Morrowind,  Tembriel Playthrough

In Which Tembriel Tries the Burial Cavern Again

Back to Morrowind! Did a little more prep and decided to take another stab at the Urshilaku Burial Caverns. Got in a little farther this time, but didn’t finish it yet!


  • Play date: 11/2/2022
  • Session number in this run: 27
  • Picked up where I left off at Fighters Guild
  • Went over to Mages Guild and threw a bunch of money at Sharn for training in Alteration and Mysticism; got both of them up to 25
  • Also threw money at Estirdalin for Destruction and Illusion training and got both of them to 15
  • Derped around outside Balmora a little
  • Confirmed that yes, if I hit a creature with Soul Drinker, it’s an automatic soul trap, good
  • Which means I damn well better have some empty soul gems on me; I only had the one, so I returned to Balmora
  • Sold assorted things to Dorisa and to Ra’Virr
  • Decided to return to the burial caverns
  • Silt-stridered from Balmora to Ald’ruhn and then to Maar Gan
  • More or less got to the right spot fairly quickly
  • Marked one new spot for the map, Ibar-Dad, but did not enter (may have to check it out later)
  • Killed assorted critters en route but nothing serious
  • Leveled up to 16 in the first chamber of the caverns; took bumps in Endurance, Luck, and Personality
  • Made it to third chamber of the caverns where all the good loot is
  • Managed to get:
    • Glass greaves (FUCK YEAH)
    • Magebane
  • However, burned most of my Levitate potions as well as the charge on the Steel Blade of Heaven, and didn’t have enough Magicka to cast the Levitate spell
  • So I dropped a Mark and retreated to Gnisis via Amulet of Almsivi Intervention
  • Silt-stridered two hops back to Balmora
  • Sold my Dark Brotherhood greaves at the Fighters Guild and repaired other gear
  • Bought a couple of filled soul gems in the Mages Guild to recharge the Steel Blade of Heaven
  • Saved for next time


I’m really enjoying the plot of Morrowind overall. But wow am I finding it a hard slog to hit some of these major dungeons, and how it takes so damn long to prep to hit them properly–a thing you then have to do multiple times, if you want to not only be able to carry the gear with you that you need to survive, but also get all the new cool loot out of the place you’re trying to clear.

When I’m used to how I can (usually) clear a dungeon in a single session in Skyrim, having to spread clearing a Morrowind dungeon out across half a dozen sessions drives me kind of spare.

That said: pretty hopeful about the loot available in the Burial Caverns being worth it.

And I gotta say, now that I’ve built up quite the rep in the Mages Guild, it’s kind of hilarious how effusive some of the Balmora personnel are to me now. Galbedir told me she’d never seen anyone so lovely. Lololol. Doesn’t stop her soul gems from being stupidly expensive, though. And I’m still not to the point where I can pay her well to do enchanting for me.

So my jaunt back to the Burial Caverns only got me so far. Having at least some Levitate potions did prove helpful. But I’m still not as practiced at using levitation in general as I’d like, and that wound up costing me a couple of those potions when it shouldn’t have done. Also, it caused me to blow through more of the charge on the blade than it should have.

But I did at least score my first piece of glass armor, i.e., greaves! Which were a significant jump up from the Dark Brotherhood greaves. And there’s at a glass tower shield I’m going to want too.

I got Magebane as well. But since Magebane is a greatsword and I don’t tend to favor two-handed weapons, I strongly suspect I’m going to wind up selling it. Which is probably going to require me to hit Caldera and talk to the scamp merchant, or perhaps track down the talking mudcrab merchant I’ve heard about!

And it was gratifying as well to be able to confirm that Soul Drinker does a soul trap on a successful strike. But actually doing the successful strike is difficult, given that it’s a short blade and my Short Blade skill is still fairly poor. I need to work on that.

Next time

So this is going to be my strategy for Tembriel’s next session.

Turns out the third chamber of the burial caverns actually has exits to all the remaining chambers, and only two of those, according to the wiki, are ones I actively care about entering.

I want the Wizard’s Staff and the Restoration skill book, which is in the main third chamber, but at spots I still have to levitate to. So I need to recharge the Steel Blade of Heaven, and ideally also rebuild my stock of Levitate potions. So for these things I will need:

  1. Money to buy charged soul gems in the Mages Guild
  2. To fill the soul gems I actually have, preferably with souls worth putting into them, I’ll have to be careful with the Grand one I have
  3. Buy some more Levitate potions, or make some if I can replenish my stock of trama root and racer plumes

All of which suggests I should run at least one or two side plots before I take another stab at the burial caverns. I’m going to need to see what I can do for the Fighters Guild, the Mages Guild, or House Hlaalu, maybe.

How much additional levitation I’m going to need inside the other chambers I need to hit is unclear, but I need to be prepped for it just in case. Of the two remaining chambers I want to hit, the first one has a Glass Tower Shield and I must have this. And there are two skill books in there I want to hit, too.

The final chamber is the one with the bow. And that’s the thing that’s actually plot-critical, so I will need to make sure that I’m not too heavily loaded by the time I reach it. Which will require inventory management and planning.

So this could be one and maybe two more sessions before I finally clear the place.


Editing to add

  • 11/24/2023: 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.