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Savants' Notes on Vvardenfell

Author: 
Xan

This page contains information about Morrowind collected from the in-game savants.


MorrowindMap of Morrowind

Morrowind is the northeastmost province of the Tamrielic Empire, bounded on the north and east by the Sea of Ghosts, on the west by Skyrim, on the southwest by Cyrodiil (also known as the Imperial Province), and on the south by Black Marsh (also known as Argonia). The southeast is a warm coastal plain with broad cultivated areas and marshes and swamps similar to those found in Black Marsh. The west and south-central region is mountainous and sparsely populated.

The rocky, rugged archipelago of the northeast is also sparsely populated. Most of the population is gathered in the high uplands and fertile river valleys of central Morrowind, especially around the Inland Sea. The island of Vvardenfel is dominated by the titanic volcano Red Mountain and its associated ash wastelands; most of the island's population is confined to the relatively hospitable west and southwest coast.



Vvardenfell

Map of VvardenfellVvardenfell is one of the six Imperial administrative districts of Morrowind. Vvardenfell district encompasses Vvardenfell Island, a great land mass dominated by the giant volcano Red Mountain and cut off from mainland Morrowind by the surrounding Inner Sea. The portion of the Padomaic Ocean lying north of Vvardenfell is known as the Sea of Ghosts.

Vvardenfell District consists of the island of Vvardenfell, surrounded by the Inland Sea, and dominated by the titanic volcano Red Mountain and its associated ash wastelands.

Only recently open to settlement and trade, most of the island's population is confined to the relatively hospitable west and southwest coast, centered around the ancient city of Vivec and the old Great House district centers at Balmora, Ald'ruhn, and Sadrith Mora. The rest of the island is covered by hostile desert wastes, arid grasslands, and volcanic badlands, and thinly populated by the nomadic Ashlander tribes.

Vvardenfell's greatest challenges are its mutually hostile cultures, its cruel and untamed wildernesses, and the troubling phenomenon of the Blight. The Temple and traditional Dunmer cultures are in direct opposition to the values of the Imperial conqueror's colonists, and the interests of each Great House conflict with the interests of the other Great Houses. Only the Imperial Legions and the Duke's shrewd policies prevent political disputes from expanding into civil unrest or warfare.

Even the Legions, however, cannot extend their protection into the sparsely inhabited wastelands of Vvardenfell, where bandits, necromancers, witches, fiends, and monsters find refuge, emerging to threaten the lives of explorers, colonists, and traders. The greatest, and most obscure, threat is the Blight, a mysterious weather-like phenomenon emanating from the crater of Dagoth Ur, warping and poisoning creatures in its path, and creating diseased horrors that attack travelers and outlying settlements.

Vvardenfell has nine basic geographic regions, each with their own distinctive plants and terrain features. Scholars have based their classifications on the different types of land described by the native Ashlanders, so the designations are recognized by most local traders, travelers, and adventurers. These geographic regions are called: the Ascadian Isles, the Ashlands, Azura's Coast, the Bitter Coast, the Grazelands, Molag Amur, Red Mountain, West Gash, and Sheogorad.

Ascadian IslesAscadian Isles

The Ascadian Isles is the lush, green, well-watered lowlands in the south where most of Vvardenfell's agriculture is found. The area includes Pelagiad, Suran, Vivec City, and Ald Sotha along with the inland lakes and waterways of the Ascadian Isles proper. The urban areas of Vivec and Ebonheart of the southern coast are densely populated; the inland Ascadian Isles are dotted with small farms and large plantations. The climate is temperate and comfortable, with moderate rainfall.

AshlandsAshlands

The Ashlands are the dry, inhospitable wastelands surrounding the lower slopes of Red Mountain. The Ashlands extend to the Sea of Ghosts to the north, and elsewhere form a wide margin between the blighted Red Mountain region and other geographic regions. The town of Ald'ruhn and the village of Maar Gan are the only sizable permanent Ashlands settlements. Ashlanders hunt for game here, and their herds find sparse grazing. It rains rarely, and suffers frequent ash storms.

Azura's CoastAzura's Coast

The rugged coast and islands of northern and eastern Vvardenfell are called Azura's Coast. The region is rocky, infertile, and largely uninhabited, except for the outpost at Molag Mar, the Telvanni settlements at Sadrith Mora, the wizard towers at Tel Aruhn, Tel Mora, and Tel Branora, and Ahemmusa camp and the remote fishing villages of Ald Redaynia and Dagon Fel on the north coast. There are no roads; most travel is by boat. Despite the rocky terrain, a variety of plants thrive on the regular rainfall.

Bitter CoastBitter Coast

The western coast of Vvardenfell from Seyda Neen north to Gnaar Mok is called the Bitter Coast. The salt marshes and humid swamps of this region are uninhabited, with the only settlements found at the good harbors of Gnaar Mok, Hla Oad, and Seyda Neen. Also called 'the Smuggler's Coast', the region's secluded coves and islands provide refuge for criminal trade, and the frequent rain and fog hides small boats from Excise cutters.

GrazelandsGrazelands

The regular rain and dark soils of the Grazelands produce the rich grazing for Ashlander herds that gives the region its name. The region lies in the northeast of Vvardenfell, sandwiched between the Ashlands and Azura's Coast. Permanent settlements include Vos village and the towers of Tel Vos and Tel Fyr. The Ashlanders of Zainab camp move their herds across the plains in search of fresh grazing. There are no roads or tracks, but travel is easy across the open plains.

Red MountainRed Mountain

The dominant feature of Vvardenfell, Red Mountain is a vast volcano in the center of Vvardenfell. The outer slopes are steep and rugged, and the crater is deep and dotted with surface lava. The Ghostfence, a magical barrier which blocks travel as well as seals in the harmful, disease-laden weather called 'blight,' rings the volcano's outer slopes, and is broken only at Ghostgate. Within the Ghostfence, rain never falls and the sun never shines; the only weather is the red and deadly ash-blight.

'Foyada' means 'fire-river' in the native Ashlander language. The deep, ash-dark ravines which run down from the Red Mountain volcano are called foyada. The lava from Red Mountain is very fluid, and it runs almost like water, and during an eruption, fire-rivers run down the mountain, clearing the ravines of vegetation. Because they have good footing, are clear of brush, and run long distances, we use them like roads when traveling overland.

