Storyline FAQ by The Reichman

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 02/17/05 | Printable Version

The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
Story FAQ v1.0
Last Update: 2/18/2005
By: The_Reichman
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Table of Contents:
CHAPTER ONE: Timeline of Tamriel History
CHAPTER TWO: The War of the First Council
CHAPTER THREE: The Sources on the War of the First Council
CHAPTER FOUR: The Nerevarine

(Hint: Use the find feature on your browser to go to those titles)


Hey folks, my name is Reichman and after a few years playing this game I 
decided it has one of the most confusing story lines and time lines since 
Final Fantasy 7. So after doing much research and spending a lot of time 
sorting through in game books, I have found some sort of explanation for the 
entire plot of the game. Obviously many SPOILERS are ahead so be warned now 
because I ain’t gonna say anything about that again. You most likely 
should’ve finished the main quest before you dive into the story and read this 
FAQ. That being said, enjoy, and I hope this sheds a little bit of light on 
the mystery that is Morrowind.

CHAPTER ONE: Timeline of Tamriel History 
(as it relates to the Elder Scrolls games)

1E668-1E700: War of the First Council, Nerevar dies, the Tribunal begins
1E2920: First Era Ends
2E862: Tiber Septim begins forming the empire
2E882: Dagoth Ur Awakens
2E893 Barenziah is born.
2E896: Morrowind surrenders to the Empire
2E896: Vivec gives Tiber Septim Numidium in a deal to keep self-rule, house 
traditions, and religious practices under the empire.
2E896: Second Era Ends
3E38: Tiber Septim Dies
3E376: Jagar Tharn steals the Staff of Chaos
3E376: Helseth is Born
3E389-3E399: Jagar Tharn banishes Uriel Septim VII and takes the throne 
(This is TES1: Arena)

In an unrecorded year in this chaotic decade, Daedra Lord Mehrunes Dagon 
takes over the Battlespire One unknown hero has managed to vanquish the daedra 
(This is TESL: Battlespire)

3E399: A mysterious hero defeats Jagar Tharn (This is the end of TES1: Arena.)

3E400: In the same year in Vvardenfell, Morrowind, Kogoruhn reoccupied by 
Dagoth Uthol and fortified as an advance base for Sixth House operations. 
Blight storms more frequent and widespread. Soul sickness spreads in regions 
close to Red Mountain.

3E405: A mysterious agent is sent by Uriel Septim VII to investigate the death 
of King Lysandus (This is TES2: Daggerfall)

3E410: In Morrowind, Sixth House bases founded near Gnaar Mok and in 
waterfront areas of Vivec. Sixth House operatives exploit smuggler 
organizations and communications to spread their influence among victims 
unbalanced by Dagoth Ur's dream sendings

Circa 3E414~3E417: The end of TES2: Daggerfall's story. (It's a long story, 
look it up yourselves for those that haven't played it). But you could say 
it's been ~3,543 years since Nerevar died and the beginning of TES3: Morrowind.

3E414: The Vvardenfell district of Morrowind is started to be colonized, after 
the Duke of Morrowind revoked the old Treaty of the Armistice. Originally, 
Vvardenfell is an exclusive district of Tribunal Temple; they banned all the 
trade and settlement. And almost immediately, the Imperial and three Great 
Houses, Hlaalu, Telvanni, and Redoran begin to take the opportunity to 
settle the area.

3E415: Small cells of Sixth House cultists in every town in Vvardenfell, 
Morrowind. Larger Sixth House operations are concealed in remote dungeons 
where creatures are bred and cultists are trained for the coming struggle.

3E417: Almalexia and Sotha Sil lose the artifacts Keening and Sunder to Dagoth
Odros and Vemyn. Vivec rescues Almalexia and Sotha Sil, but failing to 
recover Keening and Sunder, the Tribunal retreat from Red Mountain in 
disorder. Surviving Buoyant Armiger companions know the Tribunal was forced 
to retreat, but do not know how serious a reversal the Tribunal has suffered. 
The Three Tribunes return to their respective capitals and continue to perform
their ritual functions. The Tribunes continue to grow weaker without access to
the Heart, and because of resources required to support the Ghostfence. 
The inner circle of the Temple priesthood has begun to suspect the Tribunes 
have suffered seriously from wounds and demoralization in the wake of reverses
at Red Mountain, but do not recognize the scale of the problem.

3E427: Meanwhile in Morrowind, a slave, with uncertain parent and born on 
certain sign, is freed by the Blades as an Imperial agent to uncover the 
prophecies of the Nerevarine, and also to find out more about the rumor of the 
new re-awakening sixth house of the Dunmer, the House Dagoth. 
(This is the beginning of TES3: Morrowind)

Since we haven't moved on to the next game, and next point in Tamriel history, 
we can't really say what year TES3 ends. But you can say that it's been ~3,543 
years since Nerevar's death and the beginning of TES3: Morrowind.

