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  • Sacred Scripture: The Tribunal Temple has a few, including the 36 Lessons of Vivec, where each book is a "sermon" telling part of the story, and Saryoni's Sermons, written by Temple Archcanon Tholer Saryoni, which is a collection Hierographa regarding Vivec. The original manuscript for Saryoni's Sermons is one of the most valuable items in the game, coming in at 50,000 septims.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • The Sleepers start out babbling about Dagoth Ur's return and the rise of the Sixth House. After a certain point in the main quest, they turn hostile and start attacking the player.
    • Dagoth Ur and the Tribunal all suffer from sanity slippage to varying degrees as a side-effect of becoming Gods through the power of the Heart of Lorkhan. Dagoth Ur has it the worst, since he was far less restrained in his consumption of the heart's power. Of the Tribunal, only Almalexia exhibits any obvious signs of insanity, though it is implied that Vivec and Sotha Sil would have eventually suffered the same fate.
  • Satanic Archetype: Dagoth Ur is this to the Tribunal Temple and the Ashlanders. As one comes to learn while advancing through the main quest, the truth (or at least that which isn't known to be false) is a bit more complex.
  • Savage Setpiece: Netch are a species of Flying Jellyfish native to Morrowind and are farmed for their leathery skin by the Dunmer. Whether wild or farmed, they won't attack you unless provoked. However, both the large, poisonous male and the smaller, more physically damaging female can easily dispatch a low-level player.
  • Scare Chord: The ambient background music will change from "exploration" themes to a random "battle" theme once the wandering player is has aggro'd an enemy. The exploration themes are typically quite calm and soothing while various battle themes will start with a loud drumbeat or trumpet blast. This can be quite surprising and startling when the player is already fairly tense, or concentrated on something else.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: Played with. Mostly only the native styles (Glass, Bonemold, Dreugh, Indoril) play it straight, as each possess spikes and oversized shoulders. Trollbone armor also counts, while it is Nordic style – essentially, it’s just a pile of troll bones sewed to cloth under armor and a troll skull atop. Local Chitin and Netch leather armor, on the other hand, may look somewhat menacing, but fairly practical, given the materials they made and that they are suited to harsh island environment. Western (i. e. Imperial) armors looks very much like real life plate armor examples; same to local Ebony armor. Even Daedric armor, while featuring extremely scary facemasks, doesn’t have common “impractical” features like subsequent games exaggerate.
  • Scenery Porn: For its time, Morrowind does an excellent job displaying Vvardenfell's alien landscape. It's certainly not coincidence that the very first thing you see after exiting the Imperial Prison Ship at the start of the game is a Silt Strider against the backdrop of one of the greener areas of the island. Further, for a game released in 2002, the night sky is awe-invoking and wouldn't look out of place in a much more recent game. Graphical improvement Game Mods (such as the Morrowind Graphics Extender) take this even further.
  • Schmuck Bait: Daedric shrines typically have a large statue of the Daedric Prince they are dedicated to at the center. Usually, one can find all sorts of offerings at the foot of these statues, ranging from a few gold to gemstones to even weapons and armor. However, one item is almost always trapped so that when you pick it up, it summons a Dremora behind you who will immediately attack. That's what you get for stealing from the Daedric Prince of Destruction or Domination or Madness...
  • Schrödinger's Question: During character creation, you will be asked to select your race. Once you've chosen, the camera angle will immediately jump from "average" height to match the height of your new race.
  • Screw Destiny: You can claim this when speaking to Dagoth Ur at the end of the game. It's actually quite possibly the reality of the situation too, with you not truly being the Chosen One, but instead a convenient pawn of Azura and the Emperor. No definitive answer is ever given, meaning we'll probably never know for sure.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: You can go on a murderous rampage, then just walk away by paying a fine. Then go on another murderous rampage, pay the fine, then take a nap in the streets, pay the fine... You just have to be careful to keep your bounty from exceeding 5000 gold. At that point, you'll be marked as "kill on sight" by all guards in the game. The only way out of it at that point is to pay the Thieves Guild to have your bounty erased.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: This is the outlook of the Telvanni. They strongly believe in Might Makes Right and Klingon Promotion is a legitimate means of advancement within the house (which is your "in" to rise to the top of the as an otherwise hated outlander.) The Telvanni tend strongly toward magical might, and only care about the Temple and Imperial laws and their various bans on certain kinds of magic insofar as they can actually enforce those laws and bans...
  • Screw Yourself: Divayth Fyr has created four Opposite Sex Clones who he variously refers to as either his "wives" or "daughters".
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Dagoth Ur and his minions have been sealed within Red Mountain by the Tribunal-powered Ghostfence. However, as the power of the Tribunal has waned due to being unable to replenish their divinity since Dagoth Ur's reemergence, Dagoth Ur's influence has begun to spread outside of the Ghostfence, making this into a Leaking Can of Evil.
  • Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: The Dremora Lord Dregas Volar, wielder of the last Daedric Crescent Blade, has been sealed inside of Magas Volar, a Daedric shrine not physically connected to the outside world and only accessible with a magic amulet. Defeat him, and you automatically get teleported back out, with the Crescent Blade now in your possession.
  • See Water: Seeing for any distance while underwater is actually quite difficult. However, there is a bug where if you swim at just the right level slightly below the surface, you can see through the water as easily as you can through air.
  • Selective Enforcement: If you break any law, the guards will be on you in no time flat. However, they won't lift a finger to help you with that assassin trying to kill you.
  • Selective Gravity: It is possible to make a stack of items, then remove the items on the bottom of the stack to leave the top items floating in midair.
  • Self-Made Man: At the end of the main quest, Dagoth Ur asks if you think you are actually the reincarnation of Nerevar. If you reply that you are not, but you will still destroy him, he will mildly praise you for your boldness. His responses to your other reply options are more neutral or negative. However, as Vivec would say of gods and heroes of legends: "walk like them until they walk like you". Meaning it doesn't matter whether you really are the Chosen One. If you manage to do what the Chosen One was supposed to do, then you are the Chosen One for all practical purposes. This is actually an action called Mantling, and is one of the few (if only) times the main character is expected to do it.
  • Semi-Divine: Those inflicted with the Corprus Disease. They have a touch of the divine (channeled from Lorkhan's Heart by Dagoth Ur), given as... not exactly a boon, but is seen as such by the gifter and his cultists. The Nerevarine gets infected in the course of the main quest, but then gets cured of the downsides.
  • Sequence Breaking: Given the wide-open nature of the game, it is possible to acquire items meant to be acquired very late in the main quest whenever you want. For example, one can acquire the late-game artifacts Keening and Sunder before even finishing the first few missions of the game. (Actually using them that early is another story without exploits.)
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The author of the in-game book Arcana Restored, in between taking shots at fellow mages, tends to be rather verbose:
    Make sure that thou hast with thee this Excellent Manual, so that thou might speak the necessary Words straightaway, and without error, so that thou not in carelessness cause thyself and much else to discorporate and disorder the World with thine component humors.
  • Shining City: Mournhold. Expressly called "city of light" by its denizens. Doubles as capital city of the province of Morrowind.
  • Shoot the Bullet: It is possible to use projectile weapons (Arrows, Crossbow Bolts, etc.) to hit magical projectiles (like fireballs and lightning bolts) in midair.
  • Shoplift and Die: Being seen while picking up any item in a shop, even near-worthless Vendor Trash, will lead to the shopkeeper (and any guards present) attacking you. It doesn't help that items will often be on the counter just in front of or on shelves just behind the shopkeeper, meaning an accidental bump of the mouse or analog stick will have you stealing something when all you were trying to do was talk to the shopkeeper. Ramped Up to Eleven in the Tribunal expansion, which was designed for high-level players in mind, where shopkeepers can be level 30 or higher and easily capable of killing a low-level player.
  • Shout-Out: A multitude, from blatant Easter Egg ones to Genius Bonus ones tucked away in the in-game books.
    • At least one of the developers seems to have really liked Pokémon. Weepingbell Hall, Marowak's Spine, Peke Utchoo, et cetera.
    • One of the developers went to Duke, so, being a big fan of Duke basketball, there is an easter egg sword Eltonbrand that you get by retrieving Shashev's Key (among other requirements). Elsewhere in the game, you come across a (likely dead) enchanter who believed he could fly named "Tarhiel".
    • The very name "Morrowind" could be a reference to The Elf Queen of Shannara, which featured the island of Morrowindl, which also had an active volcano being held in check by magic.
    • In Omalen Ancestral tomb, the corpse of an adventurer can be found crushed under a rock due to a cave in. There's a scroll that records his last thoughts, signed "Indie". It also mentions that his father made jokes about his childhood pet.
    • The Bjorn ice cave on Solstheim has a skeletal corpse with his feet stuck to the ceiling and a sword just out of his reach down below. He apparently didn't use the force.
    • Two sections of the Temple canton in Vivec City are called the Hall of Justice and the Hall of Wisdom.
  • Side Quest: Tons and tons of them, as per Elder Scrolls series tradition.
  • Side Quest Side Story: The quest lines for each guild and faction have their own stories, some nearly as expansive as the main quest itself.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": When you take fall damage.
  • Significant Birth Date: The player character's birth date makes them eligible for the Nerevarine Prophecy, however, it's Subverted as the actual date is never revealed.
    "... born on a certain day, to uncertain parents..."
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: As is standard for the series, Silver weapons are one of the only non-magical ways to harm ghosts and some Daedra. In Bloodmoon, Silver weapons are even more valuable as they deal double damage to the dreaded Werewolves. This can make even standard, unenchanted Silver weapons a better option against Werewolves than even many of the game's legendary "artifact" weapons.