Molag AmurMolag Amur

Located inland in the southeast of Vvardenfell, Molag Amur is an uninhabited wasteland of rocky hills, steep-sided ravines, lava pools, and barren ash pavements. Pathfinding and travel is extremely difficult in this trackless wilderness, and is complicated by frequent ash storms. The Ashlanders of Erabenimsun camp hunt game here, but few others venture into this region. The worst part of Molag Amur is considered impassible even by the Ashlanders.

SheogoradSheogorad

The large island of Sheogorad lies north of Vvardenfell. Sheogorad island and its associated lesser islands are a maritime wilderness extending north from Vvardenfell into the Sea of Ghosts. The region is largely hostile and uninhabited, with two small villages at Ald Redaynia and Dagon Fel. Dagon Fel is the only settlement reached by ship services; all other island-to-island transport in Sheogorad must be provided by the traveler.

West GashWest Gash

The western highlands of Vvardenfell are called the West Gash. The largest settlements are the trading village of Gnisis, north of Ald'ruhn, and Caldera and Balmora to the south. The fishing villages of Ald Velothi and Khuul lie on the north coast. Muckspunge grows there, and we could also collect some chokeweed and roobrush as well.

 


The Important Places of Vvardenfell

Ahemmusa Camp

Ahemmusa Camp

The Ashlander Ahemmusa tribe has a permanent settlement at Ahemmusa camp on a rocky promontory at the northeastern tip of the Vvardenfell mainland in the Azura's Coast region.

Ald Redaynia

Ald Redaynia

Ald Redaynia is the site of an ancient ruined wizard's tower on the northern coast of Vvardenfell, on the western tip of a large island west of Sheogorad.

Ald Sotha

Ald Sotha

Ald Sotha is a splendid Daedric ruin within sight of Vivec City. Though exotic and picturesque, it is a dangerous site, haunted by old magics, dark cultists, and their Daedric summonings, and not recommended for sightseers.

Ald Velothi

Ald Velothi

Ald Velothi is a tiny fishing village on the northern coast of the West Gash.

 

 

Ald'ruhn

Ald'ruhn

Ald'ruhn is the district seat of House Redoran, and a large settlement. The Redoran Council chambers are located inside the shell of an ancient extinct giant crab. Tracks lead north to Maar Gan and Gnisis villages and south to Balmora.

More information: Guide to Ald'ruhn

Bal Fell

Bal Fell

Bal Fell is the "City of Stone," an ancient First Era ruin in the southeastern islands and promontories of Azura's Coast. The site has a nasty reputation, and several Telvanni wizards currently have competing camps of hirelings and adventurers exploring and looting there. Legend says that Bal Fell was built on the site of an ancient Daedric worship center.

Balmora

Balmora

Balmora is the district seat of House Hlaalu, and the largest settlement on Vvardenfell after Vivec City. Good roads lead north to Ald'ruhn and south to Caldera, Seyda Neen, and Vivec City. The Imperial Legion garrison of Fort Moonmoth lies south of Balmora.

More information: Guide to Balmora

Caldera

Caldera

Caldera is a recently chartered Imperial town and mining corporation. The Caldera Mining Company has been granted an Imperial monopoly to remove raw ebony from the rich deposits here. Caldera has the appearance and flavor of a Western Imperial town.

 

Dagon Fel

Dagon Fel

Dagon Fel is a tiny fishing village on the northern coast of Vvardenfell on the large island called Sheogorad in the Azura's Coast region.

This was a Nord settlement thousands of years ago, until the Dunmer drove the Nords from Morrowind. Then the Dwemer built a city here; the village built on the ruins of the Dwemer city. Since Morrowind became an Imperial province, Nord fishermen have returned here. Imperial scholars and adventurers also come here to explore the various Dwemer and Daedric ruins of Sheogorad.

Ebonheart

Ebonheart

Ebonheart is the seat of the Imperial government for Vvardenfell district, and a busy center of maritime trade. Castle Ebonheart is the home of Duke Vedam Dren, the district's ruler and Emperor's representative. Also located at Castle Ebonheart are the Vvardenfell District Council chambers and the Hawk Moth Legion garrison. The officers, docks, and warehouses of the East Empire Company are also found in Ebonheart.

 

 

Erabenimsun Camp

Erabenimsun Camp

The Ashlander Erabenimsun tribe has a permanent settlement at Erabenimsun camp, an isolated hut settlement in the middle of the desolate Molag Amur region.

 

 

 

Ghostgate

Ghostgate

Ghostgate is the gate citadel of the Ghostfence Ordinator and Buoyant Armiger garrisons. Ghostgate sits astride the only gap through which the monstrous hosts of Dagoth Ur might emerge from Red Mountain to threaten the rest of Morrowind. The Ghostfence itself is a colossal magical artifact that completely encircles Red Mountain and prevents the Blight from spilling its corruption across the rest of Vvardenfell.

Gnaar Mok

Gnaar Mok

Gnaar Mok is a tiny island fishing village in the Bitter Coast region of western Vvardenfell.

Gnisis

Gnisis

Gnisis is a small mining and trade village astride the silt strider caravan route between the northwest West Gash and Ald'ruhn.

Hla Oad

Hla Oad

Hla Oad is a tiny isolated fishing village on western Vvardenfell in the Bitter Coast region. A rough track along the River Odai connects Hla Oad with the town of Balmora.

Khuul

Khuul

Khuul is a tiny fishing village on the northern coast of the West Gash.

 

Maar Gan

Maar Gan

Maar Gan is a small isolated village in a remote region north of Ald'ruhn. The Maar Gan shrine is an important Temple pilgrimage site.

 

 

Molag Mar

Molag Mar

The outpost at Molag Mar is a fortified stronghold on the southeastern edge of the desolate Molag Amur region. Pilgrims bound for the nearby pilgrimage sites at Mount Assarnibibi and Mount Kand take refuge at the outpost's hostels, comforted by the garrison of Redoran and Buoyant Armiger crusaders stationed at the stronghold.

Pelagiad

Pelagiad

Pelagiad is a newly charted Imperial village between Balmora and Vivec City on the western edge of the Ascadian Isles region. The village is right outside the Imperial Legion garrison at Fort Pelagiad. The houses and shops are built in the Western Imperial style, and Pelagiad looks more like a village in the western Empire than a Morrowind settlement.

 

Sadrith Mora

Sadrith Mora

Sadrith Mora is the district seat of House Telvanni, and home of the Telvanni Council, though only one Telvanni councilor actually lives in Sadrith Mora. Sadrith Mora is an island settlement, and accessible only by sea and teleportation. The town is large, with many craftsmen, traders, and trainers, but it is open only to Telvanni retainers; outsiders should confine themselves to the Gateway Inn.

