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the red year

To Milore from Nilara

Nilara Ienth


I hope the day finds you well. Well, Athras and I have finally mustered the courage to return to Mournhold and pick up the pieces. We haven't been back to the manor in almost fifty years, but things haven't changed much. The city feels a bit empty... Barenziah's palace is still completely unoccupied and most of the Redoran Guard have been reassigned to other parts of Morrowind. They've continued to make improvements to Mournhold Temple, removing the last vestiges of Almalexia's mark and adding a new sanctuary. Plaza Brindisi Dorom has changed as well. House Indoril has erected a large building there to house all of the new pilgrims and priests that seem to have flocked here to pay their respects at the temple.

Athras has returned to work as a jewelcrafter and he's gaining quite a following. He's bringing in a good bit of coin, a little of which I've sent to you as usual. Things are going well, and at this rate, we'll have the manor restored to its former glory by winter. I know you're tired of hearing about it, but I implore you to reconsider my offer. We have plenty of room here, and both of you are always welcome to join us. I know it's tough out there, but suffering in that horrible place just to prove a point isn't necessary anymore. Just a little sisterly advice.


A Letter to Selina IV

Maximian Axius

My dearest Selina,

This is my last letter. I don't know if you'll ever get any of them, but I'll keep them on me in case I'm ever found. Something happened here, Selina. It was horrible. Something's happened at the Red Mountain but I can't describe it. It's as if hundreds of Oblivion gates opened at once at its summit and it's spitting fire and death in all directions. Fort Frostmoth has been completely destroyed. The walls crumbled like loose dirt and the land is on fire. Everything around me smells of ash and of death. I don't know where anyone is. I've been trapped in one of these lower sections of the fort and I don't expect to be rescued anytime soon. I miss you, Selina. I want to hold you and the children in my arms and tell you that everything is going to be fine, but I don't think that will ever happen. Give my love to Siricus and Atia for me. Tell them their father died bravely defending the Empire, so they can hold their heads high when they speak of me one day. And you my love, when you close your eyes at night, think of me so my spirit can finally come home.

Yours always and forever,

Maximian Axius
3 Sun's Dawn 4E 05

The Red Year

Melis Ravel, ed.

The Red Year
Volume I

Melis Ravel



When I originally decided to write this accounting of the Red Year, I elected to travel across Morrowind and speak to the Dunmer people themselves. I sought first-hand accounts and personal views about the cataclysmic event. I felt that if I simply did the research in the library stacks at the College of Winterhold, I wasn't really telling the tale that needed to be told. What struck me as I moved from city to city, town to town, camp to camp is that all of the Dunmer I met shared an incredible bond of sheer courage and unshakable faith. So what began as a chronicle of one of the worst events in the history of Morrowind became something altogether different, the celebration of a people who can never be defeated.

Drallin Vess

"The ground... it just turned into mush. There was almost no warning. I mean, we were what... perhaps a mile from the nearest swamps? It was like the swamp suddenly swallowed up half of the city."

I asked him to describe what happened from the beginning.

"I owned a farm just outside of Tear at the time. We were planting the next season's crops and getting ready to store what we had harvested. Everything was going well until the Red Mountain exploded. Almost immediately, the ground rumbled and shook. Cracks started forming everywhere and then the water just started seeping through. It was awful. In a matter of hours, I was knee-deep in swamp water running for my life. Where I was running, I had no idea. At first I ran towards the city itself, but it looked like the walls were cracking. All around me, people were desperately trying to save their livestock and their families from the rising water. Just when the ground shaking finally died down, and I had a moment to think, there was a horrible cracking noise. I'll never forget it, because I knew what it was before I looked. The entire southern wall of Tear collapsed sending guards tumbling into the swamp. I heard people screaming as they were covered by the rubble and forced down into the water. Forgetting my own problems, I looked over at my fellow farmers who were all staring at the carnage unfolding before us. Suddenly, we all just forgot our own problems and ran to help. There must have been hundreds of the poorer folks who lived outside the walls helping the richer ones who lived in the city. Never saw anything like that. I think we must have saved hundreds more that day."

Neria Relethyl

Neria was badly burned by the eruption, and had trouble speaking to me. She is currently convalescing at the Temple of Azura in Blacklight even after all these years. I've tried to record her story to the best of my ability.

