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  • Abandoned Mine: There are a number of them throughout Vvardenfell. Many kwama egg mines had to be abandoned when the resident kwama colony became blighted and turned hostile. There are also some ebony and glass mines that had to be abandoned for various reasons. One in particular, the Vassir-Didanat ebony mine, was abandoned so long ago that its location is lost. You can find it and report its location to one of three Hlaalu councilors, each of whom will give you a different reward... although you'll probably find this out entirely by chance.
  • Ability Required to Proceed: Telvanni towers typically require you to use Levitation in order to reach the important NPCs at the top. If you haven't bothered to train your Alteration skill, this can be a hindrance to advancing in many quests. Luckily, potions of levitation and their ingredients are found in abundance and several items enchanted with levitation spells are given to you through quests should you be unable to enchant your own. (And yes, you do need Levitation within your own Telvanni stronghold if you join and construct one.)
  • Aborted Arc: The plan to infiltrate Red Mountain that Vivec gives you has the line "If Nerevarine can equip an item [Sunder or Keening] while not wearing Wraithguard and receive no injury, it is counterfeit." If you look into the game files, Dagoth Ur, during the final battle, has a Dummied Out line mentioning a false copy of Sunder, and the game indeed has two different, unused items called "false_sunder" and "sunder_fake", likely meaning that the Nerevarine was at one point going to be tricked into finding a fake copy of the weapon, an idea which was ultimately scrapped.
  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: The Ghostfence looks imposing enough, being a magical shield between towering stone pylons encircling the whole of the Red Mountain volcano. However, its effectiveness is undermined by the fact that Red Mountain dwarfs it completely, and that anyone (including the player) or anything can fly, levitate, or (with a magical boost) jump over it. Designed to contain the deranged Physical God Dagoth Ur and prevent his influence from spreading, it is implied to have actually served its purposes for several centuries before the game (with it being said that the fence once formed a "dome" over the entire volcano). However, as the power of the Dunmeri Tribunal has waned due to Dagoth Ur cutting them off from the source of their power within Red Mountain, the fence has faded into its current state. Blight storms from the volcano spread Dagoth Ur's Blight and Corprus diseases over the island, while his minions have tunneled under the Ghostfence to his ancient stronghold of Kogoruhn. Additionally, if one reads deeper into the lore, it's implied that the Ghostfence isn't necessarily supposed to stop Dagoth Ur's influence and agents, rather, it is to present a metaphysical barrier against the encroaching power of the Sharmat.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Vivec and Mournhold each have them. As Vivec is a City of Canals, the sewers act as flood controls for the cantons and the extra space is needed. Mournhold's sewers are actually parts of Old Mournhold, which was destroyed long ago and the new city built on top of it.
  • Actionized Sequel: Played with, as is the case when going from any one game in the series to any other. Morrowind drops the "mouse click and move to swing a weapon" mechanic from Daggerfall, making combat simpler in that regard. However, it still relies on a "dice roll" check to determine if your attacks succeed, making combat a bit more clumsy than its own successors in the series.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Even when taking steps to get the best value possible when buying/selling items (high merchant disposition, high Mercantile skill, etc.), you will never get full value when selling and you'll always pay a little more than the item's base value when buying. There is one Aversion, however - Alchemy. It is possible to buy a bunch of raw ingredients, turn them into a potion, and then sell the potion for more than you paid for the ingredients. The only thing keeping it from being a monetary game breaker is that merchants only have a certain amount of gold available per day, so you'll need to wait for that to reset.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Black Shalk Cornerclub and the Six Fishes Inn. Tribunal adds the Winged Guar.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Mages Guild Master Wizard Skink-in-Tree's-Shade offers a quest in which he asks you to trap the soul of an Ash Ghoul for study. Additionally, he offers several quests related to vampires. While not quite a Nightmare Fetishist, he does have a healthy respect for these creatures.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: Some of the more massive Dwemer ruins qualify, with various steam/enchantment powered machinery still running and Mecha-Mooks still on patrol despite the Dwemer having vanished thousands of years ago. It helps that when building anything, standard operating procedure was to disable the in-universe equivalent to the laws of physics that pertain to time and decay...
  • Adventure Archaeologist: You get the opportunity to be one if you join the Mages Guild and complete Edwinna Elbert's quest line. You'll collect rare Dwemer items and schematics from dangerous ruins, as well as check in on an actual archaeological expedition at a Dwemer ruin. If you collect a set of unique books throughout these quests and take them to a knowledgeable scholar, you can come up with the best theory to date about why the Dwemer disappeared.
  • Affably Evil:
    • Dagoth Endus, one of Dagoth Ur's highest-ranking goons, will exchange a pleasant conversation with you and offer you some fine vintage brandy before offering to let you strike first.
    • Dagoth Gares, something of a Disc-One Final Boss who inflicts you with Corprus, is likewise quite pleasant with you and will offer explanations and information about Dagoth Ur and the Sixth House.
    • Big Bad Dagoth Ur himself. When you confront him, he politely explains why his plans to spread blight disease and create a giant magical killer robot are really in the best interests of his people. He answers every question you put to him (whether he's telling the truth, lying or mistaken is up to the player). Finally, he offers you the opportunity to buff yourself up before you start to fight him. Though the last part is largely because he needs Wraithguard (the gauntlet you need to hold the weapons required to thwart him) in order to bring his plan into action. And if you approach him without the items needed, he'll politely point out you have come unprepared and that you can not win as you are, suggesting you return when ready to face him.
    • Gavis Velas in Tribunal is perfectly cordial with you when you confront him during a quest, even claiming he would have liked to have a nice meal and a drink with you before your duel.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Crassius Curio, the Lovable Sex Maniac Councilor of Great House Hlaalu calls the Player Character "dumpling," sweetie pie," "pudding," and others in line with his Camp Gay dialogue. He does this regardless of the PC's race or sex.
  • The Ageless: Those suffering from the corprus disease effectively stop aging and are immune to all other diseases. They do slowly turn into a deformed humanoid monstrosity, however. Thanks to Divayth Fyr's "cure" for the disease, the Nerevarine retains these positive effects while only the negative effects are removed, leaving him/her as this.
  • A.I. Breaker: Using the Levitate spell offensively. Casting it on another will cause that character to remain perfectly still for the duration of the spell, allowing you to kill them easily. This works because the AI isn't programmed to handle levitating, so it is treated like a high-powered Burden spell instead. This works especially well on flying enemies, such as everyone's favorite Cliff Racers, as they will fall to the ground and take fall damage.
  • Airborne Mook: Cliff Racers. Their ability to fly is one of the many qualities which makes them infamous as enemies.
  • The Alcatraz: The Ministry of Truth, which is housed in a floating moon over Vivec city, which means you need some form of Levitation magic just to reach it. The Tribunal Temple uses it to imprison Dissident Priests and other religious criminals (the interpretation of this is deliberately vague, and is in fact one of the Dissident Priests' charges against the mainstream Temple). Since prisoners have their Magicka magically drained and aren't allowed to keep scrolls/potions. This makes escape nearly impossible. You thankfully never have to break out of it, but you do have to break in in order to free an ally during the main quest.
  • Alien Geometries: Some Daedric shrines are designed in impossible ways. For example, look at the map of Bal Fell.
  • Alien Sky:
    • Two moons with (technically) impossible phases that are actually the rotting remains of the creator god? Check. "Stars" that are actually holes punctured in reality by escaping spirits of the creation era through which magic flows? Check.
    • The sky was almost even more alien. Concept art shows the daytime sky as a pleasant shade of orange, but this would be dropped during development for the familiar blue.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Averted for the Ashlands, which are essentially volcanic deserts.
  • Alliance Meter: A loose example with the game's factions. Joining one faction will change the disposition of members of other factions. The more two factions like/hate each other, the greater the shift. This shift becomes more pronounced the more you advance in a faction. However, this doesn't prevent you from joining multiple rival factions (with the exception of the Great Houses, where you can only join one.)
  • All in a Row: Followers and escorts follow you in this fashion. They'll spread out when engaged in combat, but will return to follow you immediately after. Hopefully.
  • All Myths Are True: Sort of. There's some truth to every myth, but it's heavily implied that the official story of the Tribunal Temple is only Metaphorically True at best and may be an outright lie on certain key points. In general, there are many different variations of the myths, so good luck figuring out exactly what parts are true.
  • All-Natural Gem Polish: Diamond veins look like elongated, beautiful bluish-white crystals poking out of a boulder. You can take cut diamonds from them.
  • Allowed Internal War: The Morag Tong was sanctioned by the Dunmeri government specifically to avert this trope, as open warfare between the Great Houses is destructive, disruptive, expensive, and weakens the Dunmer overall. The threat of having legal assassins sicced against you mostly keeps the Great House leaders in line.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.:
    • Guards are able to detect any stolen items in your inventory, and will confiscate them (along with any legitimately acquired items of the same type since the game marks them all as stolen,) while arresting you for any crime (even if it is not theft.) It's best to drop any stolen items you may have on the ground before turning yourself in.
    • Merchants are able to detect items stolen from them should you attempt to sell the items back. This would make sense for unique items, but they are also able to detect, for example, a single stolen arrow in a stack of 300. Further, if you steal an item (say, for example, a piece of bread,) discard it, find another piece of bread in a dungeon, and then attempt to sell that to the merchant, they will accuse you of stealing their piece of bread. For this reason, it is wise not to steal from merchants you regularly do business with.
  • All Swords Are the Same: Averted. One-handed and two-handed swords are governed by the Long Blade skill, while daggers and shortswords are governed by the Short Blade skill. Additionally, there are three different types of swords (katanas, longswords, sabres etc.) with different stats for hacking, slashing or thrusting. So, one type of sword might by a better option for a player who uses the hacking as opposed to thrusting motion than another. This extends to all melee weapon types as well.
  • All Trolls Are Different: The game does not have trolls, but it does have Trollbone Armor. Made from troll bones, the skull (helmet) has three eye-sockets, matching their codified appearance in later games.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: Divayth Fyr has created four Opposite Sex Clones of himself. They are named after Greek letters: Alfe, Beyte, Delte, and Uupse.
  • Alt Itis: Unsurprisingly common with all of the character creation options available. Creating one character capable of completing everything in the game is quite challenging, with the Great Houses outright forcing it due to their exclusivity, so expect to see players with multiple save files. This trend is usually called "Restartitus" on the official forums.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Played with In-Universe when it comes to Vampires. The Tribunal Temple's stance is that because it is easy to tell when you are becoming one and the condition is very easily cured within the first three days of the transformation, the only people who allow themselves to become night-stalking parasites are people who are already Chaotic Evil. Therefore, the policy of killing all vampires on sight is justified to them. As Galur Rithari's Papers (not to speak of a few incidents in later games) indicate, it's not always that simple...
  • Always Check Behind the Chair: There are a lot of items tucked in nooks and crannies all over the game. In the starting village you can find a (minor) enchanted axe hidden in a hollow tree stump, and it goes on from there. In addition to treestump and hollow log stashes all over the island, you can pick up a Sword of White Woe hidden above a dresser, the legendary Fists of Randagulf (the best gauntlets in the game) shoved behind a sarcophagus, an enchanted tanto that the last guest at a particular inn tucked behind the bed, coins that have rolled into the cracks of a shack floor, a magic ring underneath a mushroom in a cave, skill-boosting books hidden on a shelf lined with regular books, five One-Hit Kill arrows tucked in another treestump in the Bloodmoon expansion - not to mention various 'teleport gate' keys that can be found dotted around the world as paperweights. And people tend to misplace their keys a lot, too.
