Morrowind,  Tembriel Playthrough

In Which Tembriel Learns to Hold Her Own

Two Morrowind sessions in a row, just because I was curious enough about discoveries made in the previous session that I wanted to follow up on them with this one! Notable highlights: joining the Fighters Guild and House Hlaalu, and running quests for each; killing my first Dark Brotherhood assassin; going back to Addamasartus and handing that fire mage a reckoning; and leveling up to level 3!


  • Play date: 8/16/2022
  • Session number in this run: 5
  • Joined the Fighters Guild
  • Cleared out the equipment chest–and promptly discovered that if you get overencumbered in Morrowind you don’t get to move at all
  • Practiced with the hammer I got out of the chest on repairing my stuff
  • Got a quest to clear out rats from a house in Balmora; went over to take care of that, and got a modest payment from the house owner
  • Reported back to the Guild, and got quest to go kill a couple of smugglers in Shulk Egg Mine
  • Also joined House Hlaalu and got quest to go to Ald’ruhn and pretend to be somebody else to get hold of a secret message
  • But first: went back into Mages Guild and bought a bunch of healing potions from the Guild healer
  • Then tromped out to go find Shulk Egg Mine; talked to the two miners hanging out outside, and they were all ‘yep those other two sure are poachers!’
  • Headed into the mine and ran the place, see below
  • Found and killed the two smugglers; wound up overloaded after killing the second one, though
  • Used my scroll of Almsivi Intervention and boinged back to Balmora, which landed me in the Dunmer Temple
  • Dropped the pick I’d gotten off the smuggler which let me move again; sold a bunch of things to the Khajiit trader; went back to get the pick, and brought that back to be sold as well
  • Reported in at the Fighters Guild; got new quest to kill four House Telvanni agents
  • Headed over to Ald’ruhn first though; put on the helmet the House Hlaalu person gave me to ‘disguise’ myself, and picked up the coded message to bring back to her
  • Came back to Balmora
  • Got a round of Restoration training in the Mages Guild
  • Slept a couple of hours–and, got attacked by another assassin on the way out! But this time I actually killed him, TAKE THAT DARK BROTHERHOOD
  • Game advised me I really ought to report the attack to a guard, which I did
  • Had to kill the assassin twice just because the damn game crashed when I brought the laptop out of sleep
  • So I killed the assassin again (TAKE THAT x 2), and re-reported to the guard
  • Then headed over to House Hlaalu to report in, got 500 gold, and got to keep the helmet
  • Then decided that if I was going to gear up with the Dark Brotherhood stuff (because the assassin had way better armor than me), I could maybe go back and try to kick that fire mage’s ass
  • Mission SUCCESSFUL; cleared Addamasartus, took out the two remaining smugglers, and freed the three slaves
  • Moved loot out of the place in two waves since I couldn’t carry it all at once; sold the non-skooma, non-moon sugar stuff to the local trader guy in Seyda Neen; then grabbed the moon sugar and skooma, took it back to Balmora, and sold it to the Khajiit
  • Bought spells!
  • Got in a round of Long Blade training at Fighters Guild, and another round of Restoration training at Mages Guild
  • Leveled up to 3; dropped points on Strength, Agility, Endurance \0/
  • Saved for the night


Decided to go ahead and join the Fighters Guild as well as House Hlaalu, just to increase the pool of trainers I have access to, and also the pool of available quests. Just because for my playstyle experience from Skyrim, I find it helpful to have specific directives to satisfy, as opposed to just wandering around looking for things to do.

Also, I wanted access to the Fighters Guild equipment chest! Just to see if I could get any better weaponry or armor than what I was carrying. Answer, once I joined up: yes! I got iron arrows!

But I also rapidly discovered that when you’re overencumbered in Morrowind, unlike with Skyrim, you cannot move at all.

So right then, this is going to force me to get out of my Skyrim habit of grabbing everything by default when I’m clearing a chest, or looting a defeated enemy. Likewise, I can’t indulge in my Skyrim habit of carrying around multiple sets of armor just so I can change between them as mood dictates.

It also means I need to raise the priority of finding some safe storage space, until I actually have a house to live in somewhere! I need to see if the Mages or Fighters Guild spaces have containers it’s safe for me to use.

Also, clearly I’m going to have to figure out what the Morrowind equivalent is to Skyrim’s Potions of Strength, and Carry Weight enchantments.

So to get myself back under the carry weight limit so I could actually frigging move again, I wound up eating several ingredients I was carrying.

