Morrowind,  Tembriel Playthrough

In Which Tembriel is Infected With and Cured of the Divine Disease

Meanwhile, back in my Morrowind playthrough, I finally moved the Main Quest further along! Main action: reaching Ilunubi, where I fought Dagoth Gares and got corprus from him; venturing off to Tel Fyr at Caius’s urging, to see a Dunmer wizard about an experimental corprus cure; discovering that the cure did, in fact, work; and returning to Balmora only to learn from Caius that he’s being recalled to the Imperial City, so surprise, I am now in charge of the Blades on Vvardenfell! Yay?

Play by play

  • Play date: 4/20/2023
  • Session number in this run: 35
  • Picked up outside Ilunibi and started running the place
  • Got killed repeatedly on the way through, primarily by storm atronachs (yikes) and once by a dremora lord
  • Also fought assorted ash ghouls and ash zombies and dreamers
  • Finally made it to the back, found Dagoth Gares, and took him out
  • Ohnoez he gave me corprus, the bastard! Just for that, I am totally looting this place and taking your stuff
  • Notable loot snurched: glass boots, Fists of Randagulf
  • Leveled up to 21
  • Stats started tanking pretty fast, yikes
  • Amulet of Almsivi’d out, which landed me right back in Balmora, whew
  • Tromped over to see Caius immediately
  • Passed a Dreamer on the way who started ranting at me; threw an Intimidate at him and he immediately backed off, LOL
  • Caius was all ohnoez you have the corprus! But he also promoted me, gave me 1,000 drakes and some levitation potions, and sent me off to Tel Fyr to see about an experimental cure
  • This required me to Mages-Guild-boing my way over Sadrith Mora so I could get within reasonable range of the place
  • Did in fact have to invoke the Wizard’s Staff to reach the island Tel Fyr is on
  • Got confusing info off the wiki as to how to actually levitate up to Divayth Fyr, but did finally see the correct access hole in the ceiling, so went up through that to get to the wizard
  • He agreed to give me his experimental potion if I fetched a pair of boots from Yagrum Bagarn
  • So I had to go down into the Corprusarium, which was less difficult than I’d feared, I didn’t actually have to fight any of the inmates
  • Had a straight shot to the bowels of the area, where Yagrum was
  • Got in, and realized I didn’t have to sneak around the other inmates as they were not hostile
  • Talked to Yagrum and got him to give me the boots, and also tried his other conversation options just to see what he had to say about being the last of the Dwemer
  • Got the boots from him, and returned them to Divayth to get the potion
  • Praise the Eight! I’m cured!
  • Divayth exulted about taking his potion to go try it out on a couple of the inmates, so I left him to that
  • Amuleted out, but this landed me in Molag Mar
  • Silt-stridered back to Vivec and then to Balmora
  • Reported in to Caius and found out, surprise! He’s being recalled to the Imperial City and now I’m in charge of the Blades in Vvardenfell!
  • He also gave me his shirt and pants, which have useful bonuses
  • Returned to the Mages Guild to take care of some inventory management
  • Saved there until next time

Running Ilunubi

This was not a hugely long session, but it was hugely significant plot-wise, since I hit a major milestone: getting infected with corpus, only to successfully receive an experimental cure and get another step closer to fulfilling the Nerevarine Prophecy.

But first, let’s talk Ilunubi. This was almost but not quite as large and complex a dungeon to run as the burial caverns; there were a bunch of different chambers to trudge through, most of which were flooded. And all fairly monochrome. The loot to be had wasn’t nearly as interesting as the burial caverns, but there were at least a couple of notable items.

What was more notable about the place, at least up to the point where I got to Dagoth Gares, was the quality of hostiles to fight. I’m pretty sure this is the first time I had to go up against storm atronachs in this game, and they killed me repeatedly. Not the first time I had to go up against a dremora lord, but the one I fought killed me right good. Ouch.

There are reasons those are my top two conjures in Skyrim, so it was simultaneously satisfying to see those creatures being badassed here, and frustrating to see them well and thoroughly kicking my ass.

Lesson to be learned here: get better at shock and fire resistance. I’ve got that pair of robes I’ve been wearing over Tembriel’s armor, but they aren’t cutting it. I have to switch off between those, and that’s just not nearly as useful as having actual enchantments on armor like I’m used to in Skyrim.