  • Always Someone Better: Edwinna Elbert, Stewardess of the Ald-Ruhn Mages Guild Hall, fancies herself as one of Tamriel's top researchers of the extinct Dwemer, particularly their mechanical centurions. Even without counting the mage lords of Great House Telvanni (who have had a thousand-plus year head start in their Dwemer research but who also don't bother to share their research outside of their private circles), there are several others with greater knowledge of Dwemer technology in Morrowind alone. The Rat in the Pot, a pub right across the street from Edwinna's Guild Hall, is guarded by Dwemer spider centurions maintained by Estoril of the Thieves Guild. In the Tribunal expansion, one can meet Ignatius Flaccus in Mournhold who builds Dwemer centurions as a hobby for his warbot arena. With the Bloodmoon expansion installed, Louis Beauchamp, who stands right outside the Ald-Ruhn Mages Guild doorway, built his own Dwemer airship.
  • Amazon Brigade: All of the guards, retainers, shopkeepers, and other service providers in Tel Mora, home of the man-hating Telvanni councilor Mistress Dratha, are female. There is one lone male Telvanni guard patrolling the grounds, but this is likely a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, as there needed to be at least one guard in the town capable of arresting the player if he/she commits a crime there. (The female guards are named and thus, not standard town guards.)
  • Ambadassador: House Telvanni is a strongly feudal Magocracy, and its mage-lords do not bother to gather themselves when they need to negotiate with each other (like the other Houses do). Instead, they send ambassadors called Mouths. If you join this house and advance to the rank of Master, you get yourself an Ambadassador who undertakes dangerous missions for you in addition to his usual work.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome:
    • The Necromancer's Amulet has a powerful Constant Effect enchantment which boosts the wearer's Intelligence by 25 points, adds a 25% "normal weapons" resistance, restores 1pt of Health per second, and gives a 25% chance to absorb incoming spells. It is in the possession of Mages Guild Archmage Trebonius.
    • The game's Enchanting system allows you to create magical amulets with customized enchantments. One particularly "awesome" example is a custom enchanted "Cast When Used" Exquisite Amulet. (The same enchantment can also be put into an Exquisite Ring.) Queue up a powerful Soul Gem, keep selecting powerful damaging spells until it has reached its enchantment limit, and spend some of your plentiful money to buy the enchantment. Since a "Cast When Used" enchanted item skips the standard spellcasting animation and cannot fail (as long as there is adequate enchantment charge), you can Beam Spam deadly spells as quickly as you can click the button. (Just beware of using it on foes with Spell Reflection...)
  • An Axe to Grind:
    • Axes are one of the available weapon types in the game, including both one-handed "war axes" and two-handed "battle-axes". Naturally, Nords (+10) and Orcs (+5) both get racial bonuses to the Axe skill.
    • Also notable is that the single most damaging (per strike) weapon the in game is a Daedric Battle Axe with a custom Damage Health on Strike enchantment, enchanted with Almalexia's soul for the max number of blows before it runs out.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Nearly the entire plot of the main quest traces back to the events surrounding the Battle of Red Mountainnote  and the death of Lord Nerevar some 4000 years prior. Due to his perceived treachery, House Dagoth, the Sixth House of the Dunmer led by Dagoth Ur, was dissolved. The Sixth House Cult later formed in reverence and service to Lord Dagoth, who they (rightly) believed would return one day. In the years leading up to the events of the game itself, the Cult ramped up their activities, including assassinating Imperial officials. This is one part of the ("official") impetus for the Emperor ordering the Player Character to be sent to Vvardenfell.
  • Ancient Tomb: Tombs for Vvardenfell's wealthier Dunmer families dot the island, typically guarded by by summoned spirits and the reanimated dead. (The Dunmer consider this a holy act and very different from blasphemous [according to the Tribunal Temple] necromancy.) And of course, some of the tombs have been taken over by even worse creatures...
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Happens quite frequently. A few prime examples:
    • Each time you raise a rank in the Imperial Legion, you will be rewarded with a new piece of Imperial armor. Pieces of armor are given to you for a variety of other quests as well.
    • As you are named Nerevarine and Hortator of the Ashlander tribes and Great Houses, you will be given an article of clothing or jewelry as proof of your recognition.
    • After Caius is recalled to the Imperial City, he will give you a set of enchanted clothing.
    • During a couple particular Imperial Cult quests, presenting specific prisoners with Divine Intervention scrolls to aid in their escape will lead to them offering you enchanted clothing in return.
    • Rescuing Inwold in Palansour, who was imprisoned by his summoned Daedra when he lost control of them, will provide you with the skirt and hat they left him as a reward. (Allowing him to preserve his modesty by telling him to keep the clothing will result in a much more valuable Reputation point.)
  • An Economy Is You: Averted. Vendors come stocked with everything from Vendor Trash to food and drink to powerfully enchanted weapons and armor.
  • Antidote Effect:
    • Curing disease can be done via spells, potions, scrolls, enchantments, or with a blessing at a temple. After a certain point in the main quest, you'll become immune to disease, rendering all of these items as Vendor Trash.
    • Similarly, the teleportation spells (Almsivi Intervention, Divine Intervention, Mark/Recall) can be used via item enchantments or scrolls. However, in the long run, it is simply cheaper and more convenient to just buy the spells and sell any such items you pick up.
  • Anti-Grinding:
    • The game uses the form of "increase skills to level up", and the simplest way to increase skills is to use them. As you improve your skills through successful uses of said skills, it becomes increasingly difficult to raise the skill further. This makes high-level skill grinding quite tedious.
    • This is also loosely integrated into the plot of the game, as Dagoth Ur's raising power at the expense of the Tribunal's.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • Larrius Varro of the Imperial Legion used to be a straight up law abiding legionnaire. Unfortunately, since the long arm of the law doesn't seem to reach certain well-connected criminals, he spends his days praying for a little bloodbath to wash away the bad people. In other words, he unofficially hires you to murder some otherwise untouchable criminals.
    • In a general sense, many missions given to the player by certain guilds or extensions of joinable organizations (like the Office of the Watch in Vivec) essentially hire the player to dole out a little vigilante justice, and in almost all cases they admit they'd like to have the actual authorities do the job, but since that isn't working (usually because the target has friends in high places), you'll be serving as their indirect extension of authority.
  • Anti-Magic:
    • Bretons naturally have a 50% resistance to magic, making them very effective anti-mages. Dunmer and Nords have similar natural resistances, but only to fire-based magic and ice-based magic, respectively.
    • Magic resistance in various forms is a high-level (read: expensive) spell and enchantment option. Items which have this as a constant effect are some of the most treasured in the game. (Keep in mind though, wearing them will also decrease the effectiveness of beneficial spells you use on yourself, such as healing spells.)
  • Anyone Can Die: From the moment you've completed character creation, you can kill literally anyone in the game if you strong enough. In fact, the lack of restrictions on killing people can easily result in breaking quests by killing someone essential to completing it. (If you kill someone essential to the main quest, the game thankfully notifies you, but this does not apply to any other questline.)
  • Anything That Moves:
    • Surprisingly enough, the Player Character can be viewed as this. Though you don't get to see what your character actually says, the NPC responses to the "Admire" dialogue choice are frequently responses to pick-up lines or come-ons. This happens regardless of their race or gender.
    • Crassius Curio, a quest-giver and high-ranking member of Great House Hlaalu. He insists on calling the PC things like 'dumpling' or 'pumpkin pie,' no matter the gender, and his first order is to see you naked. However, it's largely implied nothing really happens... It borders on Extreme Omnisexual, since he does this regardless of player race, including Cat Folk Khajiit, Lizard Folk Argonians, and full blown Blizzard-style Orcs. One of the Running Gags of the series is that one of the most published manuscripts on all of Nirn is The Lusty Argonian Maid, a play (with a sequel as of Skyrim) in three acts written by none other than Crassius Curio. (With the main character named "Crantius Colto".) For added comedic value, Crassius just so happens to be one of the very few genuinely noble characters on the island of Morrowind, despite his rampant peculiarities.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • In the dungeon of the tower Tel Vos, a construction crew was working on building the place and fragments of the foreman's journal are all that is left. They are scattered around to be found by the player. What's mildly funny is that the Telvanni wizard who owns the place doesn't actually care that much there's a monster loose under his tower. Or that he sent the construction crew to their deaths, or even hired them in the first place.
    • The Bloodmoon expansion includes an expedition to Solstheim in a restored Dwemer airship powered by magic. As one can expect, it crashed, leaving everyone dead but the man who had spent his life designing the ship. He records the days he spent stranded in the Solsteim wilderness, slowly freezing and starving to death. The last sentence trailed off, due to his hand becoming too frozen to write. You later have to bring the journal back to the man who funded the whole trip, which starts an annoying Fetch Quest.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Averted with NPC followers who join you as part of a quest. You can be followed by as many as you wish as long as you don't complete their respective quests. Generally inadvisable, however, as the combination of Artificial Stupidity and the Anyone Can Die nature of the game (unlike later games in the series where quest-related followers are "essential" and only get knocked out if they hit zero health) turns having even one NPC follower from an advantage into a tedious Escort Mission, much less having several followers.
  • The Archmage: Trebonius Artorius has this title for the Mages Guild chapter in Vvardenfell. By all accounts, he is a skilled Battlemage but woefully incompetent at running Guild affairs, so he was both Reassigned to Antarctica and Kicked Upstairs by his mainland superiors to keep him away. You can claim his title for your own if you follow the Mages Guild questline.
  • Arc Words:
    • In-game books and out-of-game lore have Vivec's commonly-used phrase "the ending of the words is ALMSIVI", as well as the phrase's variationsnote , which end each of his 36 Lessons and occasionally crop up elsewhere. "ALMSIVI" refers to the Tribunal, which he is a part of.
    • "The dreamer is awake," in reference to the reawakening of Big Bad Physical God, Dagoth Ur, a villainous King in the Mountain. It's also a reference to one of the more esoteric aspects of the world, the fact that the entire Elder Scrolls universe is the “dream” (for a lack of a better word) of an insane “godhead”. Dagoth Ur intends to spread himself into every corner of the dream, turning the entire universe into nothing but him, thereby “waking up” the dreamer.
  • Armless Biped: Alit and Kagouti, two of Morrowind's natural predators, both fit.
  • Armor and Magic Don't Mix:
    • Highly downplayed in general. There is no penalty to your spellcasting abilities if you choose to equip armor. One downside is that a pure mage character will be less skilled with armor, and thus will be less protected by it, but that can be overcome with training. Another is that mage characters typically have a lower Strength attribute, and will thus be able to carry less, while a full suit of armor is rather heavy. (This can be overcome with spells and enchantments if one is so inclined.)
    • With a few exceptions, very few magically inclined NPCs wear armor. However, if it is added to their inventory, they will immediately equip it.
    • Averted when it comes to enchantments. Heavy armor allows for strong enchantments.
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Played with in general. Better quality armor will afford better protection, but skill with that armor also plays a part. For example, a warrior highly skilled with heavy armor will be better protected in cheap iron armor than one without that level of skill in expensive ebony armor.
    • Played straight when it comes to magic. Unless the armor is specifically enchanted with some sort of magic resistance or spell reflection, it will do nothing to protect against magic damage.
