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Headscratchers / The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

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  • How did Trebonius Artorius get to be Archmage?

  • How does the food chain in Morrowind work? It seems odd that such a diverse group of large predatory animals would appear on an island where the only herbivores are hive based giant insects (I'm assuming the Guar are predators because they have sharp teeth and wild ones are aggressive). The same problem appears on the island of Solstheim. There are literally no herbivores, yet there are bears and wolves. Why didn't they just put some sort of reindeer-esque herbivore on Solstheim?
    • I suspect that there are some omnivorous among them, most likely the Guars.
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    • Guars have to be omnivores or herbivores, one quest can give you a Guar named Corky "Because he likes corkbulbs".
    • What do the netch eat?
      • Adventurers.
    • Perhaps the population of predators in Solstheim could be attributed to the presence of Hircine? In turn over hunting would have wiped out almost he entire herbivorous population.
    • Morrowind in general talks about a lot of animals that you don't see. Giant crabs are supposed to live in the Ashlands (just look at Under-Skar in Ald-Ahrun), wild Silt Striders should be seen here and there, and the Ashlander tribes supposedly herd large insects. It is quite likely that there's a thriving wildlife - but the developers just didn't have time (or money) to put in all of the creatures needed to sustain an ecosystem.
      • The giant Emperor Crabs actually live in the ocean. Far out in the ocean. Skar died while on holiday, or something.
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    • Just because the Guar are aggressive doesn't make them predators. There are a lot of herbivores in the real world that are aggressive if you approach them. The Ashlanders follow "herds" of Guar (even if we don't actually SEE herds), and the Guar have eyes on the sides of their heads rather than in front like predators generally do, so likely the Guar are herbivores.
  • How are Argonians supposed to drown in the canal, HMMM? WE BREATHE UNDERWATER.
    • Well, unlike in Oblivion, Argonians' water breathing is a limited time spell. (sucks, I know) I do recall there being a mod that gives them indefinite water breathing and allows them to complete the canal pilgrimage, though.
    • Remember that the Dunmer and Argonians are enemies. The Dunmer probably design their pilgrimages to screw with Argonians, and even if they didn't, they certainly aren't going to think, "Hmm, this particular spot should be altered to be less inconvenient to the one Argonian in 10,000 who decides to join the Temple and undertake pilgrimages relating to the Dunmer religion." At any case, the Dunmer are anything but correct.
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    • Most likely it is simply a quirk of the engine, but there is something that can be taken as a loophole for Argonians: you don't actually have to drown. The game actually just checks for location (underwater) and health (below 10), so it is possible that any theoretical Argonian convert could simply use poison to fall unconscious while under the waters of the Canal. Or given their poison immunity, have a companion knock them unconscious.
      • Argonians are immune to poison.
  • If the Ministry of Truth was largely hollowed out it wouldn't have all the inertia it originally had because the bulk of the mass had been removed. Unless the explanation is just "Magic is weird".
    • Magic is weird, especially when gods are involved (and that specific incident involved two gods). Beyond that... maybe it was fairly hollow to begin with?
      • It probably was. A chunk of that size that wasn't hollow would have done much more damage to the planet than wrecking a single island.
    • Vivec stopped it and when they hollowed it out, who says he didn't adjust the spell to meet the new mass? Besides, according to the lore, some time after events of Morrowind, Vivec lost his powers and the moon came crashing down. Remember, only reason why it is there is because Vivec was a god at that point.
    • Vivec is practically the god of fanfiction and has included author's notes in his sermons declaring some non-canon. Its hollowed state could have been retconned by Vivec himself as "untrue", or he could have forgotten that detail leading to a plot hole, and because this is Vivec, chances are all of these are both canon and "untrue" at the same time.

  • Looking at the map of Tamriel, Vvardenfell is on the same latitude as Skyrim. A good chunk of northern Skyrim is snowy, but if we look at Vvardenfell a lot of it is bright and green on the same latitude. What's up with that? Mountains blocking the cold winds or something?
    • The volcano at the heart of Vvardenfell is said to still regularly burst out lava, and there are several permanent lava rivers. Though northern Vvardenfell is still said to be very chilly, so that can't fully explain it. Maybe one of the Greybeards either cooled Skyrim or warmed up Vvardenfell during the Battle of Red Mountain?
    • It's a magic volcano. Geothermal heat keeps the island relatively warm.
    • Vvardenfell is also more coastal than Skyrim. It probably has warm ocean currents helping to mitigate the local temperature, and once you get inland there is a volcano handling the rest.
    • Even in Real Life, many places on the same latitude can have vastly different weather conditions depending on factors like the jet stream, elevation, and ocean currents.