And, of course, there was Dagoth Gares at the end of this dungeon. I did take the time to trigger his various dialogue prompts as per the advice I saw in the wiki, just because I wanted to see what he had to say.

He called me Lord Nerevar to my face, with a droll little aside of “Or Tembriel, as you call yourself.”

That right there was a bolt of disquiet to Tembriel. Nothing that she let on about–but another little bell going off in her brain that oh shit maybe this is real. It still doesn’t feel real to her. She has no memories of being Nerevar. The whole idea still feels like bullshit.

And yet, here’s this Dagoth-Ur-worshipping cultist, calling her Nerevar to her face.

Didn’t stop her from killing him, though, because wiping out this Sixth House base was her mission.

And of course, that led to him cursing me with corprus. Actively cursing me with it, which plays into what I see on the wiki about it not being a normal disease.

I knew this was coming, of course, which reduced a bit of the dramatic impact. But certainly didn’t eliminate it! Because now I got to see exactly what this meant for me as a player.

Cursed with corprus, oh shit now what?

The wiki strongly advised returning to Balmora and Caius pronto as soon as you hit this part of the plot, so that’s what I did. Thankfully this was easily done with my Amulet of Almsivi, which dropped me right into Balmora. I headed straight from the Tribunal Temple over to Caius’s house.

On the way, I ran into another of the townsfolk who’d been turned into a Dreamer by Dagoth Ur, and that guy started ranting at me. Just to see what would happen, I threw an Intimidate at him–and that actually worked, LOL. He backed right off: “Maybe we can work this out?”

Dagoth Ur’s hold on that guy is clearly not as firm as Dagoth Ur would like. 😀

(And really, that also had to be a bit of a mindfuck for Tembriel. Because now the cultists are starting to treat her like the Nerevarine, so she had to have wondered if that Dreamer realized who she was.)

Caius, as I also expected to happen, was all ohnoez at the news that I had been infected. Fortunately, he had a plan! He promoted me on the spot, forked over 1,000 drakes and some levitation potions, and told me to get to Tel Fyr and talk to the wizard there about an experimental cure.

But heh. After all the work I’d been putting in to get means of levitation, I didn’t actually need Caius’s potions. But I appreciated the gesture nonetheless!

I noted, while going through Balmora and then later to Sadrith Mora, that NPCs did start reacting to me badly and with audible disgust in their lines. I didn’t notice any visual difference in my appearance, but my stats did tank hard pretty fast, particularly after I’d been playing long enough to get the first round of the disease worsening on me.

Which does raise the question of whether Morrowind mods do anything along the lines of making the disease visually impact you, or whether they could. Skyrim doesn’t do anything to your appearance when you’re hit with diseases, with the exception of Sanguinare Vampiris. So I don’t exactly see a precedent here for corprus visibly impacting your character’s appearance. And in this case in particular, if you let the disease go long enough it’d start breaking your ability to use your armor, for that matter. So there’s a game mechanics argument against it too, I guess.

Tel Fyr and the Corprusarium

I wanted to like the interior of Tel Fyr more than I did. All the walls were a bit too busy in their design, so it felt like a little much. I saw design elements there that I expect later influences Tel Mithryn in Dragonborn, but here, they were much rougher and kind of a mess, visually.

It didn’t help either that I was finding it difficult to figure out how to actually levitate up to reach Divayth Fyr. The wikis I use as my main reference sources were confusing in that regard, so between that and the overly busy look of the place, it took me longer than I was happy with to finally find the hole in the ceiling I was supposed to levitate through.

Once I did, though, I was able to get the visit to the place moving along properly.

I think Tembriel was a trifle salty about this commentary of Divayth’s:

“How interesting. Did you know that corprus makes you immune to disease? Have you ever heard of the prophecies of the Nerevarine? Ashlanders say the Nerevarine will be immune to disease. I’ve always thought, “Maybe I have the Nerevarine down in my Corprusarium, and I don’t even know it.” Hah. Hah. The Nerevarine is a fat, disgusting corprus monster, and mad as a marsh rat. Wouldn’t that be funny?”

“Yeah,” deadpanned the Bosmer chick everybody’s calling the Nerevarine now and who is now more than a little inwardly scared about this disease fucking her up, “ha ha. Fucking hilarious.”