Then I practiced using the Journeyman Armorer’s Hammers I got out of the Fighters Guild equipment chest, just to see what that was like. Apparently Smithing doesn’t exist the same way in Morrowind as it does in Skyrim? You can’t make new gear on your own, you have to either buy it, repair the stuff you’ve got, either yourself or by paying somebody to do it for you.

And what I learned from this was, yep, my character is bad at repairing things. 😉 The wiki informs me this is governed by the Armorer skill, and that this is a skill favored by the Fighters Guild. So clearly I’m going to need to throw money at their Armorer trainer.

I think I actually kind of like the idea that you have to repair your gear. I’d seen that idea over in Blades, so it wasn’t entirely new to me. But it makes total sense that your gear would suffer wear and tear and become less effective. My challenge here will be that in order to repair my gear, I need those hammers, and the damn things are heavy. So I’ll need storage to keep them in! Or enough money to throw at people to do repairs for me.

Once I was able to move again, I went out to do the Fighters Guild’s initial quest: going to the house of a resident of Balmora, and helping her out with a rat infestation. This proved to be an excellent opportunity to confirm what I was hoping: i.e., that by using a weapon actually suited to my character’s skills, I’d have a much easier time killing things. Took out the three rats in the house without any trouble! Thank you, Iron Longsword of Sparks!

And I was pleased to see that the next Fighters Guild quest after that was to go kill a couple of smugglers in Shulk Egg Mine–which I’d already located, awesome.

I took the time to buy a bunch of healing potions from the Mages Guild’s healer. I figured that if I had to give Fargoth his Healing ring back, I was going to need alternate means of healing! And while I have now observed that yes, my Health bar will regenerate on its own, that does seem to happen fairly slowly. Which is not optimal if I need to heal up fast after a battle.

Then it was time to tromp off to Shulk Egg Mine and see about that egg poacher problem! Conveniently, I remembered that I’d actually seen the place while out to get Ajira her mushrooms. So I went back over there, talked to the two miners hanging out outside, and got them to tell me that yep, those two people I was looking for sure are egg poachers!

So into the mine I went, to try to find my targets. I was kind of impressed by how large the mine was–bigger than some mines I’ve run in Skyrim, though perhaps comparable in size to some of Skyrim’s larger draugr hives? But there was a difference here in that the place wasn’t a “mine” as I expect that to be defined from Skyrim. There weren’t any miners in there, and no ore was being dug up.

What there was were kwama. So this was less “mine” and more “deliberately harvested kwama nest”, from what I’m seeing looking up kwama lore on the wiki.

While I was in there, I saw a couple of forms of kwama I hadn’t seen before. Well, sort of. I’d seen scribs, but hadn’t realized before that they were larval kwama. But I hadn’t seen kwama workers at all, which were much larger than the foragers. The scribs and workers were peaceful, so I didn’t attack them. I did kill several foragers, though, since those did come at me!

And taking out the smugglers also went pretty easily. They weren’t armored, and they didn’t hold up long against my Iron Longsword of Sparks.

At that point I was overloaded again, but didn’t really want to drop anything I had on me. So I tried out the Scroll of Almsivi Intervention I had in my inventory, just to see what that did. Answer: it plunked me into the Dunmer temple in Balmora!

Which turned out to be just a short walk away from the shops. So at that point I dropped a pickaxe I’d gotten off one of the smugglers, went over to the shops, sold a bunch of stuff, then came back to get the pickaxe so I could sell that too. (Because really, leaving a pickaxe lying around in the temple would just be rude!)

(And clearly I’m going to need more of those scrolls, too. Note to self now that I’ve looked it up: Divine Intervention drops you at Imperial Cult shrines, Almsivi Intervention drops you at Dunmer temples.)

Got another Fighters Guild quest after that, but didn’t elect to pursue it yet. Instead I went to Ald’ruhn so I could do the House Hlaalu quest, which involved having to find a particular person while specifically wearing a helmet to disguise my face, and getting a coded message from her to bring back to House Hlaalu. Which apparently I’m able to pull off because I sound like this other person. LOL.

So this meant visiting a new location, which was kind of cool. And it also gives me an opportunity to comment a bit about the silt striders, basically functioning as the same idea Skyrim has with the carriages by all their major towns. I’m kind of grooving on the silt striders, just because I like the idea of having to use in-character means to travel around. But also, after only being familiar with the single silt strider you can see in Skyrim in Dragonborn, it’s nice to actually see more of them. (And I feel a little sad for the poor things since they’re going to be driven to extinction after Red Mountain blows its top! 😢)

Ald’ruhn is House Redoran territory, so all the architecture reminded me heavily of Raven Rock in Dragonborn. It helped as well that I recognized scathecraw and trama root.