CHAPTER TWO: The War of the First Council

These are the facts you can sort from the various accounts of what happened 
on Red Mountain. Note the temple takes the stance that Nerevar was injured 
in battle and died thereafter, other accounts believe the Tribunal murdered 
him. Also note that at this time the Dunmer (Dark Elves) didn't exist, they 
were known as the Chinmer, a light skinned elven race. The following is a 
list of events from the war. 
This serves as the back-story for TES 3: Morrowind.

1. The Dwemer were believed to be making an artificial god, Numidian, from the 
heart of Lorkan. Nerevar believing this to be a great heresy demanded his 
friend, King Dunmac of the Dwemer, stop this at once. They believed this was 
a mockery of the Dunmer’s beliefs. Dunmac, though he did not know of 
Kagrenac’s creation, refused and thus the war between the Dunmer and the 
Dwemer began.

2. Nerevar united the tribes and FIVE great houses (Hlaalu, Redoran, Telvanni, 
Dres, Indoril) against House Dwemer and House Dagoth, and their Orcish and 
Nordish allies. The long war led to a final climactic battle on Red Mountain. 

[First discrepancy, Vivec and the Dissident priests state that Dagoth Ur was 
the one who brought evidence of the artificial god and was allied with 
Nerevar, where other documents state that House Dagoth was AGAINST them. 
I believe that for the story to make any sense one must believe that House 
Dagoth was indeed aligned with Nerevar)

3. Nerevar defeated Dunmac and feasts on his heart. One version of the story 
has him injured shortly afterwards BEFORE the Dwemer are destroyed. Half the 
stories exist that he was injured in battle with the Dwemer.

[Second discrepancy, other stories will state that Nerevar is injured in 
battle with the Dwemer King Dumac]

4. Kagrenac taps the heart and succeeds in destroying the Dwemer. He was 
trying to make his entire race into gods, though that seems unlikely to have 
happened since nobody has heard from them. Vivec cannot sense them in other 
planes of reality either. The most logical belief is that the Daedra 
interfered and somehow banished the Dwemer into Oblivion. Though it wouldn't 
100% explain why the Tribunal was allowed to use the heart to gain their 
powers. Either way, the Dwemer were defeated.

[Third discrepancy, another version is around, which states Dagoth Ur slew 
Kagrenac and took the tools. He brought them to Nerevar and asked what to do 
with them. Nerevar summons Azura who shows them how to use the tools and 
separate the Dwemer from the hearts power, thus leading to the disappearance 
of the Dwarves. Dagoth still asks that the tools be destroyed 
afterwards though.]

5. Nerevar and Dagoth Ur witness Kagrenac's actions and acquire the tools 
(Keening, Sunder, Wraithguard) and question what to do with them. Dagoth Ur 
wishes to destroy them, but Nerevar wants to consult with his councilors 
(the Tribunal). He leaves Dagoth Ur in the heart chamber to guard the tools. 
And so he does. Some reports say he was carried out to them, other say he 
walks out triumphantly to meet with them (depending if the story has him 
injured yet). Nerevar and the Tribunal agree the tools should be kept in 
case they are needed in the future, say if the Dwemer return. They are kept 
under the condition and a solemn oath that they would never be used in a 
profane manner (such as turning themselves into gods).

[Fourth discrepancy, the Tribunal tells Nerevar to become a god himself and 
take over the land and bring peace. Nerevar is loyal to the Deadra and wishes 
to summon Azura for advice though. The Tribunal, greedy with power, uses 
poisoned candles, robes, and invocations and murders Nerevar. Azura is 
summoned and chides the Tribunal who mock her saying they will become gods 
themselves. She at this point turns all of the Chinmer into Dunmer. She also 
promises to have Nerevar return one day to revenge his murder and the tribunal 
making themselves gods.]

6. During this time it is believed that Dagoth Ur experiments with the tools 
and turns himself into a sort of god. Though without full understanding of 
the tools, he drives himself mad while doing it.

7. Nerevar and the Tribunal return to the Heart Chamber and find Dagoth Ur, 
who is driven mad. Reports differ here, but a battle takes place and Dagoth 
Ur escapes. Some say Nerevar fought him and was injured by Dagoth Ur. Others 
say they all battle him. Either way Dagoth Ur is injured and escapes.

[Fifth discrepancy, Nerevar is already dead at this point, and the Tribunal 
finds Dagoth Ur, and battles him, then recovers the tools.]

8. The tools are given to the wise Sotha Sil who studies them and 
how they work.

9. Sotha Sil comes to Almalexia and Vivec and tells them they can gain 
wondrous power and become gods. Then they can bring peace to the world and 
help the people, amongst other very noble causes.