"It was such a terrible thing... the fire. It burned everything in its path. It flattened trees, turned our huts into splinters and knocked over towers like they were made from parchment. It all happened in an instant. A rumbling sound, then a massive wall of flame... it was so high it blocked out the sun. I thought that the world itself had split apart. It passed over the water and turned it to steam... vaporized everything it touched. When it finally hit us, I was blown off of my feet... didn't even have time to run away or seek shelter. I ended up in the riverbed next to town, which kept some of the flames off of me. All around... could smell the charred stench of death. There were Dunmer that were burned alive and some never even saw it coming. I lay in that riverbed for two days before the healers found me. When I could finally stand, Gnisis was gone. There wasn't a thing left... it's as though it was wiped from the face of Tamriel."

The Red Year
Volume II

Melis Ravel


When I originally decided to write this accounting of the Red Year, I elected to travel across Morrowind and speak to the Dunmer people themselves. I sought first-hand accounts and personal views about the cataclysmic event. I felt that if I simply did the research in the library stacks at the College of Winterhold, I wasn't really telling the tale that needed to be told. What struck me as I moved from city to city, town to town, camp to camp is that all of the Dunmer I met shared an incredible bond of sheer courage and unshakable faith. So what began as a chronicle of one of the worst events in the history of Morrowind became something altogether different, the celebration of a people who can never be defeated.

Saldus Llervu
Vivec City

"I was a trader back then. Ran a pack guar from Vivec City clear down to Narsis. I was walking along the south road when the strangest thing happened. All of the noise around me stopped... the normal things one hears as they travel like the sound of the wind blowing through the treetops. It was just deathly quiet. I felt a tingling sensation all over my body and my guar began to stomp around. Whatever it was, it was driving him crazy. As I tried to get him under control, there was a massive explosion from the center of the city. I saw the cantons fall apart before I was knocked off my feet. Then I remember the ground starting to rumble. It lasted for a long time and it receded into the distance as if directed towards the center of Vvardenfell. A few minutes later, the Red Mountain erupted, sending a huge cloud of fire into the sky. My pack guar had long since fled, and I decided I should do the same. I never stopped running until I reached Narsis."

I asked him if he knew what had happened Vivec City.

"I didn't hear until much later that the Ministry of Truth had struck the heart of the city. What I do know for certain is that many Dunmer lost their lives that day and that Vivec City is no more."

Deros Dran

"The Red Year didn't heavily affect Mournhold itself, but it touched many of the people who lived there. A lot of us had relatives somewhere on Vvardenfell, and after the first day that the eruption occurred we started receiving reports of widespread devastation in Vivec City, Sadrith Mora, Balmora and Ald'ruhn. I don't think a single night went by for months where you wouldn't hear someone openly weeping. It was a sad time for all of us."

I asked if Mournhold had sustained any damage during the Red Year.

"I don't know why, but the destruction seemed to pass us by. A few Dunmer claimed that it was the Tribunal watching over us, but others claimed that the Tribunal was to blame for everything. I actually saw a few of those disagreements come to blows. It was a strange time."

I got an interesting response from Deros regarding Mournhold's role during the Red Year.

"Relief efforts began almost a month after the mountain erupted. It was actually a directive that came from the House Redoran councilor that was living in Mournhold at the time. I can't remember his name, but he took charge of the situation and sent soldiers, supplies and able-bodied Dunmer to the outlying settlements that had been hit the hardest. I was sent to Balmora. The place was a mess; hardly anything left in town was still standing. I spent maybe two months there, helping to rebuild the town and getting my fellow Dunmer back on their feet. It started out as a burden, but it ended up being the most rewarding thing I'd ever done in my life. I started some friendships there that still last to this day, including my beloved wife."

History of Raven Rock, Vol. I

Lyrin Telleno

The History of Raven Rock
Volume I

Lyrin Telleno


Raven Rock is one of the more interesting colonies of Morrowind of the last two centuries. So much has happened to this tiny town in such a short amount of time, and so many lives have been affected by it, I felt it necessary to describe its rich history within these volumes. During my research, I lived in Raven Rock for almost three years, and I got to know many of my fellow Dunmer who call Raven Rock their home. I hope that my readers will appreciate the amount of fortitude and perseverance that it must take to endure life in such an inhospitable and untamed land.

Raven Rock was founded in 3E 427 by the East Empire Company in response to the discovery of a rich ebony mine on the southern edge of the island of Solstheim. The construction of the town took several months, and the mine immediately started yielding ebony ore that the miner's shipped to Windhelm in Skyrim. By 3E 432, the town was home to over thirty people, all of whom depended on the mine for their livelihood. At this time, Raven Rock was almost exclusively inhabited by Imperials and a few Nords who were drawn to the mine's wealth.