  • Simple Staff: Staves function in this way, with your skill in using them based off your Blunt Weapon skill (shared with maces and hammers). Actually striking your opponent with them should be a last resort, as they are fairly weak weapons, but they are highly enchantable, meaning that you can beef them up with powerful magic damage.
  • Simultaneous Warning And Action: Averted by guards if you have a bounty. Even killing a guard won't get you immediately murdered by his fellow officers: you still had the choice of jail, a fine, or resisting arrest.
  • The Singularity - The Game-Breaker described under YMMV, in which you use the boosts from the intelligence-enhancing potions you make in order to create better and better intelligence-enhancing potions, until you become intelligent enough to craft items that will make you invulnerable and let you kill anything in the game in one hit, essentially turns the player character into a one-man Singularity.
  • Sinister Scimitar: The Tribunal expansion adds Ebony Schimitars, which are favored weapons of Almalexia's High Ordinators. Though they possess some of the same Knight Templar traits of the standard Ordinators, they are not inherently "sinister", averting the trope.
  • Skeleton Government: Largely averted, as glimpses into the inner workings of the Imperial governance and Dunmer Great Houses are frequent. For example, you fill in your class and race information at a tax office, you need a "passport" scroll to enter Sadrith Mora, and number of quests revolve around such mundane acts of government as tax collection and diplomatic banquets.
  • Skeleton Key: A lockpick with a 100% success rate. You get it for completing the Thieves Guild quest line, however, by that time, you're likely a skilled enough lockpicker to not even need it.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Bonemold and Trollbone armors both fit.
  • Sketchy Successor: King Hlaalu Helseth. To begin with, the Dunmer people see the role as "King of Morrowind" as an Imperial convention they have no need for, as they see their true rulers as the Tribunal Temple and the Great Houses. Helseth himself is rumored to be a Master Poisoner who isn't above using the Dark Brotherhood to eliminate perceived threats. His predecessor as King and that King's chosen heir both died under mysterious circumstances, with Helseth believed to have been involved. He also ends up being the last King of Morrowind, though not due to any political blunders. (Helseth appears to have been rather competent, and well on his way to transforming the role of King of Morrowind into a position with actual power at his last mention), but because of the Red Year; the post-Red Year Morrowind appears to be an aristocratic republic ruled by a council of the Great Houses (much like the situation prior to the Imperial takeover, although with the theocratic elements toned down).
  • Skirt over Slacks: An option for dressing yourself. Some NPCs can also be seen dressed this way. It can be advantageous if the pants and skirt are enchanted, allowing you to have access to both enchantments at once. (And then a robe can be worn over top of both, taking it even further.)
  • Slave Collar: Comes in the form of a locked, heavy bracer with a drain Magicka enchantment.
  • Slave Liberation: If you can find the key to their bracers, you can liberate any slaves you come across. (Some do not have a key for their bracers, but if they are taken to a location for which you do have the key by using a Command spell, you can still free them.) The Twin Lamps is an organization (led by the daughter of the Duke of Vvardenfell) dedicated to freeing slaves and returning them to their homelands.
  • Slave Market: Great House Telvanni sponsors the slave trade heavily in their territories. In Tel Aruhn, the player can even buy slaves who then become followers and can be freed. The main quest requires it at one point in order to please an Ashlander khan (though if talked to later, the slave reveals to be happy with the situation).
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Played with, as slavery is a part of everyday life in Morrowind. When they became a Voluntary Vassal to the Empire, they were granted an exemption to the Imperial ban on slavery, however, Imperial influence has been reducing its popularity over time. The Twin Lamps formed as an organization to free slaves and return them to their homelands.
  • Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship: Averted, as the game gives different values to weapons for Slashing, Hacking, and Thrusting damage. For example, a spear has high Thrust damage but low Slash and Hack damage but a claymore has high Slash damage, mediocre Hack damage, and low Thrust damage, while an axe has high Hack damage, mediocre Slash damage, and low Thrust damage. The method of attack you use depends on how you are moving when you strike, although you can turn this off in the Settings in order to always use the weapon's most damaging style of attack.
  • Sliding Scale of Collectible Tracking: The "Threads of the Webspinner" Morag Tong side quest falls under the "Could Be Anywhere" variant of the trope. It requires you to find multiple (read: 26) individual pieces of Sanguine equipment. The quest giver will only tell you about a few of the pieces, while the rest are on seemingly random NPCs scattered throughout Vvardenfell. (Some are even possessed by non-hostile NPCs in towns, virtually guaranteeing that you'll get a bounty for killing the holder.) Even worse, if you don't find out about the quest before you start uncovering some of the items, you may have accidentally left them behind or sold them. While each has a rare enchantment, they aren't very powerful and are usually outclassed by other equipment you have at that point, which makes leaving them behind quite easy to do if you don't know what they are. The game offers no real means of keeping track of which ones you've found and turned in, either. The items will only appear as a topic in quest giver's dialogue once you've acquired them so that they can be turned in, meaning the only way to keep track is to know 26-X, with X being the amount of them which appear in his dialogue. Finally, the only reason most people bother with the quest at all is the final reward: a one-of-a-kind spell which includes the unique "Fortify Skill" effect. It is the only way to get that effect (which is very useful for spellcrafting and enchanting)...in the vanilla game. The Tribunal expansion makes this effect purchasable, making the quest even less worthwhile.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Comes down farthest on the "Seriousness" side of the scale out of the main series games to date.