  • Armor of Invincibility:
    • The Lord's Mail (the armor of the ancient demigod hero Morihaus), the Ebony Mail (an artifact associated with the Daedric Prince Boethiah), and the Cuirass of the Savior's Hide (the "peeled hide" of the Daedric Prince Hircine awarded to the first mortal to have escaped his Hunting Grounds) are the most powerful artifact-class Heavy Armor cuirass, Medium Armor cuirass, and Light Armor cuirass, respectively. Each provides extremely powerful enchantments in addition to massive boosts to your armor rating.
    • You can also choose to enchant high-end generic equipment with constant effect enchantments of your choosing. Though you're limited by the item's inherent enchant rating, you can still create some fantastically powerful equipment more custom suited to your play style than what the "artifact" armors offer.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack:
    • As is standard for the series, armor does nothing to stop spells. In order to protect from them, armor needs to be enchanted to reduce, absorb, or reflect magical damage.
    • Werewolf attacks in Bloodmoon completely ignore armor, and destroy shields in a single hit.
  • Arrows on Fire: There are arrows enchanted with the various Fire, Ice, Lightning trio of Destruction magic spells. Flame Arrows, Arrows of "Wasting Flame", and "Firestorm" arrows (which are explosive with a large Area of Effect) naturally qualify. The official add-on Area Effect Arrows adds a shop in Vivec which sells these.
  • Artifact of Doom:
    • The still-throbbing heart of the dead god Lorkhan is the item responsible for the plot of the main quest, as it is what the Tribunal and Dagoth Ur draw their divine power from. To a lesser degree are the Tools of Kagrenac required to tap into the Heart; the gauntlet Wraithguard, the dagger Keening, and the hammer Sunder.
    • Dagoth Ur's Ash Statues. In some way imbued with his power, they spread his influence to their possessors. In one case, a loyal Temple follower murdered his friend with no memory of the event after being gifted an Ash Statue.
    • A number of the special weapons you can garner though temple, imperial cult, imperial legion and daedric prince quests also count considering we're often talking weapons created by the hands of gods.
  • Artifact Title: The Elder Scrolls themselves are only mentioned once (not counting lore) as the impetus for the Emperor sending you to serve as the Nerevarine.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions:
    • NPCs are programmed to say certain things if certain conditions are met. For example, if you have a disease, they'll say something along the lines of "eeeew get away from me" or tell you to go to a healer. (Which can be funny if the healer tells you this.)
    • Some NPCs are programmed to "wander." Rather than stay in one place, they'll just sort of mosey around a set area. Unfortunately, they sometimes get stuck trying to walk through each other or get stuck in places they aren't programmed to get out of. (It isn't uncommon, for example, after quite a few hours of gameplay for half of the wandering NPCs in Balmora to end up in the river that runs through town.)
    • Most NPCs have a voiced dialogue greeting based on their race, with a couple of variations depending on their disposition towards you. However, this greeting can cause them to break character. For example, the stuck up Mages Guild leader will greet you heartily as you walk up to him, only for him to suddenly start talking down to you in the text dialogue. They'll also greet you as if they're meeting you for the first time when this may not be the case, such as Caius saying "Pleasure to meet you" after he's given you at least four quests.
    • This programmed dialogue can even be useful. For example, there are situations where you want to kill someone, but their standard greeting drops you out of the conversation with an automatic "Goodbye," keeping you from taunting them into attacking you first. However, if you strip naked, their scripted "naked" response may supersede their automatic "goodbye," allowing you to then taunt them.
  • Artificial Gill: The game offers spells, potions, and enchanted items with the Water Breathing effect. These allow you to remain underwater without needing to surface for the effect's duration (or in the case of constant effect enchanted items, for as long as you have the item equipped).
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Wandering NPCs have the extremely annoying habit of literally walking right into the middle of your battles, where you can turn them hostile and receive a bounty if you hit them by accident, even though it was their fault for getting your way to begin with.
    • Some NPCs will refuse to speak with you if you have a high enough bounty even when you're trying to rescue them from captivity and the bounty was accumulated from fighting the men that locked them up to begin with just because you didn't let them attack you first.
    • If you have an NPC mage or archer as a follower, expect to be hit with plenty of friendly fire if you run ahead to engage enemies in melee combat. Also, if your mage follower uses a spell with a damaging area of effect and it contacts any neutral NPCs who happen to be nearby, they'll turn hostile and you'll get a bounty as if you had attacked them.
    • The AI for followers is absolutely horrendous. They can end up either getting stuck behind a tree, running in circles, or rushing off in the complete opposite direction of where you're trying to lead them so you have to go and look for them all over again. This can make the various Escort Missions in the game all the more frustrating.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence:
    • This is apparently what most of the dwarven race tried to do. It's never revealed if they were successful, because if they were, they are all on said higher plane of existence, and if not, they're all dead. Whatever happened, it even affected Dwemer colonies on the other side of Tamriel with absolutely no connection to the project though it did leave one dwarf alive and in a position to return to Nirn. There are a few theories on the subject, to note:
      • Careful reading of the various in-game sources on the matter, and conversing with the experts in the field (including Vivec, one of the three deities of the Tribunal), will likely lead to the hypothesis that they tried to unmake themselves down to basic elements and then become reforged into new, ascended beings. Unfortunately, they didn't get the reforging process right, and so they were instead deleted from existence. Of course, whether even this theory is true or not is entirely unknown...
      • Later in [Skyrim, one mage tries to reproduce the Dwarven experiment in a smaller scale, substituting a modified soul gem for the Heart of Lorkhan and using the original, but severely depowered Keening. He vanishes, but can be summoned from somewhere as a ghost. Can this count as ascension to a higher plane? Your mileage may vary, but many people would think it's a pretty rotten existence.
      • It should be noted that some of the high-level Mooks that you might find in Dwemer ruins are "Dwarven Spectres." Whatever they did and wherever they went, some of them were able to come back as ghosts, suggesting that they went to the same place as the aforementioned mage from Skyrim. An alternative theory is that the Spectres were Dwemer who died before said event.
    • According to some "Obscure Texts" written by a former developer, the Dwemer attempted a particularly angry and deliberately illogical version of this by combining all of their souls together into one gestalt mind. During the battle of Red Mountain, they performed a ritual which broke down their bodies and used the component "matter" to form the metaphysical "skin" of the their manufactured god, Anumidium. However, their "mind" is now brain dead in what most would consider a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Assassination Sidequest: Joining the Morag Tong, a legal Dunmeri organization of "Professional Killer" style assassins, is an entire faction questline of these. Given the organization's legal nature, stealth killing isn't necessary. In fact, according to the organization's rules, an assassin is expected to turn themself in to present their "Honorable Writ of Execution" in order to ensure make sure the killing remains above board.
  • Assassin Outclassin':
    • Once you've advanced far enough in the main quest, Dagoth Ur will send Ash Zombie assassins to attack you if you sleep in cities under the influence of a nearby Sixth House Base. If you want to stop the attacks (as well as free any Sleepers in the area), you'll need to locate the base and kill the Dagoth in charge.
    • The Tribunal expansion begins with you doing this to Dark Brotherhood assassins. Naturally, if you fail to do the trope, it's game over.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: House Telvanni allows you to kill your way to the top if you desire, due to their near-total lack of rules. In particular, during your quest to become Telvanni Hortator, you can kill all the councilors (except one, whom you must keep around to officially name you Hortator and progress the quest) in lieu of winning their support. The one you must keep alive, wisely, gives you his vote with no strings attached. (If you're a member of the House, you can even kill him and declare yourself Hortator as the highest ranking Telvanni left alive.) It helps that one of their guiding principles is Might Makes Right (every House in the game has an 'in' that explains how you can rise so high despite being an outlander. The Telvanni's is the fact that they think might makes right, and you are very mighty indeed).
  • As You Know:
    • As an outlander, the Player Character isn't going to be any more aware of the local Dunmer politics and religion than the player in the real world. Even the non-natives living in Morrowind can be ignorant of such things, since a common response to asking a non-Dunmer about the Nerevarine Prophecy is "some Dark Elf superstition." So as the character learns more about these things, so does the player. (This applies to a Dunmer player character as well, since they were born and raised outside of Morrowind).
    • However, asking the Imperial legionnaires at the beginning of the game whether the Septim empire still rules Tamriel leads to them wondering if you bumped your head on the boat ride.
  • Audible Sharpness: Any bladed weapon makes this sound when drawn. Blunt weapons make an appropriate 'Audible Bluntness' sound instead.
  • Author Avatar: M'aiq the Liar is an Easter Egg Fourth-Wall Observer who voices the opinions of the series' creators and developers, largely in the form of Take Thats to both the audience and to Bethesda itself. Other than two easy-to-miss truthful statements, his dialogue mostly references features that the fanbase wanted in the game but didn't get (multiplayer, becoming a Lich, dragons...) or features from past games that were removed for Morrowind (climbing, nudity...)
  • Autocannibalism: Those inflicted with Corprus engage in this. The pieces they rip/bite off grow back quickly thanks to the disease's regenerative properties.
  • Autosave: The game has this when you sleep, but you can turn it off.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Hammer of Stendarr in the Tribunal expansion is a MASSIVE war hammer that does insanely high damage, but breaks on the first swing and literally weighs half a ton, rendering it nigh-unusable.
    • Vampirism. It gives you some extra powers and some massive stat boosts that can break the stat caps... but sunlight will kill you, you can no longer use any shops or services in Vvardenfell, and you can only complete quests for House Telvanni, the Mages' Guild, and one of three well-hidden vampire clans.
    • Lycanthropy. You turn into a werewolf and get massive boosts to your killing power, and can murder anyone without acquiring a bounty. Unfortunately, you can't use any equipment, cast any spells, or pick up any items while you're a beast. And if an NPC sees you transform, then you're marked as "kill on sight" by everyone.
  • Awesome, but Temporary:
    • During the Tribunal Temple faction questline, a series of quests involves you retrieving some of the Temple's holy relics which have been lost. Most of these relics take the form of enchanted weapons and clothing, some of which are quite useful. (Especially the pre-patch Robe of St. Roris, which basically gives you a game-breaking constant effect Healing Factor. A patch would Nerf it, however.) However, in order to complete the quest and advance in the questline, you need to turn these relics into your quest giver, preventing you from being able to use them.
    • Near the end of the main quest of the Tribunal expansion, you find yourself fighting through (supposed Big Bad) Sotha Sil's Clockwork City. It is populated by his semi-organic Mecha-Mooks, the Fabricants. Each variety, the Verminous and Hulking, drop "elixirs" which share their names. Verminous Fabricants are a dime-a-dozen, and even spawn infinitely at one point if you intentionally keep screwing up a puzzle. They drop Verminous Elixirs, which temporarily fortify your Speed. Not bad, but not especially useful. Hulking Fabricants, however, are much less common. Hulking Elixirs temporarily fortify your Strength, which is considerably more useful. However, in the Clockwork City's Dome of Udok, you'll encounter a "rusted lever" which requires 100 Strength in order to move, allowing you to advance. If you haven't been building up your Strength attribute (a common issue for Mage-type characters especially), you'll need to use virtually all of your Hulking Fabricant Elixers to surpass that total. (Worse still, if you haven't been picking them up, you can end up stuck in the Dome of Udok.)
  • Axe-Crazy:
    • Almalexia. Holy shit, Almalexia.
    • Mistress Therana is sustained by powerful necromancy even as her mind becomes progressively more psychotic, sometimes violently so. It should be no surprise that there is a late-game Morag Tong quest to assassinate her.