When the Oblivion Crisis arose in 3E 433, Raven Rock remained largely untouched by Mehrunes Dagon's forces and work continued as usual. The bulk of the Imperial Guard that was stationed in Raven Rock was recalled to Cyrodiil to fight the invading forces, but a few soldiers remained behind in order to protect the ebony mine from bandits. It's uncertain whether any Oblivion Gates ever opened on Solstheim, as there appears to be no record of such an event ever occurring there.

In the first year of the Fourth Era, after the destruction of Ald'ruhn, many of the Dunmer Great Houses sent out small groups of their own to seek places to reestablish themselves. House Redoran's group was led by Brara Morvayn who immediately struck out for Solstheim. After some quick negotiations with the East Empire Company (and some speculate quite a bit of coin changing hands), Brara's group was allowed to settle in Raven Rock where they quickly became a part of the mining colony's way of life. The Dunmer proved to be both hard-working and reliable when it came to working in the mines, impressing the East Empire Company and solidifying their relationship.

All was going quite well until that fateful day in 4E 5 when the Red Mountain suddenly erupted, sending a massive blast across the Sea of Ghosts that struck Solstheim with its full fury. Raven Rock was heavily damaged by this wave of force, which toppled several of its stone structures and obliterated many of the wooden ones. Ironically, the mine once again proved to be the town's saving grace, as most of the population of Raven Rock was working underground at the time, and was completely shielded from the blast. This event wasn't without cost, however. Raven Rock was heavily dependent on nearby Fort Frostmoth for its defense, but the eruption had almost completely wiped it from the face of Solstheim. The few soldiers that survived took residence in Raven Rock itself and attempted to set up a makeshift garrison there, but these scant few were hardly a match for potential threats to their town. With the East Empire Company's permission, Brara brought in some of House Redoran's elite "Redoran Guard" to fill the void. The guard proved to be an ideal replacement for the fallen Imperial soldiers and have been guarding the town ever since.

Faded Diary


...another dream of Red Mountain erupting. People running as flaming rocks the size of cantons fell from the sky...

...can still see my brother's outstretched arm, as he tried to reach the silt strider and walked right out into the boiling waters...

...not just Vvardenfell, all of Morrowind was hit by the rocks. There's no work and no food will grow under the ashes. We are going to try for Skyrim...

Decree of Monument


4 E 20
This tower once served as a meeting place where those brave souls who achieved safe passage to Skyrim would find loved ones, and leave notice for others who could not be found.

Let it stand in honor of those who had the strength and spirit to accept Skyrim's Offer "untithed to any thane or hold, and self-governed, with free worship, with no compensation to Skyrim or the Empire except as writ in the Armistice of old wheresoever those might still apply, and henceforth let no Man or Mer say that the Sons and Daughters of Kyne are without mercy or honor."

We, the Jarls of Skyrim, hereby decree this site as monument to the struggle of those who fled their native home of Morrowind in the time following the Red Year.

Lymdrenn Tenvanni's Journal

Lymdrenn Telvanni, Hidrya Olen

I hope this text of your father's last words finds its way to your hands. I served House Telvanni as a wet nurse during your first months of life and wanted to repay your father's kindness. I've done all I can to locate you, but I regret that we'll never meet face-to-face.
Hidrya Olen

4E 6 Second Seed, Middas
Is this the end of all things? Are we to die by the cruel barbed blades of the Argonian invasion force? After surviving the Red Year, struggling to dig from the ash and the rubble, and burying the thousands that died, is this to be our epitaph? The irony of our demise glows brighter than Masser on the summer solstice. We brought this upon ourselves; the Argonians simply answering a rallying cry incited by a millennia of suffrage imposed by my kind. And so here I sit, in the crumbling basement of our family home while a thousand thousand booted feet echo above me and the screams of the dying find their way to my ears. So falls House Telvanni.

But then I look into the eyes of this child, this blessing given to us the very year that Vvardenfell spouted its fiery death across the land; this gift I hold my grasp. Is it too much to wish he be given the chance to survive and keep our memories alive? This small boy born in the midst of chaos and destruction must carry on. If nothing else, as a reminder to other dunmer that the Telvanni were once a proud and noble people.

Since the death of my wife, I haven't been able to bring myself to give my son a proper name. It never felt right without her. But my own life reaches its final hours as the luxury of time is escapes my embrace. I name him now: Brandyl, son of Lymdrenn and sole living heir to House Telvanni. I will wrap him in his t'lonya, his birthing swaddle and leave his fate to Azura's will.

Live with virtue and pride, sera.