  • Smug Snake: Orvas Dren, the leader of the Cammona Tong. He's arrogant, prideful, and extremely confident in his position. He has no qualms with plotting to assassinate and overthrow his Reasonable Authority Figure brother, Duke Vedam Dren, and has been steering the Cammona Tong down even more morally repugnant paths, such as hiring bounty hunters to track down escaped slaves and using slaves as drug mules.
  • Snipe Hunt: Once you've joined the Mages Guild, Archmage Tribonius will give you a quest to discover what caused the disappearance of the Dwemer. This is a mystery roughly 4000 years in the making and no one, not even the local deities, have any idea what happened to them. By finding the right items and talking to the right people, you can come up with a very plausible theory. He seems surprised when you tell him about it, and you get a Reputation point for figuring it out.
  • Soft Water: You can survive falling from a great height into a body of water without injury, as long as the water is deep enough. Interestingly, if you have a spell of Water Walking enabled, the water will behave just like land...
  • Sole Entertainment Option: Played straight but possibly justified. In all of Vvardenfell, beyond the handful of quiet taverns in each town or city, there is one strip club in Suran and one combat arena in Vivec city in terms of entertainment. (Tribunal adds an outdoor theater in Mournhold.) The reason it is arguably justified is that the Tribunal Temple is a rather solemn organization, and until only about 20 years prior to the events of the game, all of Vvardenfell was a Temple preserve open only to Temple faithful.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: One quest in Bloodmoon requires you to listen to a set of geysers from some stalactites and then activate the stalactites in the same order.
  • "Sorcerer's Apprentice" Plot: A Mages Guild quest involves investigating a disturbance at a fellow member's house. Inside, you find that her apprentice, desperate to impress her and prove himself as a sorcerer, summoned a Scamp while she was away but lost control of it. In this case, you act as the "mentor" and put the Scamp down to save the apprentice.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography: As you progress through the main quest, you start on an ordinary-looking seashore, then travel to your first major city through unthreatening countryside. During the course of your adventure, you visit deserts of volcanic ash, jagged rocky shores, labyrinthine lava scathes and reach the climax of the story in a sprawling ruin built over an open volcanic crater. The Bloodmoon expansion works similarly, starting you off in a chilly-looking but generally green pine forest, passing through harsher and harsher arctic-looking climes, and culminating in and under a giant snowstorm-lashed castle atop a massive glacier.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Items outside of containers are hand placed, and never change regardless of your level. Because of this, it is possible to acquire some of the best equipment in the game if you know where to look. Items within containers play it straight to a degree, as the items they may contain come from random "leveled lists". Certain items only appear within the "leveled lists" once you reach a certain level, with your Luck attribute also coming into play. (Higher Luck will result in you potentially finding higher leveled items than you normally would.) Finally, merchants have the same stock regardless of your level when you visit them. The First Town merchant possesses some better items than merchants you won't run into until hours later, and larger cities tend to have merchants with better stock.
  • Soul Jar: The Heart of Lorkhan acts as one to Dagoth Ur and the Tribunal, as it is the source from which they draw their divine powers. Unbinding it outright destroys Dagoth Ur, while the Tribunal are able to persist with a trace of their divinity in-tact due, according to Vivec, to the faith of their followers.
  • Sound of No Damage: The sound of a "woosh" of air represents a missed melee attack. A higher-pitched "whurr" sound is used when a spell fails. A metal "plink" sound is used when an attack is blocked with a shield.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The game only really has music for exploration and battle, with no additional context to trigger which of either track you'll hear. This means you can be hearing relaxing or joyful music while deep inside a ruin full of corpses and evidence of disturbing rituals, or hear an ominous battle theme start up, only to find you're being chased by an angry rat.
  • Space Compression: It is the smallest game in the main series to date, so this is in full effect. Stated-to-be-massive cities contain only a few dozen NPCs at most, while many of the smaller settlements have populations in the low teens. However, it traded away the massive size of Arena and Daggerfall for a far greater content density, with the entire world being hand-build as opposed to relying on procedural or random generation like the previous games. There is also an in-universe justification: you only visit a district of Morrowind called Vvardenfell, which was only recently settled by the rest of Tamriel, and most of the population was sparse and consisted of the native Ashlanders and the worshippers of the Tribunal and Great Houses.
  • Spear Carrier: The prisoner Jiub only managed to deliver ten short lines of dialog before you were separated from him at the beginning of the game. Still, he proved popular enough with the fan base that numerous mods were created centering around him, ranging from freeing him along with the player to making him a possible companion to even making him the Nerevarine. Come Oblivion, Bethesda even got in on the act by making him a Saint who drove the Cliff Racers to extinction. In Skyrim's Dawnguard expansion, you even get to meet his ghost, and help him finish his opus, which details his incredible feats.