More information: Guide to Sadrith Mora

Seyda Neen

Seyda Neen

The piercing light of the Grand Pharos at the mouth of the harbor of the port village of Seyda Neen is a beacon to mariners throughout the Inner Sea. Most visitors from the Empire make landfall at the port of Seyda Neen, where they are processed by the Imperial Census and Excise Commission agents of the Coastguard station. The Coastguard cutters docked here control smuggling and piracy on the Inner Sea.

Suran

Suran

Suran is an agricultural village in the northeastern corner of the fertile Ascadian Isles region. Two popular pilgrimage sites are nearby -- the Fields of Kummu and the Shrine of Molag Bal.

 

 

Tel Aruhn

Tel Aruhn

Tel Aruhn is the Telvanni tower of Archmagister Gothren, Telvanni Sorcerer-Lord and head of the Telvanni Council. The associated settlement is a sizable village, and the site of the Festival Slave Market, the largest slave market on Vvardenfell.

Tel Branora

Tel Branora

Tel Branora is the tower and seat of the eccentric Telvanni wizard named Mistress Therana. The tower and its tiny village are located on a rocky promontory at the southeasternmost tip of Azura's Coast.

Tel Fyr

Tel Fyr

Tel Fyr is the Telvanni tower of Sorcerer-Lord Divayth Fyr. Beneath the tower is the Corprusarium, a refuge-prison where the deranged, distorted victims of the deadly corprus disease are housed and tended.

Tel Mora

Tel Mora

Tel Mora is the Telvanni tower of Mistress Dratha, an ancient wizard of the Telvanni Council. The small settlement includes a few craftsfolk and a tradehouse.

Tel Vos

Tel Vos is the tower of Telvanni wizard and council member Master Aryon. Tel Vos is a peculiar blend of Telvanni and Western architectural styles, and is close to Vos village.

Urshilaku Camp

Urshilaku Camp

The Ashlander Urshilaku tribe has a permanent settlement at Urshilaku camp on the northern coast of Vvardenfell, north of Maar Gan village.

Vivec

Vivec

Vivec City is the largest settlement on Vvardenfell, and one of the largest cities in the East. Each of the great cantons is the size of a complete town. The High Fane and the palace of Vivec are visited by hundreds of tourists and pilgrims daily. Citizens flock to the Arena for entertainments and war games. Outlanders mostly confine themselves to the Foreign Canton, while natives live, work, and shop in the Great House compounds and residential cantons.

More information: Guide to Vivec

Zainab Camp

Zainab Camp

The Ashlander Zainab tribe has a permanent settlement at Zainab camp, southwest of the village of Vos in the Grazelands region.

 

 

 

 

 


The People of Morrowind

The Races

The ten races commonly encountered in Morrowind are: Redguard, Breton, Nord, Altmer, Dunmer, Bosmer, Imperial, Khajiit, Argonian, and Orc. Dunmer are the native majority, but on Vvardenfell, heavily colonized by Imperial outlanders, only one in two individuals are Dunmer. The other nine races are about equally distributed, with more Argonian and Khajiit slaves. As mercenaries, House Hlaalu prefers Imperials and Redguards, Redoran prefers Nords and Altmer, and Telvanni prefer Bosmer and Bretons.

Dunmer

A dunmerThe native of Morrowind is Dunmer -- literally 'the Dark, or Cursed People,' or 'Dark Elves' -- are the dark-skinned Elven peoples of the East. 'Dark' is variously understood to mean 'dark-skinned,' 'gloomy,' and 'ill-favored by fate.' The Dunmer and their national character embrace these various connotations enthusiastically. In the Empire, 'Dark Elves' is the common usage.

Dunmer prize the virtues of duty, gravity, and piety. Duty is to one's own honor, and to one's family and clan. Gravity is the essential seriousness of life. Life is hard, and events must be judged, endured, and reflected upon with due care and earnestness. Piety is respect for the gods, and the virtues they represent. A light, careless life is not worth living. They are proud of being dark-skinned and dark-humored. The Dunmer race produces great warriors and wizards in equal proportion.

Altmer

An altmerAltmer are the light-skinned, tall Elven peoples of the Summerset Isles. 'High' is taken to mean variously 'tall,' 'proud,' and 'culturally snobbish.' In the Empire, 'High Elves' is the common usage. They consider themselves the most civilized culture of Tamriel, and, in truth, the common tongue of the Empire, Tamrielic, is based on their speech and writing, and most of the Empire's arts, crafts, and sciences are derived from High Elven traditions.

The Summerset Isle is a green and pleasant land of fertile farmlands, woodland parks, and ancient towers and manors. Most settlements are small and isolated, and dominated by ruling seats of the local wizard or warlord. The Isle has few good natural ports, and the natives are unwelcoming to foreigners, so the ancient, chivalric high culture of the Aldmer is little affected by modern Imperial mercantilism.

Bosmer

A bosmerThe Bosmer are the clanfolk of the Western Valenwood forests. In the Empire, they are called "Wood Elves," but they call themselves the Bosmer, or the 'Tree-Sap' people. They scorn pretense and formality, preferring a romantic, simple existence in harmony with the wild beauty of nature. They are nimble and quick in body and wit, and there are no finer archers in all of Tamriel.

Valenwood is a largely uninhabited forest wilderness. The coasts of Valenwood are dominated by mangrove swamps and tropical rain forests, while heavy rainfalls nurture the temperate inland rain forests. The Bosmer live in timber clanhouses at sites scattered along the coast and through the interior, connected only by undeveloped foot trails. The few Imperial roads traverse vast dense woodlands, studded with tiny, widely separated settlements, and carry little trade or traffic of any kind.

Breton

A bretonPassionate and eccentric, poetic and flamboyant, intelligent and willful, Bretons feel an inborn, instinctive bond with the mercurial forces of magic and the supernatural. Many great sorcerers have come from their home province of High Rock, and in addition to their quick and perceptive grasp of spellcraft, enchantment, and alchemy, even the humblest of Bretons can boast a high resistance to destructive and dominating magical energies.

High Rock encompasses the many lands and clans of Greater Betony, the Dellese Isles, the Bjoulsae River tribes, and, by tradition, the Western Reach. The rugged highland strongholds and isolated valley settlements have encouraged the fierce independence of the various local Breton clans, and this contentious tribal nature has never been completely integrated into a provincial or Imperial identity. Nonetheless, their language, bardic traditions, and heroic legends are a unifying common legacy.

