TES3 Morrowind: Introduction

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"Each event is preceded by Prophecy.
But without the hero,
there is no Event."
-Zurin Arctus | the Underking

In the waning years of the
Third Era of Tamriel,
a prisoner born on a certain day
to uncertain parents was sent
under guard, without explanation, to Morrowind,
ignorant of the role he was
to play in that nation's history…

(female voice)
"They have taken you from the Imperial City's prison,
first by carriage and now by boat,
to the east to Morrowind.
Fear not, for I am watchful,
you have been chosen."

(male voice)
"Wake up, we are here.
Why are you shaking?
Are you okay? Wakeup!"

From The Morrowind Prophecies: Official Guide to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind:

When you arrive on the island of Vvardenfell, your destiny and the fate of Morrowind may seem like rather distant and even confusing matters.

But your small scrapes and discoveries as you find tentative footing in this strange land are played out against a broad tapestry of conflicting internal interests--and the rise of a monstrous outside force.

In an earlier era, Lord Nerevar, the great hero of the Dunmer people (as the Morrowind's native Dark Elves call themselves), defeated the Dwarves and their ally, the Dunmer traitor Dagoth Ur, in a great battle at Red Mountain.

But Dagoth Ur somehow survived, and, dwelling in darkness under the volcano, he lusts for revenge.

Technically, he is imprisoned. The Tribunal Temple (essentially, the church of Morrowind) ringed the volcano's crater with magical wards.

But major bad guys who are merely imprisoned and not utterly destroyed have a way of making a comeback.

And, sure enough, Dagoth Ur is making a comeback.

The Ghostfence has begun to fall. Dagoth Ur's minions roam the ashy wastes around the volcano. Members of a secret cult known as the Sixth House serve as the demon's agents outside the crater, and, operating from hidden bases, turn normal people into babbling assassins.

There is no one to stop them.

Nerevar lost his own life defeating Dagoth Ur. The earthly gods of the Tribunal Temple have retreated from the field, and the Temple suppresses as heresy the hopeful belief in a prophesied resurrection of Nerevar. The Great Houses and the Guilds are busy fighting one another, or simply indifferent to the threat, and Empire's representatives on the island typically defers to the Great Houses.

In short, Morrowind lacks a strong center.

This is where you come in. You are the prophesied hero behind whom the land might unite.

But that's a different person than the one you are now. Right now, you're a penniless nobody who just got off the boat, and stand at the beginning of a long and difficult road.

What kind of world does that road cross?

It's a different one than in earlier Elder Scroll games. Arena and Daggerfall were Imperial in focus and empire wide in scope.

In Arena, Imperial Battlemage Jagar Tharn imprisoned Emperor Uriel Septim VII in an alternate plane and assumed his identity as the provinces ran riot. A hero reassembled eight scattered pieces of Staff of Chaos, defeated the mage, and returned the emperor to the throne.

In Daggerfall, 15 years later, an agent for Septim ran a dangerous gantlet to lay to rest the ghost of slain Daggerfall King Lysandus and reactivate the Numidium--the great iron golem used by Tiber Septim to forge the Empire.

Here, a decade after the events of Daggerfall, you'll explore just one part of a single troubled Imperial province ... and the Empire may seem a ocean away. The aged emperor is more of a facilitator than a player.

You're in the relatively safe western region of Vvardenfell--the area settled by westerners after Morrowind was brought into the Tamrielic Empire by treaty. Ramshackle fishing villages dot the coast. Inland, you'll find large towns with lots of opportunities for work.

To the south, Ebonheart, the Imperial seat in the province, and Vivec, a Tamrielic Venice built in the shape of a cross and entirely over water.

In the east, wizard towers erupt like vast weeds in the bosky Grazelands and on islands in Zafirbel Bay.

To the north, a wasteland broken only by shrines to old gods, ancient fortresses, and the rusted towers of the vanished Dwarves.

Between them all is Red Mountain, with Dagoth Ur's citadel at its center. You won't reach it for a long time. You won't be powerful enough, and the means to defeat the demon won't be within your grasp until you are.

Experience it as you wish. There is no wrong or right way to play, and while Morrowind gives you a wink and a nudge at the start, it won't force a particular approach.

You'll find challenges in every corner. You can work for four guilds: Fighters, Mages, Thieves, and shadowy Morag Tong, which handles assassinations. You can become a trooper with the Imperial Legion, a fund-raiser for the Imperial Cult, and a Temple pilgrim.

And darker fates await those who wander in darker places.

Along this hard road, your thoughts may stray more than once back to the Empire. Why has the emperor sent you here? What does Septim know, and how does he know it?

All good questions. But the answers will have to wait for another game. This one is about to begin.

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