    Felisa Ulessen: She can be... difficult at times.
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    B 
  • Back Stab: Striking an enemy while sneaking undetected grants an additional chance of a Critical Hit.
  • Backstory: Lots. And lots. Of backstory. (See When It All Began below for more details.)
  • Badass Army:
    • The Imperial Legion is legitimately tough, having brought the entire continent of Tamriel under their rule. However, even they collectively admit their respect for Great House Redoran in this regard for the Redoran's emphasis on being able to fight and defend Morrowind. Redoran isn't called the "Warrior House" for nothing. In the backstory, when Tiber Septim was threatening to invade Morrowind, House Redoran was preparing to defend Morrowind on their own while the other Great Houses chose to remain neutral or to accommodate the empire before the armistice was signed. Later, House Redoran is destroyed during the Oblivion crisis, but not before reanimating the dead Emperor Crab known as "Skar" and fighting the hordes of Oblivion to a standstill. (By the time of Dragonborn, they've managed to make a comeback.)
    • Buoyant Armigers: Elite stealth fighters dedicated to serving Vivec himself, half of them decked in the ludicrously expensive glass armor, operating inside the Ghostfence and Molag Amur.
  • Badass Beard: An option for male player characters. Many badass NPCs also have beards, most notably Divayth Fyr. Dwarven Spectres and Ash Vampires (some of the most powerful enemies you fight in Dwemer ruins and Sixth House bases, respectively) also show some pretty impressive facial hair.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit:
    • Gentleman Jim Stacey. He's the Master (Gentleman) Thief of the Vvardenfell branch of the Thieves' Guild and wears a full suit of "extravagant" clothing, making him look quite dapper.
    • The Player Character can choose to invoke this as well by wearing high quality clothing. It can be made more practical if the clothing is enchanted to protect you from damage as well.
  • Badass Long Robe: Many are available as clothing options. The more expensive the robe, the more elaborate its design tends to be. The Telvanni wizards seem to wear only these.
  • Badass Native: The Skaal of Solstheim in Bloodmoon. The Noble Savage Skaal people of the frozen, inhospitable island of Solstheim are quite badass. Their culture is a blend of the Nord's Horny Vikings and that of various Native American and Inuit tribes. While every other race who has attempted to settle Solstheim throughout history has struggled, the In Harmony with Nature Skaal flourish there despite the cold and Solstheim's many dangerous beasts.
  • Bad Moon Rising: The titular moon from Bloodmoon.
  • Bald of Awesome: Jiub, the player character's bald, shirtless, one-eyed fellow prisoner aboard the Imperial Prison Ship at the start of the game. His role is rather minor, letting the player know they've reached Morrowind and asking for the their name, but his badass appearance earned him the Hero of Another Story treatment in numerous mods and fan fics. (Bethesda would get in on the act in later works in the series as well, making him a canon badass hero.)
  • Ban on Magic:
    • Necromancy is banned and punishable by death by the Tribunal Temple as it is considered blasphemous.
    • In Tribunal, Almalexia has placed a ban on levitation magic within the city limits of Mournhold. (The out-of-universe reason for this is, of course, to prevent you from flying over the surrounding city walls and discovering that the city basically floats in the middle of generic ocean, instead of being surrounded by an even larger city and miles and miles of mainland, as the lore says it should.)
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The statues of Azura at her various shrines are topless but lacking nipples.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: The Unarmed fighting skill makes this an option for the player. Unarmed strikes damage an enemies fatigue instead of health until their fatigue reaches zero. "Monk" itself is a pre-made class which Unarmed and Blunt Weapon as the primary offensive skills.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: The beast races (Argonians and Khajiit,) are unable to wear shoes or boots due to the different size and shape of their feet.
  • Barrier Maiden: The Tribunal constructed the Ghost Fence to contain Dagoth Ur and the blight within Red Mountain. Due to being unable to replenish their divinity, only Vivec is maintaining the fence by the time of the game. Vivec qualifies twice, as his power keeps the rogue moon Baar Dau suspended above Vivec city.
  • Battle Ballgown: Wearing a robe or skirt over armor will give this effect.
  • Battlecry: Every NPC opponent has a battle cry they'll shout before attacking. ("Now you die!," "You filthy swit!", etc.)
  • Battle Theme Music: Present whenever an enemy turns aggressive.
  • Beam Spam: Enchant an item with a damaging spell "On Target." Set the item to "Cast on Use." Equip the newly enchanted item and select it from the magic menu. Congrats! You now have what some fans refer to as a "magic machine gun." Unlike casting a regular spell which costs magicka and requires time for a casting animation, you can launch your enchanted attack as fast as you can click the mouse/button. Just be careful of using it on enemies with reflect...
  • Bears Are Bad News:
    • Several varieties of bear appear in the wilds of Solstheim, added by the Bloodmoon expansion. They are considerably more dangerous than any animal on Vvardenfell, and are on par with some lesser Daedra and Dagoth Ur's Ash Creatures in terms of strength.
    • Bloodmoon's main quest has a part which involves you hunting down and killing a Spirit Bear. However, before you can do that, you have to kill either a group of Skaal hunters or a group of werewolves. Unfortunately, the Spirit Bear has the annoying habit of entering the fray against the hunters/werewolves, often getting killed in the process which causes you to fail the quest. (A different kind of bad news.)
  • Beat Still, My Heart: The heart of the dead creator god, Lorkhan, is still beating away deep beneath Red Mountain. In order to defeat Dagoth Ur, you will need to destroy it.
  • Beautiful Slave Girl: The quest to become Zainab Nerevarine involves passing one off as a high-born Telvanni noble. She ends up liking her new life as the bride of an Ashlander Chieftain better than life as a slave.
  • Because Destiny Says So: Played with. There is a Nerevarine prophesy, and you do fit that prophesy, but as detailed by the game's "The Chosen One vs. The Unchosen One" debate details below, you may not necessarily be the true hero of destiny.
  • Becoming the Mask: Initially, your mission is to take advantage of the fact that you happen to fit certain local superstitions to pretend to be the Nerevarine so you can advance imperial interests. Ultimately, of course, you fulfill the prophecies in their entirety, though it's still uncertain how true they really were.
  • Beef Gate: Due to the almost complete lack of level scaling in the game (which is unique for the series, and for Bethesda games in general,) the local fauna will serve as this to any underleveled players who veer too far off the main quest path early on. Certain areas, such as inside the Ghostfence, are full of end-game level creatures right off the bat and will continue to serve as beef gates until late into the game. It is possible to avert by min-maxing your character at the start and knowing where to look in order to acquire high quality gear (which, like enemies, also does not level scale.) A few specific examples:
    • The Samarys Ancestral Tomb lies just a few steps off the road between Seyda Neen and Balmora. It contains the Mentor's Ring, a legendary artifact that boosts Intelligence and Willpower with a constant effect. However, the tomb is guarded by an Ancestral Ghost, who cannot be harmed by unenchanted, non-silver weapons (which is likely all the player will have access to if accessed early on in the game.) Using spells, sneaking by, or making a side-trip to acquire a weapon which can harm the ghost are recommended.
    • Also not far from the First Town is the cave of Assemanu. It contains the Robe of St. Roris which, in the unpatched version of the game, has a constant effect Restore Health and Restore Fatigue enchantment, essentially making the wearer near-invincible to anything other than a full health One-Hit KO. The cave is a Sixth House base full of mid-to-high level enemies though, which even for a min-maxed starting character will be extremely difficult to defeat. (For a stealthy character with a few potions of invisibility though...)
  • Being Watched: One of the standard voice files for the Dunmer NPCs, if they nearly detect the player, is: "Someone's watching me. I can tell."
  • Beneficial Disease: The Corprus disease grants the victims Ideal Illness Immunity and even prevents them from aging. Too bad it also comes with a big serving of Body Horror and a bad case of crazy, and is completely incurable. However, as the Nerevarine, you undertake an experimental treatment that suppresses the negative symptoms of Corprus only, leaving you as The Ageless and immune to all other diseases.
  • Benevolent Boss: Azura to the Nerevarine throughout the main quest. While her motivations and actions can be interpreted in several ways, she is nothing but benevolent toward the Nerevarine, just as as she was to the original Nerevar thousands of years prior.
  • Berserk Button: Wearing any piece of Indoril armour will cause Ordinators (to whom that armor is sacred) to attack you on sight. Once you have angered the Ordinators like this, all of them will continue attacking you on sight from then on.
  • The Berserker:
    • Orcs come with this as a racial ability, able to be used once per day. It heavily fortifies their Health, Fatigue, and Attack at the cost of Agility. This means they can hit hard, hit accurately, and take plenty of hits, but they'll be frequently knocked down in combat and be unable to dodge.
    • In Bloodmoon, these are a group of hostile Nord NPCs who wear very little clothing and attack enemies on sight.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Divayth Fyr. Yes, the kindly old wizard who cures you (sort of) of Corprus. Once you can get his attention, he is generous and kind (Which, considering that he's House Telvanni, should probably be a warning flag all by itself.) He lived to see his 4000th birthday in a House where Klingon Promotion is pretty much a standard. Think twice before you anger him.
    • Barenziah, the Queen (that is, the King's mother, not his wife) of Mournhold. She seems like a sweet old lady as far as you can tell but should you lay a hand on her you will find she is a very powerful spellcaster with a unique dagger.
    • Some animals are like this. Scribs may seem like weaklings because of their passive nature and small stature, but be careful when attacking one, since they can completely Paralyze you for a few seconds. Also, the Horkers in the Bloodmoon expansion may not attack you on sight, but they'll go completely ballistic and even pursue you on both land and sea if you stand close to them for too long.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Mages Guild Archmage Trebonious Artorius. He is an extremely talented Battlemage, but he is utterly incompetent at managing Guild affairs. To keep him from causing problems elsewhere, his mainland superiors, in a combination of Kicked Upstairs and Reassigned to Antarctica, put him in charge of the Vvardenfell Guild branch, the branch in the most backwater district of the Empire where he would do the least damage. He spends his days giving his underlings (who consider him a Pointy-Haired Boss) Impossible Tasks (like counting all of the silverware in Vvardenfell or digging a tunnel to the mainland) while acting petty and immature to those who offend him. One option for taking over the Guild is to defeat him in a duel to the death. Need we remind you that he is still a very talented Battlemage?
  • BFS - While most weapons have fairly realistic sizes (making them look tiny compared to other games) the atypically huge Chrysamere ("The Paladin's Blade") looks like someone took a good length of railroad track and attached a handle. It fells most opponents with a single blow.
  • Big Bad - Dagoth Ur in the main game. Almalexia in Tribunal. Hircine in Bloodmoon.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Dunmer Ancestral Tombs tend to be populated by all manner of undead enemies, and sometimes even Daedra. Ancestral Ghosts in particular cannot be harmed by non-enchanted weapons lower than silver quality. Bonewalkers, a zombie-like type of undead, can cast spells which damage your Attributes. (Likely forcing you to retreat to civilization to recover, as "damaged" attributes will not return to normal like a "drained" attribute, meaning you'll need a potion or blessing to restore it.)
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies:
    • The Kwama family of creatures, ranging from the grub-like Kwama Foragers, to the adolescent wood louse-like Scrib, to the larger Kwama Workers, Warriors, and Queens. They lay eggs which are a staple of the Dunmeri diet.