  • There's a quest at some stage, just before you catch Corprus, that refers to a group of soldiers/mercenaries/scouts/whichever that went to investigate a Sixth House base. Only one came back, infected with Corprus, and we're told he died not long after coming back. Considering Corprus makes you unable to age and catch any other disease... how did he die? I don't recall him being referred to as injured (and even then, deaths from injuries are usually because of infection rather than bleeding to death) and nobody makes any references to him committing suicide or being killed by someone else.
    • Unless you're a Dunmer (or maybe just any mer), Corprus makes you into a Corprus Stalker, which then progresses into becoming a Lame Corprus. Extrapolating from this, and the fact that the stalker/lame corprus seem to degenerate rather than get more powerful like an Ascended Sleeper, if you're not in too good of physical condition when you're infected, you might die from the transformation.
    • Corpus is ultimately Dagoth Ur's. If he wants it to kill you, it will kill you. It's just that under normal circumstances he doesn't want somebody dead, he wants them enslaved.
    • Corprus is fatal in the vast majority of cases (most NPCs will tell you "always"). Certain Sixth House cultists turn into ash creatures instead (Ash Slave -> Ash Zombie -> Ash Ghoul -> Ascended Sleeper), and some people have divine protection from it (Tanusea Veloth as a holy pilgrim of the Temple and the Nerevarine via Azura), but other than that you're screwed. How Yagrum Bagarn survived so long is unknown, but then again as a Dwarf there may be incompatibility issues from whatever the hell Kagrenac did.

  • How has Sirollus Saccus managed to live three centuries?
    • Secret use of necromancy?
    • Maybe it isn't the same Sirollus Saccus at all, just a descendent who happened to have the same name, and continued his family's tradition of becoming a master smith?

  • Why are most of the ghosts in the Cavern of the Incarnate Ashlanders? Most of them are clearly not Outlanders, yet the Nerevarine Prophecy makes it clear that the Nerevarine must be an Outlander.
    • Any Person born outside of Morrowind is an Outlander to the Dunmer, this extends to other Dunmer.
    • Even so, Peakstar, Conoon Chodala, and Erur-Dan all seem to be Ashlanders (Conoon Chodala even says he was an ashkhan), making them not outlanders. The other Incarnates could easily be outlander Dunmer, but some of them can't be.
    • Remember that the idea that the Nerevarine was to be an Outlander only becomes well known and popularized during the game. Before that, most (if not all) Incarnates were indeed Ashlanders, as is noted quite a few times.
    • Many of the Nerevarine prophecies were lost. One of them, the prophecy actually called The Lost Prophecy, is the only one that actually notes that the Nerevarine is an outlander. The Ashlanders are the ones that want the prophecy to come true, so it's expected that most False Incarnates were Ashlanders.

  • Why is Barenziah the Queen MOTHER, and not still the Queen? She's the daughter of Morrowind's previous monarchs and the biological heir to the throne of Morrowind, should she not be Queen Regent until her death?
    • I can think of two possibilities. The first is that Morrowind's monarchy operates under or appointment rather than family succession, and Helseth used his connections to obtain the throne. The second is that Barenziah simply abdicated.
    • According to Skyrim (The Biography of Barenziah if you're interested) her husband was killed right before Arena when the Morrowind citizens revolted over the Empire's ridiculous new taxes. Afterwards she married King Eadwyre of Wayrest, becoming queen of Wayrest and abdicating the throne of Morrowind.

  • What was the original schtick of House Dagoth, you know, before it became "crazy Cthulhu cultists"? House Dagoth was once a normal Dunmer house. Every house has a schtick: for Redoran it's Proud Warrior Race Guy, for Telvanni it's eccentric wizards, for Hlaalu it is I Own This Town, for Indoril it's religious fanatics, for Dres it's slaver plantation owners. House Dagoth's became "Cthulhu Fhtagn" in its modern incarnation. What was the original one? What was House Dagoth known for when they were just Chimer?
    • ...interior decorators.
    • Under Nerevar all Dunmer were made One House and One People. It's possible to interpret this as meaning that in the time of Nerevar there wasn't much cultural difference between the various Great Houses pre-Red Mountain, and the different schticks of the Great Houses developed after the Battle of Red Mountain.
    • Alternately, since no other house bothers with Prophecy and Dreams, that may have been the purpose of the house. The only Dunmer who bother with this field at all in game are the Ashlanders, who may have been born from the dissolution of House Dagoth. Not all of them integrated into the other houses, and it's quite plausible that the others didn't leave Vardenfell.
    • Their schtick seems to have been secularism, science, and friendship with the Dwemer. Note that their capital was Kogoruhn, which is on Vvardenfell within spitting distance of the Dwemer capital at Red Mountain (whereas most of the other ancient Chimer capitals - Blacklight for the Redoran, Mournhold for the Indoril, Tear for the Dres, Narsis for the Hlaalu - are a long, long way from the Dwemer heartland). All the first-hand accounts of the War of the First Council also agree on the Chimer finding out about Numidium via House Dagoth (and Voryn Dagoth in particular) being close enough to the Dwemer to be kept apprised of such developments. Their niche would thus seem to overlap with that of the modern House Telvanni to some extent, although we don't know how the latter House has evolved in the intervening 3000 years.
    • They were spymasters and experts at subterfuge.

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