  • Spectral Weapon Copy: Along with Spontaneous Weapon Creation. The various "Bound Weapon" spells under the school of Conjuration allow copies of Daedric weapons, the best non-artifact class of weapons in the game, to be summoned and used for a set duration.
  • Spell Crafting: Custom spell creation is an option at a number of magical merchants. The player chooses a spell's range (self, touch, or ranged), area of effect (single-target or Splash Damage), duration, and effects, then the game automatically assigns a Magicka cost depending on how powerful the spell is, theoretically maintaining game balance. In practice, it is hilariously easy to design game-breakingly powerful spells by combining synergistic effects such as Weakness to Fire + Fire Damage, or assigning a one-second duration to spells that increase the Persuasion skill (which only applies in dialogue, which pauses the game clock). There are so many spell combinations that it very quickly reaches Exponential Potential.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The Nerevarine.
  • Spider Limbs: Yagrum Bagarn, the last living Dwemer, has become so bloated and deformed due to the Corprus Disease that he gets around on a machine that combines this trope with Super Wheelchair.
  • Spider Tank: Dwemer Spider Centurions are a Fun Size version found in Dwemer ruins.
  • Sprint Meter: The Fatigue meter functions partly as this. Running and jumping cause it to drain rapidly, though it will replenish over time if you stand still. If being struck by an unarmed attack or hit by a fatigue-draining spell causes it to reach zero, you will collapse for a couple of seconds. A low fatigue makes melee attacks more likely to miss and makes actions (spell casting, lock picking, persuasion, etc.) more likely to fail.
  • The Spymaster: Caius Cosades. It's even his official title within the Blades organization.
  • Squishy Wizard: Played straight for Mage-type classes, especially early in the game. Most guides advise you to make Endurance one of your favored attributes during character creation, even if you're planning to be a magic user, to help avert this. It can also be somewhat Downplayed depending on your choices, as the game's class/leveling system draws less distinction between wizard-types and other-types than in most other games. Averted for the Battlemage class, which features both spell-slinging and heavy armor as primary skills. The heavy armor alone will increase your durability, but wearing it will also help to increase your health in the long run as it's governed by the Endurance attribute. Endurance determines your health gain when you level up.
  • Standard Status Effects:
    • Poison/Plague: Poison is a standard variety of magic spell, which slowly drains your health for the duration of the spell. Notably, it does not affect most undead or mechanical enemies. Diseases (Common and Blight) both fall under the "Plague" category, and reduce your Attributes until they are cured.
    • Paralysis: A standard magic spell which freezes you in place for the spell's duration. This is helpful early in the game, particularly as a weapon enchantment, because very few low-level enemies have resistance to it. Most high-level enemies resist it, however.
    • Silence: Takes the form of the "Sound" spell. Instead of silencing the target, it instead "distracts" the target, making spell casting more likely to fail.
    • Blindness: A standard spell which darkens the screen by a percentage, based on the spell's strength. Notably, it has no effect on NPC targets.
    • Charm: Takes the form of various non-combat spells which increase the Disposition of NPC characters toward you.
    • Slow: There are various spells which temporarily drop your Speed and Agility attributes, making you slower and less able to dodge attacks.
    • Fear: Takes the form of spells which cause enemies to flee rather than fight. The strength of the spell increases the level of enemies who you can make flee.
  • Starter Equipment: Morrowind is pretty stingy in this regard, giving you only the common clothes on your back and allowing you to pick up an Iron Dagger, an Apprentice Lockpick, and a ring enchanted with a minor healing spell during character generation. This is all you'll get for free to start out. Anything else will need to be bought or found out in the world.
  • Stat Grinding: Skill increases only occur after a successful use of that skill. This can make grinding a long process without the use of in-game training (which is unlimited as long as you can afford it) or exploits (Alchemy, Drain Skill and train, etc.)
  • Steam Punk: The Dwemer were a steam punk society, mixed with some Magitek as they were master enchanters. Their creations can still be seen all over Vvardenfell, but it is mostly Lost Technology now as they've been gone for thousands of years.
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: An Imperial Legion quest has you hunting down a Dangerous Deserter who is now in the employ of a witch. Said deserter is still wearing his Legion armor when you find him.
  • Stone Wall: The in-game book "The Death Blow of Abernanit" is a Block skill book and tells the story of a warrior so skilled with a shield that no attack could reach him.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: The story drops you smack dab in the middle of the final chapter of the four millenia-old drama revolving around the Heart of Lorkhan and the Living Gods of the Tribunal. While it is not necessary to do so in order to complete the main quest, you'll need to do your own research using in-game books and exhausting every conversation option with numerous characters in order to learn about the previous chapters.