Nord

A nordThe Nords of Skyrim are a tall and fair-haired people, aggressive and fearless in war, industrious and enterprising in trade and exploration. Skilled sailors, they can be found in seaports and settlements along all the coasts and rivers of Tamriel. Strong, stubborn, and hardy, they are famous for their resistance to cold, even magical frost. Violence is an accepted and comfortable aspect of Nord culture, and they cheerfully face battle with an ecstatic ferocity that shocks and appalls their foes.

Skyrim, also known as the Old Kingdom or the Fatherland, was the first region of Tamriel settled by humans from the continent of Atmora: the hardy, brave, warlike Nords, whose descendants still occupy this rugged land. Though more restrained and civilized than their barbarian ancestors, the Nords of the pure blood still excel in the manly virtues of red war and bold exploration.

Redguard

A redguardRedguards consider themselves the most gifted warriors of Tamriel. The dark-skinned, wiry-haired people of Hammerfell are born to battle, though pride and independent spirit makes them better scouts or skirmishers, or free-ranging heroes and adventurers, than rank-and-file soldiers. They are quick of foot and hardy of constitution, and quickly adopt new weapon and armor styles.

Hammerfell is primarily an urban and maritime province, with most of its population confined to the great port and trade cities. The interior is sparsely populated with small poor farms and beastherds. The Redguard love of travel, adventure, and the high seas has dispersed them as sailors, mercenaries, and adventurers in ports of call throughout the Empire.

Imperials

An imperialThe Imperials are the educated and well-spoken natives of the civilized, cosmopolitan province of Cyrodiil. Imperials are known for their enlightened rule of law and government, and the discipline and training of their citizen armies. Though physically less imposing than the other races, they are shrewd diplomats and traders. Their legions have enabled them to subdue all the other nations and races of Tamriel, and to have erected the monument to peace and prosperity that comprises the Glorious Empire.

Cyrodiil is the cradle of Human Imperial high culture on Tamriel. It is the largest region of the continent, and most is endless jungle. The Imperial City is in the heartland, the fertile Nibenay Valley. The densely populated central valley is surrounded by wild rain forests drained by great rivers into the swamps of Argonia and Topal Bay. The land rises gradually to the west and sharply to the north. Between its western coast and its central valley are deciduous forests and mangrove swamps.

The current emperor is Uriel Septim, Uriel VII, 24th of the Septim dynasty. Uriel VII has been, for the most part, a strong and effective ruler, but harsh and unyielding in personality, and private and secretive by nature, he has never been popular with the people. The Emperor is over eighty, and in poor health. He has two declared heirs, Enman and Ebel, but there are rumors of controversy over the succession in the Imperial City.

Uriel Septim is sick, and wizards say his heir, Geldall Septim, and the younger Septims, Enman and Ebel, are just doppelgangers placed in the household during Jagar Tharn's tenure as Imperial Battlemage. They say the Guard charged a mob demanding destruction of the false heirs... lots of folks were killed.

Argonian

An argonianThe Argonians of Black Marsh call themselves the 'People of the Root'. They are equally at home on land or in water, and are magically gifted. Persecuted and enslaved by other races, they are cautious and secretive. Little is known of their homeland or native culture, and their alien physiology and customs are not well understood by scholars.

Most of the native Argonian population of Black Marsh is confined to the great inland waterways and impenetrable swamps of the southern interior. There are few roads here, and most travel is by boat. The coasts and the northwestern upland forests are largely uninhabited. For ages the Dunmer have raided Black Marsh for slaves; though the Empire has made this illegal, the practice persists, and Dunmer and Argonians have a long-standing and bitter hatred for one another.

Khajiit

A khajiitThe Khajiit are the cat people of the province of Elsweyr. Though the race has a variety of sub-types, each with different forms and habits, only the smooth, quick, agile Suthay-raht are encountered in Vvardenfell. When most people think of Suthay-raht, they think of thieves -- with good reason, since many Suthay-raht are cunning, acquisitive, and slow to embrace the sanctity of personal property. But the speed, agility, and bold spirit of the Suthay-raht also make them gifted traders and adventurers.

The Khajiit of the southern Elsweyr jungles and river basins are settled city dwellers with ancient mercantile traditions and a stable agrarian aristocracy based on sugarcane and saltrice plantations. The nomadic tribal Khajiit of the dry northern wastes and grasslands are, by contrast, aggressive and territorial tribal raiders periodically united under tribal warlords. While the settled south has been quick to adopt Imperial ways, the northern nomadic tribes cling to their warlike barbarian traditions.

Orc

An orcThe Orc peoples of the Wrothgarian and Dragontail Mountains are brave and hardy barbarians. Once they were feared and hated by everyone else in Tamriel. Now many have gained an education and Imperial citizenship through service in the legions. Their armorers are the finest in the world, and Orc warriors in heavy armor are the best front-line troops in all Tamriel. Detractors say that Orcs are rough and cruel, but Orcs say they are hard, but fair, and stern, but just.

 


Other Racial Terms

Chimer

Chimer -- literally "the People of the North," an archaic and poetic usage -- were the Elven tribes who followed the prophet Veloth out of the southwest of Tamriel to settle in the lands now known as Morrowind. Dunmer fable says that before their skin turned dark with the Curse, the Dark Elves were known as the Chimer.

Betmeri

The peaceful Khajiit and Argonian races are the most numerous and culturally advanced of the Beast races; the war-loving Orc tribes are relatively few in number and widely scattered, but notable as superior warriors and weapon crafters. Other smaller Beast races, like Goblins, Apemen, and Giants, are limited to mountainous areas in the west and north of Tamriel, and seldom encountered in the East.

[Additional information from Okan-Shei, the Argonian Savant.]
Betmeri, or 'Beastmen,' were the aboriginal inhabitants of Tamriel. Each Beast race has its own distinctive accounts of the mythic era before the coming of Elves and Men; each Beast race is as culturally and physically distinct from one another as it is from Elven and Manish races.

Dwemer

Dwemer -- literally, 'the Deep, or Deep-Counseled or Secretive People' -- are the fabled lost Dwarven race whose ruins and splendid artifacts are scattered across Tamriel. Elves use the term 'Dwemer,' connoting variously 'deep-delving,' 'profound,' and 'close-counseled'; Imperial usage is 'Dwarven,' derived in fable from the affectionate regard of the Giant races for their 'little' Dwemer friends.

Artifacts salvaged from Dwemer ruins are valuable, but protected under Imperial law, and trade in such artifacts is illegal. Most valuable are Dwarven weapons and armor, both for their superb craftsmanship, and for their value to collectors and scholars.