10. The Tribunal uses the tools and turn themselves into gods. As a result 
Azura comes and chides them, though since they are gods she has no recourse, 
so she promises that Nerevar will return one day and destroy them. She turns 
all of the Chinmer into Dunmer at this point to remind them all of what they 

[Sixth discrepancy, this would have one believe that at this point Nerevar 
has already died from his injury. Though other accounts have Nerevar live to 
see the birth of the temple, to which he gives his blessing. Though this is 
thought to be much added “fluff” added by the temple. Nerevar most likely 
wouldn’t have supported the temple, which was formed because the Tribunal 
broke their pact with him.]

CHAPTER THREE: The Sources on the War of the First Council

The main sources for research are:
Vivec's own testimony: Fails to ever mention how and when Nerevar dies. 
Though he does admit that he broke the pact with Nerevar. And there is a 
secret message within the Lessons of Vivec series. Look in #29 for the code. 
The code spells out: “He was not born a god. His destiny did not lead him to 
this crime. He chose this path of his own free will. He stole the godhood and 
murdered the Hortator.” This is explaining that Vivec, who was born a poor 
netch farmer, was not destined to become a god, but chose to be a god. He 
stole it and murdered the Hortator, the Hortator being Nerevar. Though this 
line is a bit sketchy in itself, it can be used as proof that the Tribunal 
really did murder Nerevar.

Apographa: Writings of the dissident priests and the ashlanders. Poisoned 
robes? C'mon. Some of their details are a bit odd and they are very poised 
against the Tribunal. Despite the Tribunal's breaking the promise with 
Nerevar, they did end up doing a lot of good for the people of Morrowind. 
Though one does have to wonder why the temple would put so much effort into 
hiding their writings and persecuting the Nerevarine if they know that their 
story is 100% untrue. I’m going to believe the truth lies somewhere in the 

Imperial Sources: These tend to be rewrites of history and get many facts 
wrong; such has who was aligned with whom. Most put House Dagoth against 
Nerevar, when most native sources call Dagoth Ur an ally to Nerevar.

A neutral Telvanni wrote a history of Nerevar also. It contains an 
interesting view. Such that Nerevar was a power seeking King looking to 
control the island, and his Moon and Star ring was actually forged by the 
Dwemer. It tends to actually be a story that's PRO-Dwemer.

Between reading all of them, the above posts are the "truths" I found that 
hold between the stories.

1. There was a war between Nerevar's people and Dunmac's people.
2. Dunmac's people disappeared during the war. As a result from using the 
3. Dagoth Ur is left to guard the tools.
4. The Tribunal made a promise not to use the tools.
5. Nerevar dies as a result of injuries/poisoning.
6. Dagoth Ur goes mad from using the tools.
7. The Tribunal uses the tools and makes themselves gods.
8. The Chinmer are changed into Dunmer at some point.
9. Azura tells the Tribunal that Nerevar will come again to right the wrongs.

CHAPTER FOUR: The Nerevarine

Azura prophesized to the Tribunal at some point either right before, or right 
after they received their powers, and the Chinmer are changed to Dunmer, that 
she will bring back Nerevar to right the wrongs set by the Tribunal.

Three documents exist in the game that tell the prophecy of the Nerevarine, 
“The Stranger”, “The Seven Curses”, and “The Seven Vision”

The Seven Curses: This document is concerned with the “WHEN” question of the 
Nerevarine, when these 7 signs are seen, the Nerevarine will arrive.

“first curse, Curse-of-Fire
second curse, Curse-of-Ash”
Fire and Ash were the first threats to come from Red Mountain. This is 
obviously what these two lines refer too.

“third curse, Curse-of-Flesh”
This is obviously referring to the Blight, especially Corprus.

“fourth curse, Curse-of-Ghosts
fifth curse, Curse-of-Seed
sixth curse, Curse-of-Despair”
Despite my best effort I still cannot figure these lines out. Ghosts could 
signify the effort being used by the Tribunal to keep the Ghostfence up, 
thus weakening them continually. Seed and Despair are still sketchy though.

“seventh curse, Curse-of-Dreams”
This refers to the Dreamers that you run into throughout the game. The fact 
that the seventh curse is happening should signify that something is about 
to happen. 

The Seven Visions: This document is concerned with the “WHO” of the 
Nerevarine. During the game you will face these trials.

“first trial
On a certain day to uncertain parents
Incarnate moon and star reborn.”

The Nerevarine is born an orphan, his past unknown. Rather ambiguous but done 
purely for game purposes. This way whatever race you pick can fulfill 
the prophecy.

“second trial
Neither blight nor age can harm him.
The Curse-of-Flesh before him flies.”

The Nerevarine is immune to the Blight and Corprus. Once you are cured of 
Corprus in the game you become immune to all disease and thus fulfill 
this trial.