  • Straw Fan: M'aiq the Liar debuts here, dispensing various Take Thats at other games, the fans who complain about elements which were not included in the game, and even the Developers themselves.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Just about everything you do for Almalexia qualifies during the main quest of Tribunal. Even as she assigns you more and more morally questionable tasks, such as creating ashstorms in Mournhold using Dwemer Lost Technology, you have no choice but to go along with it if you want to complete the expansion.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: ALL followers and escorts, leading some notoriously difficult Escort Missions. That withered old pilgrim who begged you to escort her to a shrine won't hesitate to charge a giant atronach made of fire with fists swinging. You'll be very glad when you get the option to tell them to "Wait Here" so you can clear the path ahead.
  • Summon Magic: Falls under the "Conjuration" school of magic and has two forms. One is to summon a creature from elsewhere (like a plane of Oblivion) and have it appear in front of you, under your control, for a fixed duration of time. The second is to summon an object, like a weapon or piece of armor, that you can then use and equip, also for a fixed duration of time. Permanent summoning is shown to be possible by some of the game's sorcerers and necromancers, but it's implied to require rituals that the player cannot do.
  • Superhero Trophy Shelf:
    • Inevitably, you'll pile up more artifacts, legendary weapons, and general questing treasures than you can actually use. Whether you build a stronghold or just take over a place to call home, you can easily display them there. Several mods exist specifically to aid in this process, such as being able to hang items on walls or rotate them to stand up/lay in certain directions.
    • The Museum of Artifacts in Tribunal serves as a more permanent version of this, should you want to get rid of any artifacts. You get a nice sum of gold every time you do sell something to the place; half the value up to 30,000.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: It is possible to lose most enemies in the game after they've been aggro'd, typically by using the terrain to your advantage. However, Cliff Racers, with their ability to fly, are very difficult to lose.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Any dealings you have with Mistress Therana. The other Telvanni councilors note that "she hasn't aged well," and getting anything out of her requires you to play along with whatever insane story she is telling at the moment.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Once you've surpassed the skill level of a NPC offering training services in that skill, they will tell you that there is nothing more they can teach you in that skill.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The Bitter Coast is a swampy quagmire dotted with smuggler dens, bandit caves, and worse.
  • Sword Almighty: Played with. There are two options clearly designed to be the game's top weapons, both swords: the one-handed Easter Egg upgrade for Goldbrand called Eltonbrand (which is a katana to boot), and the two-handed "Paladin's Blade" Chrysamere. In practice, however, there are other weapons which can surpass those two (such as the blunt-weapon Sunder or the short-blade Black Hands Dagger) due to their enchantments, faster attacking speed, etc. Played with because, if you've been focusing on increasing your Long Blade skill, the sword options will still be better than the others because you're more skilled with that type of weapon. Tribunal then adds the Sword of Plot Advancement Flaming Sword True Flame, which you reforge with the intent of using it to kill a god. After completing the expansion's main quest, you'll also get its twin, the Lightning Sword Hopesfire. Unlike Eltonbrand and Chrysamere, which require a time-consuming Guide Dang It! sidequest and completing the Imperial Legion faction questline, respectively, Trueflame and Hopesfire are simply handed to you during the main plot of the expansion.
  • Sword of Damocles: Vivec invokes this. In the distant past, Sheogorath hurled a rogue moon at Vivec's newly build Egopolis. Vivec froze it in place above the city, saving the city, but now uses the moon as one of these. He told his followers that the moon is held in place by their love for him, and if they should ever stop loving him, it would fall. Due in no small part to the player's actions in this game, Vivec disappears early in the 4th era. After some futile attempts to keep the moon in place fail, it falls, with province-wrecking results.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement:
    • The main quest tasks you with acquiring the Tools of Kagrenac, which are the blunt-weapon hammer Sunder and the dagger Keening. In a twist, you don't need to use them on Dagoth Ur himself to win. You must strike the Heart of Lorkhan, source of his (and the Tribunal's) power, with the tools.
    • Towards the end of the Imperial Legion questline, you'll be tasked with finding the "Paladin's Blade" Chrysamere. It's the most powerful two-handed sword in the game. You must turn it in to your commander if you want to complete the questline, and in order to get it back, you must best him in a duel. He will use said blade against you in said duel. Have fun.
    • Tribunal has you reforge True Flame, the Flaming Sword of the original Nerevar, as part of the main quest. It's actually a high quality weapon, and is even more useful in Bloodmoon thanks to its fire enchantment taking down the many fire-weak enemies there.