The Corprusarium itself was not nearly as dire an experience as I’d feared. I wound up not having to fight or even go near any of the inmates at all. There was a straight shot from the initial entrance into the bowels of the place where Yagrum Bagarn resided, and once I got through that bit, the inmates in Yagrum’s part were not hostile at all. So I didn’t have to worry about them attacking me.

And that meant I was free to converse with Yagrum, the last of the Dwemer.

I knew he was coming, too, since I’d read a bit about him. But not everything! So I took the time to take all of his dialogue options as well, just to see what he’d have to say about being the last of his people. He said that he hadn’t been present when the Dwemer disappeared, because he’d been “traveling in an Outer Realm” (presumably a plane of Oblivion?).

Of which Paul said, when I told him about this, “He was on the loo. They totally ditched him.”


I think he’s a fascinating character idea, though, simultaneously horrific and pitiable. Tembriel had to have fought down a shudder of revulsion at the sight of him bloated and legless, and she no doubt had a burst of fear about whether she was going to wind up like that. And yet, he also came across as having semi-decent mental faculties, which I think gave her a little comfort.

Plus, it’s intriguing to think about what must have gone through this guy’s mind when he returned to Tamriel and found his entire race had disappeared. I wonder how long it was between his return and his being infected with corprus, and what he did in the intervening time.

I got the boots Divayth wanted from him, and that let me return to get the promised potion. Which I promptly took, and which promptly cured me! Hurray! Praise the Eight! I get to keep my legs!

And I noted at that point that my impacted stats did not reset. So I had to quaff a few potions to fix the ones that were in the red, until I was back to a state of normality–modulo the positive bumps I’d gotten on strength and a couple other stats, which remained. Fuck yeah. If nothing else, having to go through this part of the plot does indeed improve my carry capacity, and that is very welcome.

Shame that potion only worked on me, though! Divayth Fyr is in for some long months of frustration as he realizes that cure won’t work on anybody else in the Corprusarium.

Back to Balmora

Mission accomplished, I then headed back to Balmora and got another round of plot development I already knew about: hearing from Caius that he was getting recalled to the Imperial City.

But I’d forgotten that this meant he was going to put me in charge of the Blades on Vvardenfell! So I, along with my character, had a bit of wait what about that.

Tembriel had to have had a gut reaction of “Aren’t I supposed to be pursuing the Nerevarine thing? How the hell am I going to have the time to be in charge of anybody else in this organization here?”

The game did not, however, give me an opportunity to actually ask that. I think Tembriel must surely have asked some form of that question, though as diplomatically as possible, given that Caius did after all hand her the means to get to Tel Fyr and cure herself of what should have been a fatal disease.

But heh, now that I actually look up Morrowind’s Blades faction on the wiki, I see there are a total of seven other Blades characters besides Caius himself. And most of them are Journeymen, with one Apprentice. So given how often Caius has been promoting me in this plot, it actually makes sense that I’m the next highest ranking Blade to be had.

Which, I daresay, Caius probably pointed out. As well as being confident that she’d find a way to make it work, given how she’d proved herself already.

Also, I shall headcanon that the mention of the Imperial City kicked off a huge pang of homesickness in Tembriel, too. As well as a bit of hope that maybe this would put her into a better position to try to finally get home again and find Ganniwer.

I think I’ll even go out on a limb here and headcanon that Tembriel starts writing letters to Ganniwer with the intention of sending them as soon as it’s safe for her to do so.

At any rate, Caius also gave me a shirt and a pair of his pants, LOL. Which tells me that he had at least two different pairs of pants, but also that he never bothered to actually wear the shirt given that he was always hanging out shirtless in his house. Do you not believe in doing your laundry, Caius? When the hell was the last time you washed these things?

But that said, the shirt and pants do have useful bonuses! So I should wear them under the glass armor.

Next time

Good question! Since I just hit a major main plot milestone with this session, I’m kind of in the mood to do some side stuff. I should probably check on the status of my stronghold efforts, and see if the next part of that plot is ready yet. And maybe also do more Mages or Fighters Guild things?

(Definitely thinking that Tembriel might try to arrange to get Ganniwer to come to her, once she has a stronghold of her own. Maybe she raises money to try to hire people in the Fighters or Mages Guilds to go find her sister and escort her to Vvardenfell? Which raises a real interesting question about why anybody Tembriel sends doesn’t actually find Ganniwer…)


Editing to add

  • 11/25/2023: 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.