Morrowind,  Tembriel Playthrough

In Which Tembriel Gains Traction in House Hlaalu

This session was a direct followup to the events of the previous. Got the ebony mine plot dealt with, and also have acquired a Daedric katana, which is a significant bump up from the Iron Sparksword I’ve been carrying! And I’ve gotten a sponsor in House Hlaalu… yay? But Odirniran is still a real problem I won’t be able to solve yet, I think.


  • Play date: 9/5/2022
  • Session number in this run: 15
  • Picked up back in Ebonheart; took boat back to Vivec and then silt strider to Balmora
  • Attempted to get the Sword of White Woe in the Balmora guard tower, but this didn’t go well; got spotted by the guard trying Telekinesis, and he totally flipped out and attacked me; got expelled from House Hlaalu
  • Rolled back to last save
  • Re-did return to Balmora
  • Went back to Ralen Hlaalo’s manor and looted a bunch of things out of there to go sell to Ra’Virr
  • Tried to get the sword once more, found the blind spot where the guard couldn’t see me, but could not figure out a good way to get the sword
  • So fuck it, I don’t need the sword that much, NEW PLAN
  • Headed out to find the Vassir-Didanat mine so I could use that to get a Daedric weapon 😛
  • Fought a few creatures on the way and got enough skill bumps to get a level up alert
  • Boinged back to Balmora via Amulet of Almsivi Intervention
  • Returned to Mages Guild for resting
  • Leveled up to 9, took bumps in Strength, Endurance, Personality
  • Also got a Dark Brotherhood assassin, HOW CONVENIENT; kicked his ass and took his stuff
  • Got into my stash in the closet to break out the hammers and repair both his stuff and my stuff
  • Then went and sold a bunch of stuff to Wayn next door at the Fighters Guild
  • Returned to Ebonheart and finished bribing the guy there to secure House Hlaalu’s ebony contract
  • Elected to not go take out the guy in charge of the actual mine, Tembriel is grudgingly not above stealing things or bribery, but killing the guy just because House Hlaalu doesn’t like him is a big bucket of yeah no
  • Instead went back to Balmora and checked in with Nileno to confirm the contract was secured
  • Got her to pay me and also point me at Crassius for further advancement
  • Then did some training with her, Caius, and Sharn in the Mages Guild
  • Returned to Vivec to introduce myself to Crassius, who for the record is a weirdo
  • Got bumped up to Kinsman, and also got him to point me at Dram Bero
  • Went to try to go find Dram in the St. Olms canton, but couldn’t get past his locked door
  • Retreated back to House Hlaalu’s canton and got an NPC in the cornerclub there to train my Security stat up
  • Came back and this time was able to get through the door
  • Found Dram and told him about the mine, got a Daedric katana off of him, fuck yeah \0/
  • Took the boat from Vivec back to Molag Mar
  • Bought Restore Strength and Restore Endurance spells off the guy in the temple
  • And finally hit Recall to boing back to Odirniran
  • Where I found skeletons and bonelords had respawned–so had to fight through those, and make frequent use of the entrance to keep the bonelords from following me
  • Accidentally attacked the NPC hanging around as well and pissed her off oops, had to roll back from that
  • Daedric katana very effective for the undead though, and I even killed the dremora with it
  • Only then I discovered on the wiki that the wizard I have to kill is level 16 and yeah I don’t think that’s happening yet 😛
  • So I retreated, again, and saved for the night


I started off this session in problem solving mode–because after Odirniran wrecked me, it was clear I was going to have to either a) level up some more, b) upgrade my gear, or c) both.

So I looked on the Morrowind Getting Started page on the wiki for tips, and I yelled for help on the Skywind Discord, and came up with the following game plan:

  1. See if I could snurch the Sword of White Woe that happens to be on top of a cabinet in the guard tower in Balmora
  2. Finish up the “Epony Mine” plot for House Hlaalu
  3. Run the “Vassir-Didanat Ebony Mine” quest which could get me a Daedric weapon
  4. Buy some apparently critically needed Restore Strength and Restore Endurance spells
  5. Return to Odirniran and see if I could finally clear the place

Only two of these plans actually worked as I hoped for.

Getting the sword out of the guard tower was just not an option for me, as near as I could tell. First time I tried it, I jumped up on the jars next to the closet and tried to get the sword via Telekinesis. The guard totally noticed this, and went into rage mode and started attacking me. And I got expelled from House Hlaalu.

So that was no good. Rolled back to previous save, re-did the arrival in Balmora (with bonus snurching of things to sell out of Ralen Hlaalo’s manor), and tried for the sword again. Second time through I did at least figure out where to stand so that I would be blocked from the guard’s view by the conveniently placed column. But while I could see the sword when I jumped, I could not figure out how to actually reach and take it.

It didn’t seem to me like this was a situation where I could just sneak and yoink the sword, just because I couldn’t find a spot where I could actually see the sword without jumping. And while jumping, I couldn’t find a way to hit A mid-jump to actually grab the thing. I have made a similar maneuver work in Skyrim, for example if I kill an ice wraith and the remains actually spawn in the air, I can jump and hit A to loot them. But I could not get that to work for me here at all.

I’m similarly dubious about whether I could do a jump + telekinesis thing.

Clearly though this requires further investigation! Later. I do now have a better weapon (see below), so at least for this playthrough I’m kind of good? But I want to better understand how to pull this off partly for curiosity, and partly for the benefit of future playthroughs.

Item number two on this agenda: finishing the mis-named “Epony Mine” plot for House Hlaalu. I was able to successfully return to Ebonheart and finish bribing the guy there up to the necessary point where I could secure his agreement to deal with Hlaalu for another year.