Humanoid Races

Elves consider themselves the only 'truly human race,' being descended directly from the gods, and regard the Manish and Beast races as highly intelligent animals. On the other hand, Imperial scholars consider Men, Elves, and Beastmen as 'men,' on the basis that individuals of all three groups can mate with one another.

Offspring of inter-racial matings have the racial appearance of the mother, but may occasionally share inherited characteristics and abilities of the father. Sloads, dragons, and other sentient races cannot mate with Men, Elves, or Beastmen, and are not considered 'human.' Exceptional accounts of matings between men and daedra do not fit smoothly into this scheme.


Morrowind Culture

Morrowind has three main cultures: the native Dunmer culture -- also sometimes known as the House Dunmer culture or the Dark Elf culture, the Ashlander culture, and the Imperial culture.

Three major cultural groupings have settled Vvardenfell: the Ashlander nomads, the Imperial Provincial culture, and the Dunmer Great House culture. The smallest settlements are the Ashlander nomadic camps, comprised of small portable huts. Recent Imperial colonies like Pelagiad display the same sturdy half-timbered homes and stone castles as might be found in Daggerfall or any other Western province. But the dominant culture is the native Dunmer Great House culture.

Native Dunmer Culture

Native Dunmer culture shares common roots with the other Aldmeri races -- the Altmer, or High Elves, and the Bosmer, or Wood Elves. All Aldmeri cultures are ancient, complex, and sophisticated. The native Dunmer have dark grey skin, unlike their cousins. Native Dunmer have strong militaristic and authoritarian traditions, founded in their ancient practices of ancestor worship, and fostered and elaborated in the theocratic religion of the Tribunal Temple.

The clan and family structures of the Dunmer Great House system are strong forces for social and political stability. The feudal monarchy of the Altmer, by contrast, has a long history of conflict and instability, while the informal anarchy of Bosmer clan structures produces a consciously unstable society.

In modern times Morrowind is ruled by five Great Houses: House Hlaalu, House Redoran, House Telvanni, House Indoril, and House Dres. Three of these Great Houses have territorial interests on Vvardenfell; the other two, Dres and Indoril, are not represented on Vvardenfell. The three Great Houses on Vvardenfell identify themselves by their traditional colors: red for Redoran, yellow for Hlaalu, and brown for Telvanni. Thus, members of House Hlaalu may be referred to collectively as Yellows.

The Great Houses traditions derive from ancient Dunmer clan and tribes, but now function as political parties. Dunmer Great House membership is largely a matter of birth and marriage, but Imperial colonists may also become retainers of a Great House, or may be adopted into a Great House.

Outlanders may join a Great House. Initially one gains status as an oath-bonded hireling, pledging exclusive loyalty to a given house, but with faithful service and advancement in lower ranks, an outlander may be adopted into a Great House. Adoption and advancement to higher ranks in a Great House requires that a councilor stand as sponsor for the candidate's character and loyalty. Finding a councilor to sponsor an outlander often involves performing a great service for the prospective sponsor.

House Wars

By the immemorial custom of Dunmer society, a House may challenge the honor of another House in the person of one of the House's ranking nobles. The ranking noble of the impugned House is 'marked for death' -- in ancient times, actually formally marked with a black banner, but in modern times, served with a formal written public announcement. If within a year of the challenge, the marked noble still lives, the challenging House must publicly forego any further complaint or scandal on the matter.

Only a ranking challenging noble or a Morag Tong may attack the marked noble; in modern times, Houses routinely engage Morag Tong. This custom permits Houses to war upon one another on a small scale without threatening public peace and rule of law. Such violent disputes among Great Houses are called 'House Wars.'

Codes of behavior under House Wars of Honor are complex and subtle, and the Morag Tong specialize in the honorable and legal prosecution of these factional vendettas. House Wars are expensive, dangerous, and disruptive to all Houses involved, but on the island of Vvardenfell alone, a dozen or more Marked Challenges are being prosecuted at any time.

The Morag Tong is an assassins guild sanctioned by the Empire to provide three varieties of execution: public executions, private executions, and House Wars executions. Constrained by ancient traditions and rigid codes of conduct, the Morag Tong only recruits candidates of proven skill and honor. Morag Tong only accepts legally approved contracts called 'writs,' but rumor hints at the execution of secret extralegal 'grey writs.' The Morag Tong is the sworn enemy of the Dark Brotherhood.

House Dres

Of the five Dunmer Great Houses, House Dres is one of two houses without holdings or interest in Vvardenfell. Dres District is in the south of Morrowind, bordering the swamps and marshes of Black Marsh. House Dres is an agrarian agricultural society, and its large saltrice plantations rely completely on slave labor for their economic viability. Always firm Temple supporters, House Dres is hostile to Imperial law and culture, and in particular opposed to any attempts to limit the institution of slavery.

House Hlaalu

House Hlaalu is one of the three Dunmer Great Houses with holdings on Vvardenfell. House Hlaalu has always been loyal to the Emperor and the Empire. Hlaalu welcomes Imperial law and the Legions, and freedom of trade and religion. We still respect the old Dunmer ways, the ancestors, the Temple, and the noble houses. But times change, and the Empire changes with the times. House Hlaalu hopes to live in peace and harmony with the other races, and share in the growth and prosperity of the Empire.

House Indoril

House Indoril is one of the five Dunmer Great Houses, and one of the two houses without holdings or interest in Vvardenfell. The city of Almalexia is located in Indoril District, and the Indoril are orthodox and conservative supporters of the Temple and Temple authority. House Indoril is openly hostile to Imperial culture and religion, and preserves many traditional Dunmer customs and practices in defiance of Imperial law.

House Redoran

House Redoran is one of the three Dunmer Great Houses with holdings on Vvardenfell. The Redoran prize the virtues of duty, gravity, and piety. Duty is to one's own honor, and to one's family and clan. Gravity is the essential seriousness of life. Life is hard, and events must be judged, endured, and reflected upon with due care and earnestness. Piety is respect for the gods, and the virtues they represent. A light, careless life is not worth living.

House Telvanni

House Telvanni is one of the three Dunmer Great Houses with holdings on Vvardenfell. The Telvanni wizard-lords have traditionally isolated themselves, pursuing wisdom and mastery in solitude. But certain ambitious wizards-lords, their retainers, and clients have entered whole-heartily into the competition to control and exploit Vvardenfell's land and resources, building towers and bases all along the eastern coast. The Telvanni think that wisdom confers power, and power confers right.