  • The Syndicate: The Camonna Tong. They're involved with nearly every seedy operation going on in Vvardenfell, particularly smuggling and drugs. They invert the Ruthless Foreign Gangsters trope, as they are much more ruthless than their Imperial import counterpart, the Thieves' Guild, who avoids murder and generally practices Honor Among Thieves. The way they operate is very Mafia-esque, with Orvas Dren as the kingpin of the operation while they conduct business out of legitimate bars and taverns. More recently, they've even gotten involved with the Sixth House cult, whose promises of driving the Empire out of Morrowind meshes well with the Tong's utter hatred of outlanders. The Tong has two members of the House Hlaalu council in their pocket, and also have control over the Fighters Guild due to controlling the faction leader's gambling debts. As if that weren't all bad enough, they also take it upon themselves to enforce Morrowind's slavery laws, which includes hiring bounty hunters to ruthlessly hunt down escaped slaves while they themselves are known to use slaves as drug mules. Finally, their leader, Orvas Dren, is planning to have his brother, Duke of Vvardenfell Vedam Dren, assassinated.
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    T 
  • Tactical Door Use: Enemies cannot travel through doors between cells, so it is a perfectly reasonable strategy to flee through doors to regroup and recover. Enemies can, however, travel through standard doors which do not lead to new cells. This can still be solved with the use of a Lock spell.
  • Take a Third Option: There is one for solving the game's main quest. The primary way of doing involves a length series of quests and forces you to advance the goals of the Empire, the Tribunal (loosely), and Azura. If that sounds like too much work, or you don't want to work with those parties, or if you kill someone needed to complete the quest in that fashion, you can perform the "Backpath" method to beating the main quest. Using this method, you kill Vivec, take the Wraithguard from his corpse, deliver it to the last living Dwemer Yagrum Bagarn, who will "jury rig" it for you. The jury rigged version deals upwards of 200 points of permanent Maximum HP Reduction when you equip it for the first time, which will make running around inside of Red Mountain to complete the quest much more difficult, but it feels like an awesome accomplishment. (There is also another option which involves using the games Alchemy exploits to make you powerful enough to use the Tools of Kagrenac without the Wraithguard.)
  • Take Over the World:
    • Dagoth Ur is planning it in his own twisted way. Though he has a Well-Intentioned Extremist slant to his plans, most denizens of Tamriel can agree that being taken over by an insane Plaguemaster Physical God controlling a Humongous Mecha powered by the heart of a dead god would not be a good thing.
    • Almalexia is planning this as well in Tribunal, though is starting with a more modest "take over Morrowind" plan.
  • Take That!: In order to do business in Sadrith Mora, you must either join House Telvanni or purchase "Hospitality Papers" from the local prefect. One of the sidequests in Sadrith Mora concerns a strange curse on the inn where you can buy said papers; it turns out that the curse was caused by a member of the Mages' Guild who took exception to the above requirement. If you confront her about it, she'll ask you to deliver some papers mocking the prefect's verbose style.
  • Take That, Audience!: Along with Take That, Us. M'aiq the Liar can be found on a remote island and his conversation options include several examples of each trope.
  • Talkative Loon: Mistress Therena, a councilor of House Telvanni, has "not aged well" according to her associates. She's prone to long, rambling, incoherent rants about random stuff from her early years. This can be entertaining, unless you need to get something out of her, such as her quest reward of Daedric equipment or her vote to make you Telvanni Hortator during the main quest.
  • Talk to Everyone: Even recommended within the game itself by numerous NPCs. It's the best way to uncover quests, get helpful advice, and get information to fill in the deep Backstory.
  • Teaser Equipment: Many shops have a piece or two of late-game level equipment no matter how early you visit them, but you'll almost certainly be unable to afford it at that point. Two good examples in Balmora, likely the second town you'll visit if following the main quest, are Ra'Virr's Demon/Devil weapons (steel weapons enchanted to allow you to temporarily summon much better Daedric weapons) and Meldor's Dreugh Cuirass and Shield (extremely good medium armor.)
  • Technically Living Zombie: Corprus victims are still living and, in-fact, are The Ageless and have Ideal Illness Immunity. As the disease progresses, their bodies mutate and their mental faculties devolve to animalistic levels, driven to attack those who are not afflicted with the disease. The Nerevarine is technically one of these, as they still have the disease but get the negative effects cured.
  • Technicolor Blade: Many options, depending on the material used to construct the weapon. Glass weapons are green, Dwemer are bronze, Ebony are dark purplish, Daedric are red and black, etc.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight:
    • Torches, lanterns, and candles only burn for a finite, usually short amount of time.
    • Averted with Trueflame. Along with being one of the best weapons in the game, it emits a decent amount of light when drawn which never expires, making it double as a torch in dark areas.
  • Tentative Light: Many of the game's dungeons are dark enough that a light source is required. The torches and lanterns you can use have a finite duration. Spells such as Light and Night Eye are available, but are also temporary unless you enchant them onto an item as a constant effect.
  • Teleport Interdiction: Dagoth Ur uses teleport jamming to stop you from teleporting away from his hall. Azura will also prevent you from teleporting out after unbinding the Heart of Lorkhan until you have a conversation with her. She will use it again after defeating Almalexia in Tribunal, forcing you back to Mournhold if you try to use the Mazed Band to go anywhere else.