However, I was disappointed to find that I’d only get the glass armor listed as a quest reward on the wiki if I also did the other objective–which involved killing the head of the mine run by House Redoran. Which did not appeal to me as a player. Because while I have picked fights with NPCs in this game so far to get them to attack me so I can kill them in self-defense and not get hit with a bounty, the prospect of doing so in this scenario did not appeal.

Because basically, I’d have to not only go find the guy, but go past a boatload of guards into the mine to do so. And pick a fight with him there, to get him to attack me so I could kill him.

Narratively speaking, I cannot make this work to my satisfaction. Because there’s no real way a House Hlaalu agent would come into that mine with above-board intentions. It essentially amounts to assassination for business reasons, and yeah no.

I’ll just have to live without glass armor a while longer! Fortunately, the Dark Brotherhood armor does appear to be protecting me quite well. And it’s still hilarious how many people complement me on my outfit while I’m wearing it, LOL.

Paying off the guy in Ebonheart, at any rate, overlapped with the third objective: running the mini-quest for finding the Vassir-Didanat mine. Looking for that let me kill enough critters to level up to 9, which in turn got me another Dark Brotherhood attacker I was able to kill for valuable stuff to sell. And that let me actually have enough money to pay the guy off.

Then I got Nileno to pay me for that plot, and also send me on over to Vivec to talk to the councilor there for further advancement.

And for the record: really not sure what I think of Crassius Curio. So let me get this straight, my dude: the only way you’ll support me in this House is if you get to see me naked? What kind of a voyeur are you, exactly? 🤨

Reading up on the guy on the wiki indicated for me that he does at least do this with all player characters, male or female, so this isn’t just an “I’m perving on a female character” thing. And to be fair he doesn’t have any blatantly lecherous commentary, he just talks about wanting to see what he’s getting. Which could–barely–be taken in a non-sexual context.

Also, dealing with him appears to be mandatory if I want to get any further in House Hlaalu. I will also apparently have to deal with him some more later on in the main plot. At which point he’ll hit me up for a kiss–again, a thing he apparently does for all player characters regardless of gender.

So, slightly mollified that whatever this guy has going on does not appear to be limited to women. That said, still giving this NPC more or less the same side-eye I gave the House of Earthly Delights already.

Regardless, got him to agree to sponsor me (apparently he liked what he was getting), and got him to promote me to Kinsman. And also got him to point me at Dram Bero in Vivec to go get further info about the Vassir-Didanat Mine.

Getting to that guy took some effort since he apparently very deliberately maintains a low profile in a manor said to be haunted, over in St. Olms canton. He was living behind a locked off section of that manor, and I had to specifically go train up my Security skill to make it past that lock, even after finding the Master-grade lockpick lying around.

Once I got to him, though, I was finally able to get my mitts on a Daedric katana. Fuck yeah.

Armed with that, I made my way back to Molag Mar. And there, I made a point of stopping in the temple to talk to the same guy I’d been buying potions off of–because he was selling the correct Restore spells, including Restore Strength and Restore Endurance. Skywind Discord folks had pretty much said “yeah, everybody pretty much needs these spells, they are critical”.

(Side note to Future Me: I will also clearly need to look into putting restore enchantments on some jewelry, just because potions are weighty! And work on bumping up my Restoration further, so I can actually successfully regularly cast these spells.)

And finally, finally, I tried to boing back into Odirniran.

At which point I discovered that I’d been away for long enough game-time that the damn place had respawned. And I had to fight through more Bonelords and Greater Bonewalkers. AUGH.

I did at least have an easier time killing them with the Daedric katana. I even made it past the dremora, who droppped a Daedra heart!

Then I started trying to run the rest of the tower. I found the imprisoned sister. But I also found, doublechecking the wiki, a critical detail I’d previously overlooked about the boss of this dungeon: that namely, he is level 16.

And as of this writing I am only level 9.

So I didn’t even try to fight the guy. This is going to have to be a task for Future Me.

About which I have to smirk a bit, as I have to imagine Tembriel trying to explain this to the survivors holed up in the place:

Me: “Okay so look, I told you I was going to rescue your leader’s sister, right? But here’s the thing: that part of this tower is swarming with undead, and if I’m going to make it through there alive, I’m going to have to go get better equipment.”

Survivor Leader: “But you said you’d help! You can’t just leave us!”

Me: “Any of you got any better weapons than what I’m carrying?”

Survivors: “…”

Me: “Any of you got better armor than what I’m wearing?”

Survivor Leader, sheepishly: “What you see us wearing is what we’ve got.”

Me: “Then I have to go restock. I could also escort you out of here to Molag Mar, that’d at least get you to safety…?”

Survivor Leader: “I don’t think any of us are up for the trek. We’re still recovering.”

Me, rubbing my face and trying not to wonder out loud how I, a Bosmer, am navigating Morrowind better than the people who actually live here: “Okay, then you have to stay here. Barricade the door behind me. Only go to the entrance, and in pairs, if you have to hunt for food or water. Do not under any circumstances go into the other part of the tower unless you want to be eaten by bonewalkers. I’ll be back as soon as I can. Try not to die.”

Next time

So yeah, since finishing Odirniran still isn’t an option, I’m going to have to see about running other quests in the meantime. Immediate likely possibility is seeing if I can take out the rest of the Camonna Tong in the Council Club in Balmora.

Not quite ready, I think, to go after the Fighters Guild quest I still have pending, either. The boss of that quest is level 12. But at least that’ll probably happen before I head back to Odirniran!


Editing to add

  • 11/23/2023: 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.