    • Shalks are a large black beetle with natural fire magic abilities.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Many locations have interior cells larger than what could fit inside the exterior. The biggest offender is the Under Skar in Ald-Ruhn, which is the hollowed out shell of an ancient sentient Emperor Crab. While its exterior is quite massive, it still isn't large enough to house everything (manors, shops, council chambers, etc.) within the actual interior.
  • Big Good: Vivec serves as this once he stops trying to kill you. (It is a test to prove that you are the real deal, because if you are the prophesied hero, all of his attempts would be doomed to fail.) Afterward, he serves as a Supporting Leader while you slay the Big Bad.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Dren family. Vedam is the Duke of Vvardenfell, and a good one at that. He has a Cain and Abel situation going on with his crime boss brother, Orvas, who leads the Camonna Tong, a native Dunmer mafia-style gang of slavers, drug peddlers, and thugs who are extremely xenophobic. A late game quest (which also features into several faction quests) has you uncover evidence that Orvas is planning to assassinate Vedam. The Camonna Tong has bribed and extorted their way into the highest levels of leadership within House Hlaalu and the Fighters Guild, giving them massive influence and resources. Finally, there is Ilmeni, the daughter of Vedam who lives as a pauper in a lower-class area of Vivec. She's active in the Twin Lamps, an illegal slave freeing operation, which is directly opposed to her uncle Orvas on ideological grounds, and cannot be officially supported by her father because slavery is technically legal and protected in Morrowind.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Violet Coprus and Luminous Russola, two types of fungus, both glow.
  • Bishōnen Line: Dagoth Ur spreads his influence via the corprus disease, which drives its victims insane and causes horrible tumorous growths. For most this means becoming a grotesquely deformed zombie, but the higher echelons of the hierarchy are able to control these transformations, to the point where Dagoth Ur and his immediate underlings look completely humanoid except for the occasional extra eye (or pair of nipples).
  • Bizarrchitecture:
    • Daedric shrines are designed in some downright impossible ways.
    • The House Redoran seat in Ald'Ruhn is situated in Under-Skar, the hollowed-out exoskeleton of a humongous sentient crab known as Skar.
    • The wizards of House Telvanni don't care much for actually building structures. Instead, they grow them out of giant mushrooms whose growth is facilitated by the trapped souls of powerful Daedra.
    • The Ministry of Truth, which is literally a hollowed-out giant rock that a Daedric prince threw down from Oblivion onto the city of Vivec, stopped in its tracks several hundred feet over the largest and holiest temple in Vvardenfell.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Tribunal. Helseth's the (dark) grey, and Almalexia's the black.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Used to a degree when you taunt a Dremora into attacking you during one quest.
    Dremora: After I kill you I'm going to rape your corpse. Don't worry, I'll be gentle.
  • Black Magic: Necromancy is seen as this by the Tribunal Temple, and thus, outlawed. One Mage's Guild member, who is a closet Necromancer, will rant about the hypocrisy of the natives, who ban philosophical necromancy, yet summon their own ancestors' ghosts and various undead to guard tombs. This is because the natives do judge necromancy by subject: working with your ancestors is fine, disturbing unrelated dead, even those whom willing donated their bodies for such as the Empire does elsewhere, is a crime.
  • Blackmail: The Fighters Guild and Thieves Guild have a clandestine war going on between them. This is because the leader of the Fighters Guild and a couple of his top lieutenants are in the pocket of the Camonna Tong, Morrowind's native Mafia who are rivals to the Thieves Guild. In both the Fighters and Thieves Guild quest lines, Hrundi, the former Number Two to the previous Guild Master, needs to be convinced to support the Player Character. In both cases, you can learn that he has a Dunmer lover, and use this information to blackmail him into supporting you.
  • Blackout Basement: The majority of dungeons are realistically dark. Sources of light are available to alleviate this, in both physical (torches, lanterns, candles, etc.) and magical (Night Eye, Light spells) forms, but all are finite. Physical sources of light are also held in your off-hand, preventing the use of a shield or two-handed weapon. Players quickly discovered that increasing the brightness settings on your monitor/television will also work in a pinch.
  • Black Swords Are Better:
  • Blade on a Stick: Spears are a weapon option. Spears are most effective with a thrust attack, averting the 'spear slash' notion. Some polearms, like Naginitas and Halberds, are different in that they are most effective with a slash effect.
  • Blessed with Suck: While Vampirism gives you great stat boosts along with other perks, it has some major disadvantages. You will take damage from the sun and more damage from fire, your health will not regenerate when resting, most NPCs will refuse to talk to you or attack you when you try to speak to them, and most services such as Silt Striders and merchants will be closed off from you.
  • Bling of War: As you advance through the ranks of the Imperial Legion, the higher level armors get more and more gaudy.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: A successful block with a shield will stop all physical damage. It is instead absorbed the shield, shown in the worsening condition of the shield.
  • Blood Knight: Hircine is essentially the Daedric Prince of the trope, always looking for the most dangerous beings for his hunts. You get to participate in the main quest of the Bloodmoon expansion.
  • Blood Sport: You'll need to fight a number of battles in the Vivec Arena in order to advance through several factions. In particular, you'll need to do this to achieve guild leader status in the Imperial Legion, House Redoran, and the Mages' Guild.note  You'll need to battle Dram Bero's champion in order to gain his support in House Hlaalu as well, though this fight doesn't need to be to the death.
  • Body Horror: Corprus disease turns most people into mindless zombies and Sixth House descendants into "Sleepers", which evolve through several stages to eventually become Ascended Sleepers. Neither path is pretty.
  • Body of Bodies: Bonelords are a favored form of undead in the region. They are a pair of skeletal humanoid torsos glued one on top of the other, with a single skull and four arms. They hover around ominously draped in brown robes and are capable spellcasters.
  • Bonsai Forest: Trees are sparse, limited only to the greener areas of the island, and generally remain small across Vvardenfell. It is mostly an ashy, volcanic island which doesn't support much in the way of vegetation.
  • Bonus Boss: The Anyone Can Die nature of the games means you could naturally fight and kill anyone you wish. But a couple of special mentions:
    • Vivec. You are by no means required to fight him, and doing so before completing the main quest will make the normal method of beating the game impossible, but if you choose to do so, you'll have quite the fight on your hands. Bonus irony points if you soul trap him in Azura's Star. This is actually recommended, since he has the second most powerful soul for enchanting in the game, after only Almalexia.
    • The Ash Vampires. You are only required to fight one in order to get an item (Sunder) off of him, but there are 6 others you can hunt down and kill. Killing them is supposed to weaken Dagoth Ur in the final confrontation, but due to a scripting glitch, this does not happen. Still, they each possess unique enchanted items that are permanently missable if you don't fight them, and you should kill them if you're going for 100% Completion.
  • Bookworm:
    • Jobasha, proprietor of Jobasha's Rare Books in Vivec. He is involved (directly or otherwise) with just about every quest in the game that requires finding a rare book. He has over 60 books available for purchase (with the exact number depending on which quests you have active).
    • Edwinna Elbert and Skink-in-Tree's-Shade are both Mages Guild quest givers who offer several quests which involve locating, acquiring, and/or outright stealing rare books.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: The game's theme (titled Nerevar Rising) has essentially become the de facto main theme of the series itself, being reused in various permutations for each sequel.
  • Booze-Based Buff: Most of the game's liquors boost at least one of your attributes with the cheaper ones also draining another. Special shout out to Sujamma, the most useful of them. Sujamma massively boosts strength while draining Intelligence, and the effects stack. It's really helpful if you need titanic strength for a short time and don't mind the penalty to your spell casting abilities.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Dwemer Jinkblade sold by Wayn in Balmora. He will have it for sale the moment you arrive in Balmora, regardless of your level, and it only costs a few hundred gold. While there are harder hitting weapons with flashier enchantments around, the Jinkblade's practicality comes from its Paralyze enchantment. Simply strike an enemy with it once to paralyze them and then switch to your stronger weapon to kill them while they're unable to fight back. To a character specializing in the Short Blade skill, it even borders on Disc-One Nuke.
    • The game does have elements of Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards to it, but the frequency of Reflect spells amongst higher leveled enemies (especially in the expansions) means that the ability to defeat enemies by simply striking them with your weapons remains practical throughout.
    • Absorb Health weapons (especially ones with a small area effect, so you regenerate health faster when facing more enemies.) Swing your weapon repeatedly. Ignore everything the enemy tries to do to you, because you'll just regenerate it back. (However, be careful if the spell's effects are combined with any other spell which is susceptible to an enemy using Reflect. A reflected Absorb Health spell has been known to cause an instant-death glitch.)
  • Born Lucky: Gaenor in the Tribunal expansion. His absurdly high Luck attribute makes him a very difficult opponent.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy: The final battle with Dagoth Ur takes place in a room which also contains the source of his power, which, if destroyed, will render him mortal (or worse.)
  • Boss Banter: Dagoth Ur will talk throughout the battle with him about how you can't kill him, because he is a god. And he's right. You really can't kill him. However, you can destroy the source of his power...
  • Boss Room:
    • The final battle with Dagoth Ur takes place deep in his volcano lair, over a deep lava-filled chasm.
    • The final battle of the Tribunal expansion against Almalexia takes place in a large room of Sotha Sil's Clockwork City.
    • The final battle of Bloodmoon is against one of Hircine's aspects is in a Daedric shrine inside a massive glacier.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing:
    • Many "Dagoths" appear identical to generic Ash Ghouls, despite being much more powerful.
    • Other Dagoths share the appearance of Ascended Sleepers. Despite being "unique" named foes, they are actually weaker than the generic Ascended Sleepers, who are high-health spellslingers that pile tons of damaging effects on you. Fortunately, they're very rare, only appearing naturally once you're over level 20.
    • Dremora Lords appear identical to standard Dremoras, at least until they shoot hard hitting Fireballs or whip out a powerful Daedric or Ebony weapon. (Standard Dremoras typically carry Dwemer or Dreugh weapons.)
    • Diseased and Blighted creatures appear identical to their standard counterparts, despite packing a bigger punch and having the ability to spread crippling diseases to you.
  • Bounty Hunter: Hunting down dangerous criminals to collect the bounty on their heads is a common quest in the Fighters Guild questline.
  • Bows Versus Crossbows:
    • Drawn bows are more widely available, as are the arrows they fire. They are faster to fire, and go all the way up to Daedric in quality. There are also two "legendary" drawn bows available, Auriel's Bow and the Bow of Shadows.
    • Crossbows deal the same amount of damage with each shot, but are less common, the bolts they fire are more rare, there are only two qualities available in the vanilla game (Steeler and Dwarven, with Bloodmoon adding the "Huntsman's Crossbow" in between), they are much slower to reload, and there are no "legendary" crossbows to be found.
  • Boxed Crook: You start off as a prisoner transferred to the eponymous remote province and are pardoned by The Emperor's own decree on condition that you will cooperate with his Blades on a top secret mission. Once you are released, you can decide if you're going to follow orders. It is even possible (though it's unlikely that you'll find it without help,) to complete the main quest using a backpath method that gets you around having to cooperate with the Blades at all.
  • Breakable Weapons: Per series tradition, all weapons and armor have a "condition" rating. Once their condition hits zero, they can no longer be used until they are repaired.
  • Breaking and Bloodsucking: Averted. The traditional "bite the neck" feeding method is replaced by a vampire-exclusive Absorb Health spell. It can be Downplayed instead, if you choose to break into homes and use the spell on the residents. The game also includes the Vampire's Ring as a legendary item, which allows non-vampires to use this ability.
