Morrowind,  Tembriel Playthrough

In Which Tembriel Returns to Odirniran

When last we left our heroine, Tembriel the budding Nerevarine, she’d arrived at the Urshilaku Burial Caverns. But the caverns proved a bit much–so I backed off for a new plan, which meant returning to Odirniran and finally resolving that quest!

This is a double session post.


  • Play dates: 9/27, 9/28/2022
  • Session numbers in this run: 22-23
  • Picked up right outside the burial caverns, but of course a cliff racer showed up before I could go in; took it out and then entered
  • Killed a few skeletons and rats in the first stretch of the cavern
  • Found the end of the cavern but had trouble levitating, didn’t remember how to use the Steel Blade of Heaven correctly, oops
  • Began gathering a loot cache to do round 1 of selling (wiki advises this cavern has enough loot to not get done in one run)
  • Ran out of charge in the blade, so gathered the loot out of the first section and cast a Mark to get back, then used Amulet of Almsivi Intervention to boing out to Gnisis
  • Sold things to a bunch of the vendors there, and cast Recall to get back
  • Got back into the groove of using the Blade of Heaven, but only briefly, until the charge ran out again
  • Tried to figure out if I could jump over to the rock where the door to the next section is, but kept falling into the water and not being able to get out; burned through both the levitation potions i had on me and also a bunch of Restore Fatigue potions
  • Lesson learned here: don’t let myself fall in the fucking water in this section
  • Managed to jump once onto that rock and make it into the next section
  • Killed a couple of skeletons, and found a couple of weapons on mummies
  • Found long sequence of wide flat rocks I had to jump across; tried this repeatedly but kept coming up short around the 3rd or 4th rocks
  • Fell into the water a lot but at least this water I could get out of easily enough
  • Checked some urns on the side of the dungeon and got some nifty scrolls out of one
  • [Side note: not sure where exactly I leveled up to 13, but pretty sure it was somewhere in the middle of running the burial caverns, so I’ll note that here; dropped points on Strength, Endurance, and Luck]
  • Kept having to rest to regenerate Fatigue, and finally had a Dark Brotherhood assassin attack me
  • Killed him and took his gear (and the rest of the stash in that section) and retreated to Gnisis again
  • Sold more things, then silt stridered back to Ald’ruhn and then to Balmora
  • Sold the rest of the Dark Brotherhood gear to Wayn at the Fighters Guild
  • Sold a couple of the weapons to Ra’Virr
  • Dropped off hammers and prongs at my cabinet stash in the Mages Guild
  • Did some training with mages and saved for the night
  • Picked up next session in Balmora, just outside the Mages Guild
  • Tried to get training but neither the trainer in the Fighters Guild nor Rithleen of the Blades couldn’t train me past where I was, damn
  • Went to trainer in House Hlaalu but she could only train me in Short Blade
  • Silt stridered to Vivec, then took boat to Molag Mar
  • Got some potions while there (including a Levitate potion)
  • Then started hoofing it to try to get back to Odirniran
  • Killed a frost atronach and it was a VERY close call :O
  • Shortly thereafter killed by a second frost astronach; thrown back to just after I killed the first one, so didn’t lose much
  • Dispatched skeleton at Helan Ancestral Tomb; did not go in, as the place does not appear to be interesting
  • Got enough trama root and racer plumes that I was able to make at least one more potion of levitation
  • Made it back to Odirniran finally! Got killed a couple times by the daedra just past the second door: daedroth, first sighting of those :O
  • Third time through I finally got a dremora instead and was able to take it down
  • Somewhere in here, leveled up to 14; took bumps in Strength, Endurance, Willpower
  • Made it to the mage and took him out with surprisingly little trouble
  • Took a bunch of his ingredients and expensive books
  • Getting back out again proved problematic a couple of times as other undead snuck up on me, but finally freed the captive and returned her to her sister and the rest of the party holed up in the place
  • Got out with a few soul gems from killing bonelords, so that’s useful, I need to charge those up
  • Went back outside and amulet’d back to Molag Mar
  • Just as I approached the boat, fight music started up, but LOL fuck you cliff racer, I’m going to Vivec!
  • Safely boated back to Vivec
  • Checked in with Edryno in House Hlaalu and got a thousand drakes <3
  • Went back to the Foreign Quarter and sold all the books to the rare books shop there
  • Smith in the plaza in the Foreign Quarter had ebony arrows, fuck yeah 😀
  • Sold a couple of the loot weapons from Odirniran as well
  • Went into the Mages Guild and boinged from there back to Balmora
  • Got into my stash there and got out my hammers and repair prongs for a large round of repairing my armor and weapons
  • Went back out and sold a few random clothes items to the clothier nearby for a few more gold
  • Saved for the night


Anybody who’s been reading my playthrough posts regularly, or who may have come across them while searching for information about Skyrim’s Horn of Jurgen Windcaller quest, may well know that I had a lot of trouble at first with the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller quest puzzle that required you to do the exact right run in the exact right angle to make it through some gates.

I found that super frustrating, until I finally learned the trick of it. This time through, in Morrowind, I ran into pretty much the same problem.

