Morrowind,  Tembriel Playthrough

In Which Tembriel Quests for Ranis of the Mages Guild

This was a session pretty much all about running most of Ranis’ quest line for the Mages Guild, now that I have it. And, by extension, making enough money to keep working on my skills and on my levitation potions, before I return to the Ashlands!


  • Play date: 10/6/2022
  • Session number in this run: 25
  • Picked up again in Balmora
  • Headed out on foot to get to the destination for Ranis’s “go recruit the rogue Telvanni” quest
  • Made it past Fort Moonmoth and back to that bridge I’d seen before; jumped my way partway up to the bridge, and levitated the rest of the way to get up there; did not see a town?
  • But an ash storm kicked up so that made it difficult to see
  • Killed assorted alits, cliff racers, and rats
  • Made it to a smugglers’ cave called Nissintu; decided to run the place since it looked promising loot-wise on the wiki
  • Took me a few tries to get through it properly, a couple of the smugglers were spellcasters, and fried me a couple of times
  • Finally made it through properly and started looting the hell out of the place; way too much loot to carry in one go, so I had to set a Mark and boing in and out, carrying stuff back to Balmora to sell
  • Got several valuable soul gems :O
  • Also a bunch of scrolls, magical jewelry, potions, clothes, armor, and weaponry
  • Some of the loot was skooma so I had to sell that to Ra’Virr
  • Sold the rest of the items to other vendors, and all the best armor and weapons to Wayn at the Fighters Guild, and LOL he actually traded off the Dark Brotherhood gear to wear the steel items I brought him? So apparently Steel > Dark Brotherhood, if you’re inclined to wear Heavy Armor?
  • All told got 2,000 some odd gold out of this little excursion
  • Spent some of it buying a couple of robes to resist fire and shock damage from Mages Guild enchanter Galbedir
  • Got Caius to train my Speechcraft up to 25
  • Set out again on foot to get to the target locale for both quests; headed east and this time swung north of Fort Moonmoth, which got me to the right place, then headed eastward
  • Killed more critters, including a flame atronach, but shortly thereafter got killed by another one
  • Next time through took more or less the same route
  • Spotted a distant frost atronach but did not engage
  • Successfully killed another flame atronach
  • Found Punabi, the residence of the NPC I had to collect dues from, Manwe
  • Successfully bribed her to pay her dues, which gave me 2,000 gold and enough to bribe the other NPC, Llarar Bereloth, in his tower Sulipund just a little further north
  • Hit Almsivi amulet and landed in Ald’ruhn; Guild-boinged from there back to Balmora
  • Resolved quests with ranis and got the next one in her queue
  • That one just involved going over to the South Wall Cornerclub and convincing Only-He-Stands-There, an Argonian, to stop giving Restoration training; bribed him, and he offered to train me at a discount if I just “told” Ranis he’d stop
  • Game is actually bugged in this respect, he won’t train me at a discount, but in character I’m beginning to not like Ranis, so fuck it, the Argonian gets his deal
  • Yep Ranis, I sure did totally tell that Argonian to back off
  • Got her next quest: escorting a scholar to Pelagiad and getting his notes
  • He threw some magic around and damn near fried me while we were attacked by a critter; my dude, if you pack that kind of magical punch, what do you need me for? Just checking
  • Got him safely to Pelagiad anyway and also got his notes
  • Bought some silver arrows from the trader while I was there
  • Gathered some ingredients on the way back
  • Also cleared the bandit cave Adanumuran; got assorted bits of loot and a “fat lute”, LOL
  • Returned to Balmora with the loot and sold assorted things
  • Reported in to Ranis; got her next quest to go kill an alleged necromancer
  • Who was very much not actually a necromancer, so I let Tashpi flee to the mainland and just told Ranis she was dead
  • Got the quest to go ferret out a Telvanni spy
  • Boinged to Ald’ruhn mage guild, then boinged to Sadrith Mora
  • Talked to Skink-in-Tree’s-Shade and got his first quest, another escort run
  • Paused there for the night


I’m getting more proficient with using the Mark and Recall spells, because as I continue to play Morrowind, it’s becoming more apparent how critical those spells are. And I really wish you could cast multiple Marks. While I kind of like the Mark/Recall concept, it still feels like an unnecessary hindrance when I’m accustomed to being able to fast travel all over Skyrim. If the idea here is that you’re able to teleport yourself only back to a specific place, rather than boinging at whim all over the map, I feel like you could balance this by allowing people to add extra Marks only as they level up in the skill.