  • Bribe Backfire:
    • Bribing an NPC to increase their disposition is one of the options in the Persuasion mechanic. Because of the Money for Nothing present in the game, bribing is typically the easiest way to raise disposition. However, the success of the bribe attempt depends on the PC's Personality attribute, Speechcraft skill, and the size of the bribe. Failures will typically reduce that NPC's disposition toward you.
    • The Fighters Guild and Thieves Guild have a clandestine war going on between them. One Thieves Guild quest has you using a certain artifact to bribe one of the corrupt Fighters Guild lieutenants into switching sides, which works. However, if you then complete the Fighters Guild quest line (which has you dealing with the leader and his lieutenants in a different way), she will still see you as a threat and attack.
  • Bring It: Dagoth Ur, after conversing with him, will tell you that as the challenger, you have the right to the first blow. And indeed, he will not fight until you attack him.
  • Broad Strokes: Morrowind handles the Multiple Endings of Daggerfall in this fashion. The activation of the Numidium (a known Reality Warper) caused a Time Crash referred to as the "Warp in the West". Each of the endings of Daggerfall happened at once, though (in Broad Strokes fashion) none to the same extent that they would have individually. (For example, the four regional powers in the Iliac Bay expand, but none takes over the entire area, and all are still under Imperial authority. Mannimarco, the King of Worms, does ascend to become the God of Worms, but he's in a rather minor divine station, and a mortal (or at least as "mortal" as a Lich can be) King of Worms still exists, who leads a cult worshiping the God of Worms.)
  • Brought Down to Badass: After their ties to the Heart of Lorkhan are severed, the Tribunal lose their godhood. They are, per Vivec, able to exist with a trace of their divinity intact thanks to the faith of their followers. Each is still an extremely powerful, extremely old Magic Knight, especially proven by Almalexia when she is fought in the Tribunal expansion.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Played straight with various NPC enemies. One particularly humorous example occurs with a highwayman not far from the starting town. He's meant to be a low-level encounter, but if you don't find him until late in the game, he'll still attempt you rob you. He's wearing only a few pieces of armor and wielding a weak blade while attempting to rob a god-slayer.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Can easily happen to the player. The game is filled with caves, mines, ruins and the like, many of which contain a few hostile, generic-looking NPC enemies that can be killed for loot. The game also has many factions with associated quests, some of which involve hunting down and assassinating specific characters. Since the game world is huge and mostly free of plot locked doors it is entirely possible that the assassination target was already killed by the player days or even weeks ago. Luckily the player character has an excellent memory and is able to tell the quest giver that Bandit Leader #246 is already dead, but many players' memories of the event are likely lost amidst their vast and growing body count.
  • But Thou Must!: Rarely can you actually say "no" to a quest offer. At best, you can say you'll do it later. However, just because you accept a quest doesn't mean you have to do it right then and there (or ever). You can even play for countless hours without ever touching the main quest, simply spending your time exploring or engaging in the many, many sidequests the game has.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: This is how Yagrum Bagarn, the last living Dwemer, survived the calamity which wiped out his people. He was in an undescribed "outer realm" at the time of the event and returned to Nirn to find them gone. He caught the Corprus Disease not longer after and currently finds himself in the care of Divayth Fyr.

    C 
  • Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards: In Tribunal, King Helseth's personal guards qualify. His strongest bodyguard, Karrod, is a Redguard. The Captain of the Royal Guards, Tienius Delitian, is an Imperial. Alusannah, another Redguard, is the personal bodyguard of Helseth's mother Barenziah. The lower ranks of the Royal Guard are still primarily Dunmer, however.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Orvas and Vedam Dren. One is the crime boss leader of the Camonna Tong and the other is the Duke of Vvardenfell.
    • Sjoring Hard-Heart and Radd Hard-Heart. One is the leader of the Fighter's Guild and very much in the pocket of the Camonna Tong while the other is an honorable officer of the Imperial Legion.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: You may stumble upon an attractive young Breton woman standing by a pool of water in the middle of nowhere. She says she dropped her ring into the water and will, eh-hem, reward you if you fish it out for her. In reality, it's a trap. As soon as you find the ring, she and her nearly-invisible archer friend will try to rob you from the high ground.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp":
    • The game uses the series standard "Magicka" for Mana.
    • "Fatigue" is used for Stamina.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • Averted for what few Earth-analogous animals there are. (Rats in the main game, Wolves and Bears in Bloodmoon.)
    • Played straight with the in-universe example of Bonewalkers. "Bonewalker" is the Dunmer name for what the rest of Tamriel calls zombies.
  • Camera Lock-On: 1st Person and 3rd Person (in the Always Over the Shoulder fashion) are both options. The game does allow you to rotate the camera angle when standing still in 3rd Person view, which lets you admire your character customization and gear, but if you move or draw your weapons, the camera will snap right back over the shoulder.
  • Camp Gay: Crassius Curio's dialogue is written this way, with him calling the Nerevarine things like "dumpling", "pudding", and "sweetie pie" while referring to himself as "Uncle Crassius" to the PC. Further, he wears extravagant clothing, has written several plays, and wants to start a theater troupe. Technically he is bisexual, as he shows this interest whether the PC is male or female, and also fits Anything That Moves, being interested whether the PC is human, elf, or beast folk. (In fact, his most famous play is about a male Imperial named "Crantus Colto" getting on with an Argonian.)
  • Canon: Daggerfall has seven mutually exclusive endings. However, Morrowind reveals that all of the endings happened due a Cosmic Retcon/Time Crash known as the "Warp in the West". However, none occurred to the same extent they would have individually. For example, instead of one political power dominating the region, the dozens of city states merged into four with all still under the banner of the Empire. Mannimarco successfully ascended to godhood, but in a rather minor station,note  while also leaving a "mortal" version behind who leads the cult that worships the god version. Numidium doesn't go on a Tamriel-destroying rampage, but is rendered forever non-functional through unexplained means.
  • Canon Discontinuity: In the Morag Tong questline, the Tong's ancient enemies, the Dark Brotherhood, come to Vvardenfell looking to wipe out them out. The Brotherhood is known to be led by a mysterious figure known as the "Night Mother", who is revealed to be the Imperial assassin Severa Magia. A high-level Morag Tong quest has you assassinate her. Later games have dropped any connection between the Night Mother and Magia, treating the Night Mother as having been dead for centuries but who continues to lead the Brotherhood posthumously by communicating the the "Listener". (The fandom has mostly settled on viewing Magia as a high-ranking Brotherhood agent but not the Night Mother herself.)
  • Can't Argue with Elves: The Dunmer are an extremely xenophobic race who hates outlanders within their homeland, but has no issue with raiding other provinces (particularly Black Marsh and Elsweyr) for slaves. The corrupt Tribunal Temple has done nothing but reinforce the cultural superiority of the Dunmer while hypocrisy runs rampant.
  • Can't Catch Up: Edwinna Elbert, Stewardess of the Ald-Ruhn Mages Guild Hall, considers herself one of the foremost experts on Dwemer technology. However, as dedicated as she is in her efforts as a Dwemer scholar, the Telvanni seem to have beat her to the punch, and at least two Telvanni mage lords own their own custom-built Dwemer centurion guards. One of these mages, Baladas, is also more knowledgeable about the Dwemer than Edwinna could ever hope to be, having a head start in the subject of several millennia. The only thing saving her research from being completely pointless is that the Telvanni don’t care about sharing their findings outside their private circles, so Edwinna’s “discoveries” seem more current than they actually are.
  • Cap: All Attributes and Skills have a natural cap of 100. (This cap can, however, be broken via fortification spells and effects.)
  • Care-Bear Stare: The Charm and Fortify Personality spells can make nearly every NPC in the game smitten with you.
  • Cash Gate: Advancing to the highest ranks in any of the Great Houses requires building a stronghold. In all three cases, paying for the construction (5000 gold) is required. In the case of Great House Telvanni, you also have to provide two filled Grand Soul Gems.note  Empty Grand Soul Gems aren't all that expensive, but no vendors have restocking supplies in the vanilla game. (The Tribunal expansion adds one.) A few vendors do sell already filled grand soul gems...which cost in the range of 60,000 gold.
  • Cat Folk: The Khajiit, as per series tradition.
  • Cat Scare: It's a common occurrence in the game for wild animals to randomly spawn and interrupt your sleep in the wilderness to attack you, but there's also a chance that it will just be a harmless scrib (kwama larva) that instead starts wandering around the area where it spawned. This has been known to make players either sigh in relief that it wasn't something more dangerous, or scoff in annoyance that it interrupted their sleep at all.
  • Cavalry of the Dead: Practiced on a small scale by the Dunmer. Their religious beliefs include significant ancestor worship, believing that their ancestors stick around to watch over their living kin. They've summoned the bodies and spirits of their honored ancestors as guardians and protectors for ages. They consider this practice different from true necromancy, which they consider absolutely blasphemous, though outlanders will point out the hypocrisy.
  • Central Theme: The game's overarching plot and lore explores the concept of divinity, particularly the questions of what makes a god, what comes with being one (religion, in particular), and how far mortals would go to achieve godhood. The entire island of Vvardenfell is so steeped in the Tribunal lore that you will find riffs on this theme pretty much everywhere you go.
  • Cessation of Existence: This is one theory about what happened to the Dwemer. They may have tried, through the power of the Heart of Lorkhan, to break themselves down into their base elements and then reforge themselves into new ascended beings. The theory goes that they got the reforging process wrong and caused themselves to blink out of existence. If asked, the Tribunal deity Vivec states that he cannot sense them on any known plane of existence. (Though at least one Dwemer is known to have survived by being in an "outer realm" when the calamity occurred.) Adding further ambiguity, the existence of Dwarven Specters suggest that at least some of the Dwemer have come back as ghosts. A prominent theory in the Elder Scrolls lore community suggests that these are the ghosts of Dwemer who died before the cataclysm that caused their race to vanish.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Initially averted. Upon installing Tribunal, several common armor types (Netch Leader, Steel, etc.) change into a more feminine design when equipped by a female character. Additionally, there is the DLC LeFemme Armor which adds a golden armor that keeps a female mold even when equipped on male characters.
  • Challenging the Chief:
    • Several factions require you to defeat the current leader in order to take their place, including the Fighters' Guild, the Mages' Guild, and Houses Redoran and Telvanni. (In the case of the Telvanni, it's more of a Klingon Promotion.) There is a peaceful way to become head of the Mages' Guild, but it is both harder to find out and leaves you co-head of the Guild along with an idiot, rather than sole head.
    • Interestingly, the Morag Tong inverts this trope. "Challenging the chief" is, per their rules, the standard way to become the leader. However, the current leader is perfectly fine stepping aside when it's time for you to take the reigns.
  • Chaos Architecture: In Arena, every province in Tamriel was visited. Come Morrowind, there are some significant changes to the region, with some towns (such as Seyda Neen) being present that weren't present in Arena.
  • Characterization Marches On: The Orcs have experienced this as a race. Originally, they were simple "hurr durr smash hoomies" Tolkien-style Orcs with nothing particularly noteworthy about them (they weren't even playable in Arena or Daggerfall). Beginning here, however, their characterization shifts massively. Rather than just being dumb, they've been severely marginalized for ages - even their patron deity reflects this. The Imperial Legion under Emperor Uriel VII, among other things, however, helped them to begin to properly integrate into the Empire better - thus making them playable.