“third trial
In caverns dark Azura's eye sees
And makes to shine the moon and star.”

Azura will bestow the Moon and Star ring to the Nerevarine. This is fulfilled 
in the game at the Cavern of the Incarnate.

“fourth trial
A stranger's voice unites the Houses.
Three Halls call him Hortator.”

Three houses, namely Hlaalu, Telvanni, and Redoran, will call the Nerevarine: 
Hortator. Basically a Hortator is named when there is a crisis. The Hortator 
is sort of a military leader who leads the houses in a time of war. Nerevar 
was the last Hortator ever named.

“fifth trial
A stranger's hand unites the Velothi.
Four Tribes call him Nerevarine.”

This is stating the 4-ashlander tribes will name him Nerevarine. Thus uniting 
the Ashlanders here, and the Houses as Hortator. Then basically uniting all 
of Morrowind against the threat on Red Mountain. Nerevar was the last person 
to do this back during the War of the First Council.

“sixth trial
He honors blood of the tribe unmourned.
He eats their sin, and is reborn.”

The Tribe Unmourned is a bit sketchy. It could refer to House Dagoth or House 
Dwemer. House Dwemer’s sin is creating the false god. Though I’m going to 
guess its referring to House Dagoth, and honoring their blood is honoring 
Dagoth Ur in battle, and eating their sin is a sign of destroying Dagoth Ur.

“seventh trial
His mercy frees the cursed false gods,
Binds the broken, redeems the mad.”

This refers to the breaking of the heart at the end of the game. The “false 
gods” (the Tribunal) are freed since they are now mortal without the heart. 
Redeeming the mad is the freeing of the dreamers and all those under Dagoth 
Ur’s power. And binding the broken is again a bit unknown but obviously 
refers to some sort of bringing together, such as bringing together all the 
tribes and the houses.

“one destiny
He speaks the law for Veloth's people.
He speaks for their land, and names them great.”

Veloth was a prophet that led the Chinmer from the land of the High Elves to 
Morrowind. He was the one who began the worship of the Daedra. Veloth’s 
people are the Dunmer. This line is referring to the idea that the Nerevarine 
will protect Morrowind. It is also interpreted to mean that the Nerevarine 
will drive the Empire from the land, though that is never seen in the game.

The Stranger: This text is a short prophecy that foretells the coming of the 
Nerevarine. In the opening movie, this is the text that scrolls across the 

“When earth is sundered, and skies choked black,”
(Red Mountain, ash storms, etc)
“And sleepers serve the seven curses,”
(sleepers… this line is a bit obvious in meaning)
“To the hearth there comes a stranger,
Journeyed far 'neath moon and star.”
(An Outlander comes to Morrowind, Moon and Star refers to Nerevar)

“Though stark-born to sire uncertain,
His aspect marks his certain fate.”
(An outlander, born to uncertain parents, under a certain sign)
“Wicked stalk him, righteous curse him.
Prophets speak, but all deny.”
(This explains the persecution of the Nerevarine. The Sixth house stalks him, 
the Temple curses him, and the prophets deny him)

“Many trials make manifest
The stranger's fate, the curses' bane.”
(Many trials stand in his way, but he will complete them)
“Many touchstones try the stranger.”
(Many will stand in the way to prove the Nerevarine wrong)
“Many fall, but one remains.”
(There are many-failed Nerevarines, but one will remain. You meet the 
fallen Nerevarine’s in the Cavern of the Incarnate)

Now all of the above basically states the when the seven curses come to pass, 
a stranger will arrive. The stranger is an outlander, born to uncertain 
parents under a certain sign. This stranger will face seven trials. If he 
passes the Seven Trials, than he is indeed the Nerevarine. Basically once 
you pass the seven trials (one of them being destroying Dagoth Ur) only 
THEN are you considered the Nerevarine.

The Nerevarine is a person who is Saint Nerevar reincarnated. His purpose is 
to destroy Dagoth Ur, the Heart, and the Tribunal. He is to free Morrowind 
from oppressors (namely the Empire). Perhaps the proof that you are the 
Nerevarine and not just ANYBODY can be named it, is the “Moon and Star ring”. 
The ring was forged so that it would kill anyone who wore it, except Nerevar. 
Since in the game you are able to wear it that must mean you really are 
Nerevar reborn.

I hope everyone found this informative. If there is anything you wish to 
e-mail me about as in questions, or comments on the FAQ (i.e. bad spelling, 
wrong info) feel free to send an e-mail with Morrowind in the subject. If you 
want to complain or in some other way be annoying, don’t e-mail me. Think to 
yourself “would I want to find this e-mail in my inbox” if you say no, then 
don’t e-mail me.


Thanks to everyone on the Morrowind message boards, Bethesda for making such 
an awesome game, and for supplying in game 
books and such for easy access.
Copyright 2005 John Reichman