Ashlanders

Ashlanders are the nomadic Dunmer barbarians of the Morrowind wastelands. They live in camps of small, mobile huts, herding guar and hunting wildlife for meat and hides. By tradition, the Ashlanders claim the right to raid settlements and other tribes for booty and slaves. The Ashlanders worship their ancestors, and are led by their ashkhan war chiefs, counseled by the arcane wisdom and prophecies of their wise women. If you plan to visit them, you should know something of Ashlander customs.

The Velothi are people of Ashlander stock who have abandoned nomadic life and settled among the native Dunmer; the Velothi are despised by their Ashlander cousins as weak and soft, while the Dunmer look down upon the Velothi as an insignificant underclass.

Ashlander Culture

The Ashlander culture is an anachronistic survival of the ancestor-worshipping tribal culture that evolved into the theocratic Great House culture of the native Dunmer. The Ashlanders perversely prefer the impoverished physical culture and subsistence economy of the Ashland nomadic herder-hunter, and their ancestor worship is shamanistic and primitive by Dunmer and Imperial standards.

Ashlander nomadic camps have portable huts of hides stretched on chitin frames. These huts can be quickly dismantled and packed atop a guar when moving to new grazing and hunting grounds. The khan's hut is simply a larger, more elaborate version of a family hut.

Ashlander Customs

Most Ashlanders wish all foreigners and their false gods could be driven from Morrowind. At very least, Ashlanders wish the foreign devils would leave them in peace. Ashlanders think it shameful to attack unarmed persons, but they will kill without hesitation an armed person who offends them or their clan laws. No Ashlander is fool enough to make war against the Empire. However, if such a war might be won, many Ashlanders might cheerfully give their lives to win such a war.

Take care when visiting an Ashlander camp. Among clan and kin, Ashlander courtesy is very proper and polite, but you are a stranger, so remember that Ashlanders hate foreigners. Ashlander challenges are very solemn and serious things; do not make a challenge lightly. And know the customs of Ashlander gifts; they are not offended by gifts of money, and take them as tokens of deference and respect. And among outcast Ashlanders, beware the mabrigash, renegade witch-warrior women who practice dark magics.

Ashlanders may challenge a stranger who enters a yurt without invitation. Customs differ with different tribes, but leave when requested, and you may be forgiven. Be particularly careful about ashkhans -- tribal chiefs -- and wise women -- tribal seers and counselors. Some are welcoming, some are hostile. Be courteous, and leave if requested. If offended, they may attack.

When challenged for sport, it is acceptable to decline. When challenged for honor, it is shameful to decline. Honor challenges come from offense given in speech or action, or may represent customary formal challenges of status or ritual.

Among Ashlanders, a gift is a token of courtesy among strangers, and affection among friends. When coming first among strangers, a thoughtful gift is a sign that you are cautious, and considerate, and aware of the other's wants and needs. Such is particularly useful for traders and travelers. Among friends, it is a private thing, and subtle, with great risks, for the test of the gift is how well it is tailored to the receiver.

It is safe to walk around an Ashlander camp, but risky to talk with Ashlanders, especially if you do not know their customs, since they may take offense at your speech, and challenge you. When visiting, speak with the people; you cannot receive an invitation to enter a yurt or tent without speaking with an Ashlander. If an Ashlander gives you permission to enter a khan or wise woman's yurt, you are welcome, but enter a khan or wise woman's tent without invitation, and the whole tribe will attack you.

Mabrigash

A mabrigash is an Ashlander witch-warrior, a renegade wise woman who has forsaken the established rules of behavior for an Ashlander woman to become a master of dark magic and the weapons of war. By secret rituals the mabrigash steals a man's vital essence and makes herself a powerful sorcerer and warrior. The manifestation of her dark power is called a 'ghost snake' that paralyzes and drains a victim's vitality.

Imperial Culture

Imperial culture is a pragmatic melting pot of the various contrasting cultures of the Imperial provinces, unified by a strong hereditary emperor and bureaucracy, the rule of law, a powerful professional army, and tolerance of disparate polytheistic cult worships. Education and wealth is broadly distributed through all social classes where Imperial culture has flourished; many citizens are literate and protected under Imperial law.

Persons of all races and creeds can advance in wealth and status in commerce, the bureaucracy, and the military. However, moral and political corruption at the highest levels of Imperial society, and the economic strain of maintaining military occupations in widely separated hostile provinces like Morrowind, signals the impending decline of the Empire.


Vvardenfell Architectural Style

Great Houses Style

The three Dunmer Great Houses that have settled Vvardenfell have distinctive architectures and lifestyles. Aristocratic, warlike Great House Redoran favors a spacious, irregular, organic building style. Great House Hlaalu, an aggressive mercantile culture, strongly admiring and influenced by Imperial culture, prefers simpler, more modern, more densely populated settlements, while bizarre wizard towers dominate mushroom-hut villages of the Great House Telvanni sorcerer-lords.

House Redoran Style

Example of the Redoran Great House styleAn example of the Redoran Great House style

House Hlaalu Style

Example of the Hlaalu Great House styleExample of the Hlaalu Great House style

House Telvanni Style

Example of the Telvanni Great House styleExample of the Telvanni Great House style

A fourth Great House style, the Velothi or Temple style, is evident in the monumental architecture, bridges, buttresses, and grand canals of the ancient religious center of Vivec City.

Velothi Style

Example of the Velothi style in VivecExample of the Velothi style in Vivec

Dunmer Metropolitan Style

Archcanon's High Fane, an example of the Metroplitan style in VivecVivec's Palace, an example of the Metroplitan style

Vivec City presents a unique panorama of high Dunmer architectural style. Grand multi-tiered blocks are arranged along canals. High bridges lead across the canals to block-top plazas and markets, while below gondoliers guide flat-bottomed skiffs along the canals. The whole city is overshadowed by the grand monumental architectures of Vivec's Palace and the Archcanon's High Fane.

Example of the Urban styleDunmer Urban Style

Urban Temple compounds feature high-walled outer courtyards, with smaller shelters and halls clustered around the Temple Shrine itself. Aristocratic residences of the Great Houses are similar to Temple compounds with walled outer courts and outbuildings for craftsmen and servants, dominated by a grand manor residence in place of the Temple Shrine.

Example of the Village styleDunmer Village Style

The Dunmer village style is the most familiar style in all districts. Huts are built of local materials, with organic curves and undecorated exteriors inspired by the landscape and the shells of giant native insects. Villages are dominated by Temple compounds and courtyards in traditional villages, but in newer plantations, the manor houses are the central features.