I wandered around the city for a bit to explore, and trying to figure out where this Neminda person was that I was supposed to talk to. I had to eventually resort to the wiki for that, but before I did, I at least checked out the guard towers and a couple of the shops.

I picked up two side quests from talking to NPCs as well. One guy wanted me to go retrieve the Amulet of Infectious Charm on Solstheim–a thing which I will be holding off on until I actually go to Solstheim–and a shopkeeper wanted me to go talk to another guy and retrieve owed money from him. That one I’ll actually do when I go back to Ald’ruhn again.

Finally found Neminda inside the Manor District–a part of the city that was unexpectedly cool, even given Morrowind’s simpler graphics. I really liked that interior, with the network of bridges leading to various doors into parts of the district. And once I made it into the Redoran Council Hall where Neminda was, I really liked that interior. Looking forward to seeing how Skywind renders it, once Skywind is finally available!

Then it was back to Balmora! And I got a round of Restoration training, and a little bit of sleep… and another Dark Brotherhood assassin.

I have clued in now after reading up on it on the wiki that those bastards generally come at you specifically when you’re sleeping. And since you have to sleep to level up, that explains why I’ve only been seeing them when getting up from resting.

This time, though, I actually killed the bastard! \0/ And the game immediately advised me that I should probably go report that attack to a guard.

Which I did, and to my amusement, the guard was basically all “Shit, if you have the Dark Brotherhood on your ass can you please, maybe, stand over there away from me? But also go talk to my superior in Ebonheart.” LOLOLOL.

(I actually had to do this twice–because the damn game crashed on me, when I made the mistake of trying to close my laptop and bring it back up out of sleep mode. Lesson learned: don’t close the laptop while playing Morrowind. Or try to Alt-Tab out to the desktop to do anything else. Because apparently vanilla Morrowind really, really doesn’t like playing with modern OS features like multi-tasking or your machine going into sleep mode! I’ll have to see if this behavior persists when I eventually jump over to OpenMW.)

And because that let me actually swap to the Dark Brotherhood armor–which was way better armor than the chitin i was wearing–it occurred to me that I could try to go back to Addamasartus and take out that goddamn fire mage!

So I silt-stridered my way over to Seyda Neen, tromped into that cave, and stabbed that guy to death. VERY satisfying.

Then I took out his one remaining smuggler cohort, freed the three slaves behind a gate, and looted the hell out of the place! Which I had to do in two waves, since I couldn’t carry everything at once. First I took all the stuff that wasn’t skooma or moon sugar over to the trader in Seyda Neen, and then I grabbed the skooma and moon sugar and took it off to the Khajiit trader in Balmora.

Which clearly tells me that my Bosmer girl isn’t above selling skooma and moon sugar, if that’s what it takes to get her enough money to actually live on in this weirdo country! She just won’t, y’know, do it loudly.

Also: I actually kind of like that non-Khajiit merchants will actually refuse to deal with you if you’re carrying skooma or moon sugar around. Nobody gives you shit about it in Skyrim, even though you have to deal with an entire plot of clearing out a den of skooma dealers if you want to become thane in Riften. If skooma’s banned, you should get shit for it if you’re seen to be carrying it around.

This got me enough money that I was able to do one more thing while visiting the trader in Seyda Neen, and that is, buying some spells! I nabbed a healing spell and a couple of destruction spells as well, just because in theory I’m supposed to be in the Mages Guild. So it’d be nice to actually, y’know, work some magic.

Plus I want to practice how magic works in this game anyway. And if I’m going to be operating under a hard carry weight limit, it’d be nice to not have to carry around a zillion potions, either.

Last but not least, got in a couple more rounds of training–and got to level up to 3, woo! Dropped points on Strength, Endurance, and Agility. And this level up was definitely easier than the last one; it helped a lot that I was using an effective weapon and could therefore better exercise my combat skills.

I’ll need to start working on Intelligence and Willpower, though, if I expect to advance in the Mages Guild.

Next time

I never did make it to that shipwreck! I’m still curious to check it out though, so still may do that. But now that I have multiple quests to pursue for multiple factions, it may wind up being more profitable for me to work on that instead? Dunno yet! I’ll find out!


Editing to add

  • 11/22/2023: Restored missing gallery.

As Angela Highland, Angela is the writer of the Rebels of Adalonia epic fantasy series with Carina Press. As Angela Korra'ti, she writes the Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series. She's also an amateur musician and devoted fan of Newfoundland and Quebecois traditional music.