Hmm. I will need to see if there are mods that impact this, perhaps, on a probable future Morrowind playthrough.

And the reason this is relevant: if I have to bail on running locations if I’m not properly equipped to handle them, or if I have to boing in and out of them for loot gathering purposes, it would be nice if I didn’t have to tromp back overland to the same place because I had to move my Mark! I’d dropped one in the Urshilaku Burial Caverns, but it had to be overridden in the play I’ve done since then.

And also, clearly I’m going to have to level my Mysticism not only for Soul Trap purposes, but also Mark/Recall! It’d be nice to not have to burn magicka on multiple attempts to throw these spells, either.

I remember running into a bridge near Fort Moonmoth in a previous session, and thinking at the time that it looked like it headed to a town. I also remember having a hard time actually getting up the slope by the bridge. This time through I actually confirmed that that bridge was the same one I’d used to cross to get to the Dwemer ruin–so it leads to Arkngthand, not to a town!

(Though heh, I suppose that it could have been a town when the Dwemer were still around?)

And this time through I actually made it up that slope. Thank you, Steel Blade of Heaven!

Lesson learned from this session: I am almost to the point that yes, I can meet and take out a flame atronach. Not quite there yet, though, because while I did kill two of them in this session, a third one gave me issues. Important part of this: learning that yes, I apparently do need to actually invoke my shiny new Flameguard robe if I actually want protection off of it.

Corollary lesson: if I have fire resist potions in my inventory, use the damn things before the flame atronach gets close enough to fry me!

Running all of the little quests in this session basically led me to this conclusion: Ranis is a bitch. You kind of get a hint of that talking to Ajira in the Guild, because Ajira tells you she doesn’t like Ranis very much. And as I proceeded through her quests, I began to see why. This woman is clearly one who doesn’t hesitate to kill people she finds to be problems.

Because I mean seriously:

  • Recruit this Telvanni guy to join the Guild, and if he won’t join, then kill him
  • Make this woman pay her owed dues, or kill her*
  • How dare this Argonian give unsanctioned Restoration training! If he won’t stop it, then kill him
  • Get the notes from this guy who wants to be escorted to Pelagiad and I do not actually care if he makes it there, just get those notes
  • This person in Maar Gan is a necromancer, go kill her

(* As a Tolkien fan, I am obliged to note here that this NPC’s name was Manwe. Which made me LOL. No word on whether she had a wife named Varda somewhere in her home!)

I read ahead on Ranis’ quest line, and the main reason I’m continuing to run it is that I know she’ll eventually give me a Daedric dagger with a Soul Trap enchantment on it. Which I want.

But in character, wow, Tembriel’s questioning her life choices. Even though now Ranis is greeting her effusively when she walks in the front door of the Guild. Especially when the game give you no evidence whatsoever that the healer in Maar Gan, Tashpi, is in fact a necromancer. Tashpi’s own dialogue, in fact, strongly indicates that Ranis is pissy at her because she explicitly refused to join the Guild.

Given all of this, I’ve decided Tembriel has no qualms whatsoever with bribing or otherwise agreeing to let people go about their business, and lying to Ranis’ face about it. I also feel like she’ll want to go visit Only-He-Stands-There in the cornerclub periodically to get training from him, just to be contrary.

(Though clearly she’d need to do while Ranis doesn’t have eyes on the place!)

Went as far as boinging to Sadrith Mora on the spy quest, and while there, got my first quest off of Skink-in-Tree’s-Shade. I trust I’m going to like this guy’s quest line better than Ranis’?

Next time

I’ll finish up Ranis’ little spy quest so I can get that Daedric dagger off of her. After that, not sure yet! I have a pending quest with the Fighters Guild now, as well as the quest from Skink. I may do both of those before trying to return to the Urshilaku Burial Caverns.

I think I’ve got like five Levitate potions now, as well as a Levitate spell and the Steel Blade of Heaven. I am not hurting for methods by which to levitate, at this point. But once I get that Daedric dagger, I also want to have some charged soul gems on hand to be able to recharge the Blade of Heaven when I need to. And I feel like I need to bring my Alteration skill up some more to improve my chances of casting the spell.

Likewise, bumping Mysticism up further is required for Mark/Recall purposes. If Urshilaku Burial Caverns is swimming with that much loot I want to be able to get in and out quickly.

Also, I do still have that pending side quest to rescue the woman from the cultists. I should take care of that, too, before I return to the burial caverns! Especially now that I’m getting close to the point of being able to take out flame atronachs.


Editing to add

  • 11/23/2023: Restoring 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.