Imperial Urban Style

An example of the Imperial Urban styleAn example of the Imperial Urban style

Imperial urban style mixes with Dunmer urban style in Hlaalu District and Vivec suburbs, but dominates in new Hlaalu and Imperial chartered towns. Houses, shops, and tradehouses are of timbered, half-timbered, or stone construction in the Western manner, with peaked roofs, right angles and flat planes, and plain, undecorated exteriors.

 


Factions

Observers of Vvardenfell's politics have identified eleven main factions, some aligned with Imperial interests, some aligned with native Dunmer interests. The primary Imperial factions are the Imperial cult, the Imperial legions, and the Fighters, Mages, and Thieves Guilds. The primary native Dunmer factions are the three Great Houses, Redoran, Hlaalu, and Telvanni, the Temple, and the Morag Tong. The Ashlander barbarians are native Dunmer, but are opposed to both the Empire and the settled Dunmer.

Fighters Guild

The Fighters Guild is a professional organization chartered by the Emperor to regulate the hiring and training of mercenaries. Training, goods, and services are cheaper for members, and the Guild Stewards know where to find work. Look for chapters in Balmora, Ald'ruhn, Wolverine Hall in Sadrith Mora, and the Foreign Quarter in Vivec.

Mages Guild

The Mages Guild is a professional organization chartered by the Emperor to promote study of the arcane arts. And it's where you go to find wizards for hire. Training, goods, and services are cheaper for members, and the Guild Stewards know where to find work. If you're thinking of making wizardry your profession, you should join and work your way up the ranks. Look for guild halls in Balmora, Ald'ruhn, Wolverine Hall in Sadrith Mora, and the Foreign Quarter in Vivec.

Thieves Guild

In the Empire, the Thieves Guild is old and powerful, but here in Morrowind, the Thieves Guild is young and weak. The old and powerful criminal guild of Morrowind is the Camonna Tong. The Camonna Tong doesn't like the newcomers, and threatens to destroy the Thieves Guild.

Cammona Tong

The Camonna Tong is Morrowind's native criminal syndicate. They're grown powerful and ruthless since the Imperial occupation, and have great influence in the higher ranks of House Hlaalu. The Camonna Tong are in direct competition with the Thieves Guild for control of illegal trade, and they have sworn to exterminate the upstart outlander newcomers. The Camonna Tong are known for their brutal disregard for human life.

Imperial Legion

The most disciplined and effective military force in history, the Imperial Legions preserve the peace and rule of law in the Empire. The legions have garrisons in the major settlements of Vvardenfell, but the units mostly serve as guards to enforce the law in Morrowind. The legions hire qualified recruits of proven skill and character, and provide training, goods, and services at discounts. The lower ranks are common troopers and officers, but the upper ranks include the orders of the Imperial knights.


Morrowind History

For Morrowind History please read a short work by Jeanette Sitte distributed by the Imperial cult. For a good treatment of Morrowind since it became part of the Empire, look for 'On Morrowind, the Imperial Province', by Erramanwe of Sunhold. Both are by Imperial scholars, but balanced and fair.

The first government of all Morrowind was called the First Council, comprised of representatives from all the Dunmer Great Houses. This First Council mobilized to suppress a civil war. A rebel house, House Dwemer, joined with Nord and Orc clans to invade northern Morrowind. The rebels, invaders, and a traitor house, House Dagoth, were finally defeated and destroyed at the Battle of Red Mountain. See Agrippa Fundilius' book, The War of the First Council, for a more complete account.

Morrowind Economy

Morrowind used to be an agrarian aristocracy, mostly free farmers and herders and fishermen ruled by great houses and their noble councils. But since the Imperial occupation, and especially here on Vvardenfell, the Dunmer are developing a mercantile economy on the model of the Empire, ruled by the Emperor, law, and legions, but driven by trade in crafts and goods.

Food in Morrowind

The most popular sources of protein are kwama eggs and the meat of the domesticated guar. The most popular beverages are mazte (a local beer brewed from fermented saltrice) and sujamma (a potent, bitter liquor).

Kwama eggs are a principal agricultural commodity of Vvardenfell District. Kwama live and breed in large communal subterranean colonies. Miners protect kwama eggs from poachers, predators, and raiding kwama foragers from other colonies, and harvest judiciously, preserving sufficient eggs to sustain colony growth. Consumed locally or exported by ship to the rest of the Empire, kwama eggs are eaten boiled, roasted, or raw, and remain fresh for weeks.

The staple is the saltrice grain, usually eaten as a cooked porridge mixed with scuttle (a cheese-like food from giant domesticated beetles). Hackle-lo (a hardy succulent edible leafy green) is a reliable year-round vegetable, eaten cooked or raw, and bittergreen (a fast-growing slime triggered by rain) is safe and nourishing when boiled, though highly toxic if eaten raw.


Law in Morrowind

Morrowind is governed under Imperial Law, and under the law and customs of the Dunmer Great Houses. Conflicts of Imperial and Great House Law are governed under the Treaty of the Armistice, which reserves most local government functions to the Dunmer Great House councils. Local Magistrates judge cases and determine sentences; local guards execute the judgements of the Magistrates and enforce the laws.

Theft, Trespass, Assault, Foul Murder, and Contempt are serious crimes; criminals must pay fines or serve sentences of hard labor. Treason is a most serious crime, punished by death. Noble House Dunmer have right of appeal to the House Councils; Imperial citizens have right of appeal to the King of Morrowind and his Dukes. By ancient House custom, offended House nobles appealing to House councils may refuse to accept compensation and may demand death for many crimes.

Imperial Law

An adventurer should know the basics of Imperial law concerning life and property. Verbal assault, pickpocketing, and trespassing are minor crimes, punished by fines or hard labor. Theft and foul murder are felonies. Theft is punished by fines proportional to the value of the property stolen, or by hard labor. Foul murder is punishable by fines of at least 1000 drakes, or by hard labor.

Fines and compensation are determined by magistrates, and may be paid to guards. In place of fines, the criminal may serve extended sentences of hard labor. The workcamps are hard places for hard men, and for each day served, expect to lose some hard-earned skill as a result of physical, mental, or emotional punishment.

Slavery

Dunmer have traditionally permitted enslavement of humans, orcs, Argonians, and Khajiit. We do not recognize the mistreatment of slaves of these races as a serious crime, other than as a crime against property. By terms of the Armistice, Morrowind may define its own laws and customs, and slavery remains legal. Slavery is uncommon in Redoran and Hlaalu Districts, but common in Telvanni Districts.