  • Character Level: Individual skills increase, with every 10 increases of Major/Minor skills leading to a level up. When you level up (which you can do by resting), you have the option of increasing three of your Attributes (Strength, Intelligence, etc.) The Attributes which govern the skills you increased in order to increase in level will get multipliers based on the amount of skill increases. (So if you increase Heavy Armor 10 times, Endurance will get a x5 multiplier.) This can also eventually lead to Empty Levels or a Parabolic Power Curve if you level inefficiently.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Averted with Red Mountain which, while plot relevant for a number of reasons, never actually erupts. Only in game. Come the novels however...
  • Cherry Tapping: Actually encouraged due to the game's skill increase system in order to level up your weapon skills. Every successful hit, regardless of how much damage it does, counts the same towards increasing that skill. Stabbing something 100 times with the Fork of Horripilation will lead to a greater increase of your short blade skill than one-shotting that same foe with a Daedric dagger. Inversely, this works on you to level up your armor skills. Simply deck yourself out in a full suit of armor, find a rat, and allow said rat to cherry tap YOU. Each hit will count towards increasing the armor skill for the type of armor you are wearing.
  • The Chessmaster: Azura might be this. If she is, the fact that we are not sure of it is surely testament to her skill.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Despite his behavior and apparent sexual preferences, House Hlaalu councilor Crassius Curio is the least corrupt member of the House (being one of the few above the influence of the Cammona Tong) and clearly cares about the Player Character.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: There is a wide variety of weapon types available, and, assuming you have the requisite skills in those weapon types to be effective, you can make numerous combinations. Bladed weapons, blunt weapons, spears, bows, crossbows, and throwing weapons are all options.
  • Chokepoint Geography: Ghostgate was intentionally constructed as the only way through the Ghostfence into Red Mountain. It is populated with the Temple's elite soldiers tasked with keeping the Blight from spreading out into the rest of Vvardenfell.
  • The Chosen One: The Nerevarine (you) is the chosen one by nature of being the reincarnation of Nerevar. There is strong evidence that the player is not Lord Nerevar reborn, but merely a convenient pawn Azura is using in her revenge plot; even Vivec admits such is possible. When Dagoth Ur asks whether you're the Nerevarine, you have the options, among others, of saying "Yes" or "I don't know". He accepts either and praises you for saying "no, but I'm still going to kick your ass".
  • The Chosen People: The Dunmer historically worshiped three patron Daedric Princes - Azura, Boethiah, and Mephala. Known as the "Good Daedra" to the Dunmer, these deities led them away from their decadent Altmeri cousins in the Summerset Isles to their promised land of Morrowind (in a manner very similar to the Biblical Exodus). There, they taught the Dunmer to survive in its harsh climate surrounded by many powerful, antagonistic neighbors (Nords, Dwemer, etc.) They also taught the Dunmer how to avoid succumbing to the four "Bad Daedra" - Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, Sheogorath, and Malacath. However, the Dunmeri Tribunal has caused the Dunmer to go away from the worship of the Good Daedra for a few thousand years.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Great House Hlaalu has this in spades. Being focused on mercantilism and trade, Corrupt Corporate Executive types thrive as members. You can even join in on this if you become a member. One quest in particular has you tasked with killing the Kwama Queen of an egg mine belonging to the rival of the quest giver, who is another member of House Hlaalu. You can extort the rival out of thousands of gold with the promise not to kill the queen... then kill it anyway for the maximum reward. Even among the Councilor ranks, murder and assassination are perfectly acceptable methods of improving your standing.
  • Chubby Chaser: During the quest to be named Nerevarine, the Zainab Ashkhan will ask you to find him a wife. According to him, she should be "pretty and plump, with big hips."
  • The Church:
    • The Tribunal Temple primarily fills this role in the game. Their presence is felt throughout Vvardenfell, having weaved its way into just about every aspect of Dunmeri life. You can join them, and completing the main quest the standard way requires dealing with them after they declare you a heretic.
    • There's also the Imperial Cult, Morrowind's chapter of the Temple of the Nine Divines who are primarily worshiped throughout the rest of Tamriel. A term in the armistice which joined Morrowind to the Empire as a Voluntary Vassal required the Dunmer to allow open worship of other religions while allowing them to keep the Tribunal Temple as their official religion.
  • Church Militant:
    • Ordinators and High Ordinators are the main militant force for the Tribunal Temple. Buoyant Armigers are the Temple's elite special forces who operate primarily within the Ghostfence.
    • The Imperial Cult has the "Shrine Sergeants," volunteers who take on some of the Cult's more action-oriented missions such as tracking down thieves who steal from the Cult or putting spirits responsible for hauntings to rest.
  • Church Police: Ordinators, again. They serve as inquisitors, Vivec City guards, guard temples and sacred sites, ensure the safety of pilgrims in Molag Amur by maintaining the Molag Mar outpost, hunt Daedra-worshippers and vampires, and will kill you if you wear their sacred armor.
  • City Guards: Naturally. Hlaalu, Redoran, and Telvanni guards each patrol the towns and villages under their faction's authority. Ordinators patrol Tribunal Temple holdings. Imperial Guards patrol the Imperial settlements. Mournhold is patrolled by High Ordinators and King Helseth's Royal Guards. The Skaal village has Skaal Honor Guards.
  • City of Adventure: Mournhold, city of light, city of magic! Vivec applies as well, to a lesser extent.
  • City of Canals: Vivec. Even comes complete with gondoliers to ferry you around.
  • Clairvoyant Security Force: Played perfectly straight with Guards. You could commit a crime, teleport to the opposite side of the island, and the guards there will already be ready to arrest you.
  • The Clan: The traditional Dunmer Great Houses are a combination of blood relatives and adopted members. Each House has its own specialty: House Telvanni is led by ancient wizards, House Hlaalu is for merchants and thieves, and House Redoran is the warrior house. Two other Houses are mentioned but not (properly) seen, due to not having a Vvardenfell presence: House Indoril (tightly bound up with the Temple, so effectively a house for rulers, administrators, and priests) and House Dres (traditionalist slavers). The Big Bad of the game is the titular head of House Dagoth, which had been forcibly dissolved after his (perceived) treachery thousands of years ago.
  • Class and Level System: During character creation, you choose a class (or create a custom class) which comes with a set of Major and Minor skills which each get a decent initial bonus. With every 10 increases of these skills, you gain a Character Level. The character level allows you to increase some of your Attributes (Strength, Intelligence, etc.), with multipliers based on the amount of times you leveled up the skills which those attributes govern. For example, if you increase Heavy Armor 10 times, you'll get a x5 multiplier to Endurance, which governs the Heavy Armor skill. Empty Levels, or even a Parabolic Power Curve, are possible if you level up non-combat Attributes (like Personality) or take too many x1 multipliers. (This is explained in greater detail on the Empty Levels trope page.)
  • Classical Tongue: Most prominent is Aldmeris, the language of the Aldmer (Old or First Elves), Precursors to all of the modern races of Mer (Elves). It parallels Latin in that it didn't so much die out as evolve into several distinct but clearly related languages, some living and others, like Dwemeris and the Falmer language, extinct. Translating Dwemeris using Aldmeris as an intermediate is a plot point in the Mages Guild questline.
  • Clothing Damage: Along with Breakable Weapons, armor has a condition rating and can be damaged through combat. Once a pieces of armor's condition hits zero, you will no longer be able to equip it until it is repaired. Further, the game includes the "Disintegrate Armor" spell effect as another means of damaging armor. It typically damages it too slowly to be of any use in combat, making it something of a Useless Useful Spell, but if you create a custom spell that combines it with a positive effect (such as a healing spell), you can cast it on NPCs without aggroing them. Once their armor condition reaches zero, the pieces will be unequipped. At this point, you can pickpocket them, allowing you to get unique or hard-to-find armor pieces without killing.
  • Clueless Boss: Trebonius Artorius is the Archmage of the Mages Guild, though most people in the guild seem to regard him as a joke. He is a talented Battlemage but is woefully incompetent at running guild affairs. It is implied that he ended up in his current position by getting simultaneously Kicked Upstairs and Reassigned to Antarctica (Morrowind being the most backwater province in the Empire with the weakest guild presence) after his Cyrodiil superiors got tired of his incompetence. He gives people seemingly random and pointless tasks (such as taking inventory of all the silverware in Morrowind or digging a tunnel to the mainland) and he doesn't notice that his adviser is actually a Telvanni spy, despite obvious errors in said adviser's credentials.
  • Collection Sidequest: The Threads of the Webspinner quest for the Morag Tong. Finding all of the propylon indexes is an unofficial one, though you can turn them in for a "master index" in an official add-on.
  • Collector of the Strange:
    • Reclusive wizard Divayth Fyr has amassed quite the collection of legendary artifacts, and has even set up a Lock and Key Puzzle for those willing to risk their lives (to either his violent Corprus victims or catching the disease themselves) to try to steal them. In particular, he has a number of Dwemer artifacts and items associated with the Imperial Battlespire event.
    • You can become one of these, collecting whatever you desire. You can easily turn your home into a Superhero Trophy Shelf with all of the questing treasures you acquire. There are far more in each game than you can possibly put to use, so most will go toward decorating your home. Many Game Mods exist which aid in this process.
  • Colony Drop: In the backstory, Sheogorath "hurled" the rogue moon Baar Dau at Vivec City. Vivec, the Tribunal diety, used his power to freeze it in place above the city. It would later be hollowed out for use by the Tribunal Temple as the Ministry of Truth. Vivec tells his followers that it is held in place by his people's love for him, and that should they stop loving him, it would fall. As a result of the Nerevarine's actions, Vivec disappears following the events of the game. The makeshift measure implemented by the Temple to keep it in orbit is sabotaged, so the moon resumes its fall as though it had never stopped. Vivec (the city) is destroyed, Red Mountain erupts, the mainland of Morrowind is devastated by tsunamis, and, even some 200 years later, the crater/bay that lies where Vivec used to be still has its waters boiling.
  • Common Place Rare: Only one muffin exists in Vvardenfell, and it already belongs to someone. If you want it, you'll need to steal it, and if you eat it, it gives you the same minor fatigue boost as eating a piece of bread.
  • Compelling Voice: A high enough Speechcraft skill essentially gives the player one of these. (Which is fitting since, in the backstory, the original Nerevar also had one of these which was further enhanced by his Moon-And-Star ring.)
  • Compilation Re-release: Morrowind and both expansions are part of the Elder Scrolls Anthology along with every other game in the main series (and most of their expansions) to date.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: There are a few cases where the directions given by NPC quest givers are flat out wrong, or are given correctly, but recorded in the journal incorrectly.
  • Concealed Customization: All helmets cover the hair and most helmets cover the face as well. This can be problematic because your armor bonus depends on wearing armor over all parts of your body, so skipping the helmet because you want to show show your character's face means you're going to take a hit on your entire defense.
  • Concealing Canvas: There is a secret door hidden behind a tapestry in Venim Manor. You'll need to rescue someone from this hidden room to advance in the House Redoran and Redoran Hortator questlines.
  • Contemptible Cover: After being played straight with Arena and Downplayed with Daggerfall, Morrowind averts it along with setting the trend of Minimalistic Cover Art the series has been known for ever since.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Played straight with lava. As long as you aren't actually touching it, you're perfectly safe being near it.