In the first section of the Urshilaku Burial Caverns, at the very back where you find the door to the next section, that door is situated on a rock in the middle of a pool. There is no obvious way for me to climb up onto that rock. So my options for getting there, as near as I could tell, were:

  1. Jump over from one of the surrounding rocks, which I could access pretty easily, or
  2. Levitate to it

Since I was out of charge on my Steel Blade of Heaven, and only had a limited supply of Levitation potions, I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to jump properly onto that stupid rock. And here’s the problem with that: every time I missed, I fell into the surrounding water. And got stuck. I could not figure out for the life of me how to get out. I could see the edge of the pool nearby but could not frigging get over there to it.

And it was not clear to me, either, whether I was triggering some sort of weird game bug, or whether I was stuck simply because my character’s Acrobatics skill, which governs how well you can do things like jumping, is still pretty abysmal. Any way you slice it, though, I was still frigging stuck. I even blew through both of my levitation potions trying to see if I could just levitate out of the damn water, to no avail.

(And that part did seem actively buggy. I feel like if I’m in a pool, I should damn well be able to levitate out of it as long as there’s room overhead. And I saw no obvious reason why I would have been obstructed from doing so, in that particular cavern.)

I did eventually make it into the next section, once I finally managed to jump correctly from rock A over to rock B–only to discover that in the next section, there was another large pool with a whole different set of rocks. AUGH.

But those, at least, were easier to navigate. They were a large series of round, flat rocks, and the idea was clearly for you to get a running jump going along the whole sequence.

I only made it about halfway through that sequence, though, as I couldn’t figure out how to get from the fourth rock to the fifth one. At least at this point, the pool I fell into did actually let me clamber back out again!

Eventually, after several attempts at rest to regenerate my Fatigue for another go at jumping along those rocks, I had a Dark Brotherhood assassin show up. And since that was another set of free armor I could sell, I decided to pull a retreat and go sell that stuff, and do a supply run so I could come back with a lot more means of levitation at my disposal. Because fuck jumping. 😉

I gotta giggle at Wayn in the Fighters Guild. When I showed up to sell him stuff, his line was “That sure is an ugly outfit!” HA. Hilarious both because everybody else keeps telling me they’ve never seen a Wood Elf with such a grand outfit before, and because Wayn is standing right there wearing previous Dark Brotherhood gear I already sold him. Lolololol. I think I like Wayn!

I appear to have trained up my combat skills well enough that the trainers I have immediate access to, at least in Balmora, can’t train me any further. I couldn’t get additional training in Medium Armor or Long Blade, as the trainers couldn’t train me past where I was. And I got blocked for training up Light Armor since its governing skill wasn’t high enough yet. So I need to remember to work on training my Agility, if not also spending points on it when I level up.

Headed out from Balmora to try to return to Odirniran, and see if I could finally finish that quest up yet. Answer: yes, though it took some doing!

Traveling back to Odirniran had a notable first: running into frost atronachs for the first time. I actually killed the first one, but it was a super close call. The second one killed me. Lesson learned from encountering these things as well as the flame atronachs I’ve run into: I seriously need some kind of enchantment on the Daedric katana, because I’m not doing enough damage with it. And a silver weapon as a backup would probably be good, too.

Odirniran itself also had a notable first: the leveled daedra past the final door turned out to be a daedroth, and that thing kicked my ass a couple of times. Yikes. Third time through I lucked out and got a dremora, which I was able to dispatch properly.

And I was legit surprised that the mage at the end of this dungeon was less of a problem than I expected. Getting out again, on the other hand, proved surprisingly tricky. I got ambushed a couple of times by undead sneaking up on me, and only by straight up luck were none of them bonewalkers.

But I finally got out of there, anyway, with the captive safely rescued and returned to her sister. Odirniran quest finally fucking concluded. Whew.

That, at least, helped take the sting out of not making it through the burial caverns for the first time.

Next time

I don’t think I’m quite prepped enough yet to return to the burial caverns. I’d like to get back in there and do it all in one go, but for that to happen, I’m going to need a lot more reliable means of levitation. Having the Steel Blade of Heaven charged up to its full capacity will help, but I’ll need additional potions.

The wiki says I should be able to buy a Levitate spell at the Balmora Mages Guild. So I’ll get that, but I’ll also need to work on training up my Alteration so I’ll have a prayer of actually casting it.

Likewise, I’d like to get my current stock of soul gems actually filled, so that I can use them either for enchanting purposes, or for recharging the Steel Blade of Heaven.

I have a Soultrap spell, but I’m not sure if I want that on the katana or not. As that’s my primary damage-dealing weapon, I kind of feel like it needs something that’ll specifically boost its damage. Shock Damage might be useful. I really like that the Iron Sparksword does shock damage, and it’d be nice to decommission that completely to get it the fuck out of my inventory.

Paralyze, though, is tempting. I’ve used the Dwemer Jinksword a couple of times in battle now and being able to make an opponent temporarily stopping hitting me in melee seems very, very helpful.

Likewise, I should see about putting some kind of enchantment on my current bow.

I definitely need Fortify Strength on one or more pieces of my armor. And Resist Fire and Resist Frost.

All of this, though, requires a stock of soul gems. I need to get hold of more of them. And probably start working on training up my Enchanting so I can actually properly use them, just because I suspect that’ll be cheaper than trying to pay enchanters to do it for me.

Which means I’ve got some enchanting practice to do, too. So my next Morrowind session may just be going out into the countryside around Balmora and seeing what I can throw Soultrap on to get what gems I have filled, and then seeing what enchantments I can actually do with them.

And I’ll see what spells I can buy to add to my growing arsenal, and what training I can get to be able to actually use them.


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.