to the land and people of Morrowind.
May the happy convergence of fortune and prayer meet in our destiny.