Slavery is protected by law in Morrowind. Slavery is illegal throughout the Empire, and considered barbaric. Slavery had disappeared in Sumerset Isles and Valenwood long before their incorporation into the Empire. Most Imperial citizens assume the practice will die out as Morrowind adopts Imperial ways, and the subject excites little passion except among Argonian and Khajiit abolitionists, outraged that the Empire does little to suppress persistent illegal cross-border slave raiding in southern Morrowind.


Morrowind Neighbors

The Dunmer of Morrowind dislike and disrespect all foreigners, who they regard as racially and culturally inferior. They thoroughly dislike their Imperial neighbors to the southwest, who conquered and occupied their land. They passionately hate and despise their Argonian neighbors to the south, thinking them savage animals fit only for slavery.


Morrowind Religion

Ancestor

The Dunmer believe the spirits of the dead live on in our world. They can know and affect the future, and can speak with other spirits, and work great magic, so the Dunmer honor and gift them, and ask them for aid and protection. Strong spirits of heroes and wise women preserve the wisdom and honor of the race. The worst spirits are evil and harmful, called ghosts, and devils, and daemons. The oldest and greatest ancestor spirits are the Daedra. They are powerful, but dangerous, and hard to understand.

Tribunal Temple

The Temple believes that Almalexia, Vivec, and Sotha Sil were mortal guardians of Morrowind who walked the earth, defeated the Dunmer's greatest enemies, the Nords and the Dwarves, and achieved divine substance through superhuman discipline and virtue and supernatural wisdom and insight. Like loving ancestors, they guard and counsel their followers. Like stern parents, they punish sin and error. Like generous relatives, they share their bounty among the greatest and least, according to their needs.

The Temple regards the Daedra as powerful ancestor spirits, similar to the Tribunal, but weaker and more capricious. Before the Tribunal, the Daedra were worshipped as gods by the Dunmer, but were undeserving of this veneration, since they harmed their followers as often as they helped them. When they became gods, the Tribunal became the Protectors and High Ancestor Spirits of the Dunmer. The good Daedra became loyal friends of the Tribunal, but the bad Daedra remained foul and treacherous.

The Temple says that Boethiah, Mephala, and Azura, the Anticipations, also called the Good Daedra, are loyal friends of the Tribunal. Malacath, Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, and Sheogorath, the Four Corners of the House of Trouble, also called the Bad Daedra, are inconstant, rebellious, and unreliable, and ever eager to seduce the faithful into sin and profane worship. The loyal Three Good Daedra, knowing the tricks of their rebellious kin, help the Tribunal frustrate the devious schemes of the Bad Daedra.

Council and Temple law forbids the worship of the Rebel Daedra Molag Bal, Malacath, Sheogorath, and Mehrunes Dagon in Morrowind. However, cult worship of Molag Bal, Malacath, Sheogorath, and Mehrunes Dagon persists in remote regions despite the efforts of the Ordinators, and is particularly strong among Dunmer dedicated to expulsion of the Empire and restoration of an independent Dunmer nation.

Shrines

Shrines are sanctified objects where the humble and faithful may communicate more directly with their gods. In the Temple, shrines take the form of three-sided trioliths, with one side inscribed with the image of a saint of the Temple. In the Imperial cult, shrines take the form of altars consecrated to the Nine Divines. The faithful and respectful guests may make offerings and receive blessings at shrines; the faithful of higher ranks need make no offering to receive blessings.

Dagoth Ur

Dagoth Ur is the evil immortal enemy of the Tribunal Temple cult. The Temple blames Dagoth Ur and his hosts for all the evils that beset the Dunmer and Morrowind. Dagoth Ur dwells in fiery caverns beneath Red Mountain, served by his kin and legions of monsters.

Blight Diseases

Blight diseases resist common herbal and magical treatments, and are of two kinds: wasting diseases which attack one or more of an organism's systems, and abnormal growth diseases, which distort the organism's functions and structures. Natives avoid exposure to the Blight, and wear special protective garments when traveling in Blight-prone regions.

Nerevarine

The Ashlanders have a prophecy that one day a reincarnation of the legendary hero Nerevar will unite the Dunmer against the invaders and restore the ancient Dark Elven nation. But the Tribunal Temple says this is a false and profane superstition, and the Ordinators deal mercilessly with those who profess such beliefs.

Nerevar was a legendary Dunmer general who, in ancient times, defeated the evil Dwarves, Nords, Orcs, and traitor Dunmer at the Battle of Red Mountain. Nerevar was also one of the founders of the First Council of Great Houses, and friend and companion of Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil, who later became the gods of the Tribunal Temple.

Necromancy

According to the Dunmer, animation or control of a deceased's flesh or spirit is righteous when practiced according to established cult ritual, but illegal and abominable when practiced by secular sorcerers. However, in Telvanni districts, necromancy is privately practiced by wizards in defiance of Temple censure.

Necromancy is not illegal, per se, in the Empire, though body and spirit are protected as property, and may not be used without permission of the owner, and public display of the living dead is widely prohibited. Mages may purchase corpses and souls for philosophical research, and may do with them as they wish in private. Necromancers and vampires are widely confused in the public mind, and persecuted, but in remote locations, necromancers are free to pursue their studies without legal interference.

Nine Divines

The official religion of the Empire, the Imperial cult, worships the Nine Divines. The Nine Divines are the Aedra Akatosh, Dibella, Arkay, Zenithar, Mara, Stendarr, Kynareth, and Julianos, and the divine god-hero Tiber Septim, founder and patron of the Empire.

Vampires

Imperial culture regards blood vampires as destructive monsters to be hunted and destroyed. However, romantic notions of noble, virtuous vampires persist in Imperial traditions, and vampires are thought to pass unrecognized in the Mages Guild and the Imperial aristocracy.

Politics and Religion

Vvardenfell District's Grand Council, presided over by the sovereign Lord Vedam Dren, Duke of Ebonheart and Vvardenfell, is dominated by five interest groups: the three Great Houses, the Temple, and the Imperial colonists. The Temple and House Redoran are champions of ancient Dunmer customs and privileges, and uncompromising and intolerant worshippers of the native religion call the Tribunal Temple, which venerates three immortal god-kings -- Lord Vivec, Lord Sotha Sil, and Lady Almalexia.

The Imperial colonists and House Hlaalu find common cause in their shared tastes for progress, tolerant polytheism, free trade, and vigorous exploitation of Vvardenfell's untapped resources. The policies of House Telvanni's sorcerer-lords are completely unpredictable, whimsically allying with or opposing one faction or another for their own obscure reasons.