  • Convenient Questing: There are examples of this being both played straight and averted depending on the quest. For instance, the very first mission of the main quest sends the you two towns over on a journey that can take upwards of twenty minutes, and that is if you don't stop along the way to explore the locations in between. Early faction quests tend to play it straight, however. For example, most of the low ranking quests for the Fighters, Mages, and Thieves guilds will keep you in the same town as the quest giver or the nearby countryside. As you increase in rank, the quests typically send you farther and farther away.
  • Cool Crown: Almalexia's crown is made of some sort of greenish-bronze metal. When she finally snaps and attacks the Nerevarine in the Clockwork City, she dawns a scary mask made of this same metal.
  • Cool Mask:
    • Big Bad Dagoth Ur wears a full-faced golden mask with a third eye slot.
    • In the Tribunal expansion, Tribunal deity Almalexia dawns one when she confronts the Nerevarine in the final confrontation in the Clockwork City. It's known as her "war mask" and is made of the same greenish-bronze material as her Cool Crown. It has two long tusks attached and the face is scowling like a Rage Helm. Most depictions of her, such as the frescoes throughout Tribunal Temple sites, show her wearing it.
  • Cool Old Guy: Divayth Fyr. He's a 4000 year-old badass old guy (level 65, the highest level of any NPC in the vanilla game) who has created four Opposite-Sex Clone "daughters" while being a prominent member of Great House Telvanni, where Might Makes Right and Klingon Promotion are official means of advancement. He befriended the last living Dwemer, became a Collector of the Strange including Dwemer artifacts and items associated with the Imperial Battlespire event (which he freely encourages thieves to try to steal via his Lock and Key Puzzle, risking death as they do), is a Dimensional Traveler who can freely travel between the realms of the Daedra, and started the "Corprusarium" so those suffering from the Corpus Disease would have a place where they could find peace and safety, while keeping them from harming others. It's in this last role that he meets the Nerevarine and cures him/her of the negative effects of the Corprus Disease, leaving the positive ones (like being The Ageless and having Ideal Illness Immunity) in-tact). Fyr has essentially become an icon for The Elder Scrolls lore community because of all the different ways in which he is "cool".
  • Cool Sword: Plenty. Most notable are some of the artifact swords, including True-Flame (Nerevar's Flaming Sword), Goldbrand (a golden enchanted katana,) Umbra (a soul-stealing greatsword,) and Chryasmere (a massive greatsword known as "the Paladin's Blade.")
  • Corrupt Church: The Tribunal Temple, despite its dubious origins, used to be an undeniable force for good. These days? Not so much. Curiously, in the early days when the Tribunal gods consistently lived and worked among their people, it was much better. Since they retreated into their own seclusion thanks to no longer being able to replenish their divine power with the Heart of Lorkhan and instead having to conserve their power (by the time of the player's arrival, Vivec has been maintaining the entire Ghostfence on his own for centuries) to protect Tamriel from Dagoth Ur. It was only after mortals took over the running of things that everything started to go to hell.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • House Hlaalu is a haven for these types, along with being a Proud Merchant House. Chronic Backstabbing is rampant and the House's favored skills all lend themselves well to lying, cheating, and stealing one's way to success. Additionally, several of their highest ranking councilors are in the pocket of the brutal Mafia-esque Cammona Tong. When dealing with them, either as part of the House Hlaalu questline or the part of the main quest where you need to be named Hlaalu Hortator, you will need to bribe, blackmail, or, in one or two cases depending on how you play it, outright kill in order to get the support you need.
    • Carnius Magius of the East Empire Company in Bloodmoon. He's embezzling from the Raven Rock ebony mining colony and tries to get it to fail to cover his tracks. Whether you side with him or against him, he'll eventually turn on you.
  • The Corruption: The Corprus Disease. Developed by Dagoth Ur using the power of the Heart of Lorkhan, it kills plants, turns animals into homicidal monsters before killing them, and mutates people into horrible, cancerous monstrosities. He can communicate with those infected via dreams, turning them into his Mooks. It also comes with some positive qualities, such as no longer aging and being immune to all other diseases, but those infected are typically too deranged and mutated to enjoy them.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The still beating heart of the dead creator god Lorkhan, deep within Red Mountain. It is the divine source from which the Tribunal and Dagoth Ur draw their power. Later games and supplementary materials reveal that it is one of many such keystones that keep the mortal plane, known as Mundus, extant. When each of these various keystones is removed or destroyed, it is theorized that Mundus will no longer be able to exist.
  • Costumes Change Your Size: Averted for the "beast races", Argonians and Khajiit, for the only time in the series. Due to the lengths of their snouts and shape of their feet, neither can wear full helmts or boots. Fan backlash led to this concept being dropped in later games.
  • Council of Vampires:
    • The game has three (hard to find) clans of vampires (Aundae, Berne & Quarra), at war with each other. And yes, you can join one of them in their fight.
    • One of the in-game books (Surfeit of Thieves) tells the story of a thief who was unlucky enough to end up trying to rob a meeting of one of these. Another of the books (Immortal Blood) tells the story of a vampire hunter who sought out vampires and was eventually sent after this sort of trope by his contact... who turned out to be a member and promptly fed on him. (He appears as a vampire lord later in Skyrim, indicating that he was turned and became a vampire for at least a few hundred years.)
  • Covered with Scars: A number of the pre-set face models include scars, making this an option for the player character during character creation. In terms of NPCs, Jiub is the most notable.
  • Crack Fic: Reynaldo The Assassin is a Machinima based on Morrowind in the loosest way possible.
  • Crafted From Animals:
    • Chitin Armor is a native Dunmer style of light armor, favored by the Ashlanders but also used by some of the more "civilized" Dunmer. It is made using the shells and resin of Morrowind's native Big Creepy-Crawlies.
    • Bonemold Armor is a native Dunmer style of medium armor, favored by the Great House Dunmer and is the main equipment of the Great House City Guards. It is made by gluing layers of bone with resin. According to legend, it was invented at the request of a Lord who needed armor that was light enough for his servants to wear while they fetched water in drought conditions, but heavy enough to protect them from groups of roving cannibals.
    • Troll Bone Armor is a Nordic style of heavy armor which, as the name implies, is basically the skull and ribcage of a troll fitted with cloth which allows them to be worn as a helmet and cuirass, respectively.
  • Crate Expectations: Crates, barrels, urns and all sorts of other containers are found throughout the game. They can contain anything from low-end Vendor Trash to consumables to items of real value and weapons and armor. Unlike most examples, they aren't breakable, cannot be moved, and are rarely used as climbing platforms.
  • Crazy-Prepared: You had better be if you hope to survive for long. Keep a few "Cure Disease" potions on hand (at least until a certain point in the main quest) because you never know when you might stumble into a den of vampires. And if you're going somewhere that might have Greater Bonewalkers, something to restore your Strength attribute will help. (They have a nasty tendency to damage your attributes with a spell. This is a mere annoyance for most of your attributes, but having your Strength damaged could leave you an overencumbered sitting duck in the middle of a fight.) A few scrolls of Almsivi or Divine Intervention are also a must in order to get out of a sticky situation or for transporting more loot than you could otherwise carry. Asking certain NPCs for a "Little Advice" helps.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: While such organizations do exist in the rest of Tamriel, these duties fall to the Tribunal Temple's Church Police. What they hunt includes vampires, necromancers, Daedra worshipers, Ash and Corprus creatures, and many others. Their most elite soldiers are the Buoyant Armigers, warriors hand-picked by Tribunal deity Vivec himself. They tend to primarily operate in Vvardenfell's harshest environments, including Molag Amur and within the Ghostfence.
  • Creepypasta: The "jvk1166z.esp" mod. A supposedly legit copy of "jvk1166z.esp" turned up on the Bethesda mod forums and was uploaded to a modding site, but was quickly debunked.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Played entirely straight. An enemy at 100% health or at 1 health will be equally mobile and capable in combat.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option
    • One mission during the main quest requires that the player buys a slave to give as a bride to an Ashlander chieftain. She makes it clear she doesn't mind, and later says that being the wife of a chief is better than being a slave, but even after numerous plot-related killings, buying a slave can make some players twitch.
    • Many of the things you have to do for Almalexia during the plot of Tribunal. Granted, King Helseth has asked you to go along with them until you can figure out what she is planning, but using Dwemer tech to create permanent ash storms in Mournhold still feels like crossing a line.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Tribunal Temple. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the Catholic Church - hagiography, apocrypha, an Inquisition, sainthood, and the idea of a "new covenant" supplanting the older Daedric cults of the Dunmer.
  • Cthulhumanoid: High ranking Sixth House members who are able to control their transformations after being afflicted with the Corprus disease will sprout tentacles from their faces. Ascended Sleepers are a prime example.
  • Cult: The Sixth House Cult, which serves Dagoth Ur and crosses over with a Religion of Evil. They're naturally an antagonist group during the main quest.
  • Cultural Posturing: Both High Elves and Dark Elves love this trope. Imperials and Nords can get in on the action too in Bloodmoon.
  • Cunning Linguist: The ancient Telvanni wizard Baladas Demnevanni proves to be one. During the Mages Guild questline, you'll come upon several books which contain clues about the disappearance of the Dwemer, including one that is written in both Aldmeris (the extinct ancestor language to many modern languages) and Dwemeri (which, to date, has not been able to be translated.) Baladas can read Aldmeris and will be able to use it to translate the Dwemeri it for you. (Alternatively, if you've made it far enough in the main quest, you can take it to Yagrum Bagarn, the last living Dwemer, who logically translates it easily.)
  • Cursed Item: The Boots of Blinding Speed, available as a side-quest reward, do Exactly What It Says on the Tin - they massively boost your Speed, but also blind you. Naturally, most players discard them as a Joke Item, but with a little bit of magic resistance, the blindness can be overcome.
  • Cursed with Awesome: As noted under Beneficial Disease, the Nerevarine gets to keep the positive aspects of the disease (agelessness and immunity to other diseases) while the negative effects are removed by Divayth Fyr's "cure" for the disease.
  • Curse That Cures: The Corprus disease renders those afflicted by it immune to all other disease, as well as aging.
  • Custom Uniform: If you join the Imperial Legion, you will be required to be in uniform (read: wear a cuirass identified as Legion armor) for any equal- or higher-ranking members of the Legion to speak with you. However, in the final quests for the Legion, you acquire the artifact Lord's Mail, which is basically the best heavy armor in the game and also a Legion uniform cuirass, thus being a truly unique custom uniform for a legionnaire. (At this point, you'll be the highest ranking member of the Legion in Vvardenfell, and thus, outrank anyone who would care about your uniform anyway.)
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: Downplayed, especially compared to the game's predecessors. Morrowind is entirely hand-built (versus using Randomly Generated Levels or Procedural Generation), though certain areas (mainly in dungeons) and item arrangements (like bottles and tableware on shelves) are clearly copy/pasted.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Averted for Daggerfall's Multiple Endings, as Morrowind reveals took place simultaneously due to a rare cosmic event/Time Crash. (Though none of the endings takes place to the same extent they would have individually.) The one ending that apparently did not happen (given Tamriel's continued existence) was the activation of the Reality Warping Humongous Mecha by the Player Character, which resulted in the robot going berserk and destroying all of Tamriel. (Though said mecha is still, through an unknown means, rendered forever inoperable.)
  • Cycle of Hurting: An enemy using unarmed attacks can cause this. Once your fatigue hits zero, you'll be knocked down. As you recover fatigue, you'll stand back up, only to be knocked down again by your opponent's next punch. And because unarmed attacks do very little damage, it takes a long time to be killed this way.


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