  • Temple of Doom: Vvardenfell's plentiful Daedric ruins primarily fill this role. Once upon a time, they were used by the ancient Daedric-worshipping Chimer. However, after the Tribunal Temple formed and banned Daedra worship, they became prime real estate for cultists, bandits, necromancers, and any other hostile outlaws.
  • The Theocracy: Morrowind, prior to becoming a Voluntary Vassal to the Empire, was this. They were officially ruled by the Great Houses, but the Tribunal Temple held significant power over the affairs of the Dunmer. Even after the Empire forced a secular government onto them, the Tribunal Temple still holds significant power.
  • There Are No Tents: You can sleep anywhere in the outside in wilderness. However, if you want to sleep in a city, you'll need to sleep at an inn (or find an "unowned" bed.) There are tents which can be found in the wilderness, but they are part of permanent campsites and not something you can set up yourself.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know
    • The Temple's justification for suppressing some books about Nerevar, vampires, etc. In the case of vampires (specifically Galur Rithari) they may have had a point: Yes, there is a way to cure vampirism, but it involves currying favor with Molag Bal.
    • This is also Yagrum Bagarn's opinion of Kagrenac's theories, as described in "Divine Metaphysics." The disappearance of the Dwemer (most likely as a direct result of putting Kagrenac's theories about the Heart of Lorkhan to the test) suggests that Yagrum most likely has a point as well.
  • These Questions Three...: A straight example and an inversion.
    • The straight example is in the pilgrimage to Mount Kand, where three Daedra will each ask you a riddle, and you must answer all of them correctly to gain Vivec's blessing from the altar in Mount Kand.
    • The inversion is the House Telvanni quest to ask Baladas Demnevanni three questions about the Dwemer (specifically, about their language, about their artifacts, and about how they disappeared). You can complete the quest regardless of how much Baladas likes you (which determines how specific his answers will be), but you get better rewards for warming up to him first, and getting more specific answers from him.
  • Thieves' Guild: One of the three Imperial Guilds to set up shop in Vvardenfell. They have a fairly strict "no kill" policy, practice Honor Among Thieves, and even have some Robinhood-like traits. They are at constant war with the xenophobic, drug pushing, and more violent Camonna Tong in an inverse of the Ruthless Foreign Gangsters trope.
  • Third Eye: Each Ash Vampire has one, which "opens" whenever he casts a spell.
  • The Three Trials: Three things are required to finish the main quest: the hammer Sunder, the blade Keening, and a means to hold them for longer than a second without dying. If the game is completed the standard or "backpath" way, the third thing will be covered by the gauntlet Wraithguard. Otherwise, having sufficient replenishing health by any means will do as well.
  • They Call Him "Sword": The legendary blade Umbra is said to be cursed, and those who wield it become possessed by it, gradually losing their identities and taking the name of the blade for themselves. The Player Character can wield it without consequence, however.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: Played straight, going hand in hand with Space Compression. Bethesda did this on purpose to address criticisms of Daggerfall that, despite the sheer size of locations and cities, they didn't have a whole lot of individuality or character to them.
  • Timed Mission: The "Race Against the Clock" quest for the East Empire Company in Bloodmoon. In it, you'll need to report one of your superiors within a strict time limit. That superior wants you to fail, and even sets a trap which devastates your Agility, Speed, and carrying capacity to slow you down. He may appear in one of three random locations as well, so even setting a Mark spell ahead of time may not help.
  • Timmy in a Well: In Bloodmoon, Lassnr will give you a quest to rescue Tymvaul, who fell down a well.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The Bosmer. Males are the shortest people in the game, while females are close to the average height of all races.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • The Skeleton Key is a lockpick that will never fail, but only has 50 "uses" before it will be gone. And by the time you get it (at the very end of the Thieves Guild quest line), your security skill is likely high enough that you don't really need it anyway.
    • The Scrolls of Icarian Flight can be incredibly useful if used properly, but there are only three of them and no way to get more.
    • Only two Potions of Heroism exist in the game. These potions both fortify your health and fatigue by 50 points each, as well as give you a Healing Factor that restores 5 points of each per second for 60 seconds, for a total of 300. Furthermore, it both fortifies your attack and gives you a magical shield for its duration as well.
    • In Tribunal, only one Elixir of the Imperfect can be had, and even getting it is tough. It's a potion that restores 20 points of Health, Magicka, and Fatigue every second for 15 seconds, essentially giving you god-like abilities for the duration. However, you only get one from the Imperfect, and unless you kill it quickly, it will use the elixir before you can kill it.
    • The Ebony Arrows of Slaying in Bloodmoon. You can find exactly 5 in a tree stump on Solstheim. They hit for about 5000 damage a pop, enough to kill any opponent in the game (not protected by a reflect spell) many times over.
  • Too Fast to Stop:
    • The Scrolls of Icarian Flight are a jumping version of the trope. They allow you to leap incredible distances, but wear off after only a few seconds, meaning that by the time you land, you no longer have the ability to land safely. SPLAT. By landing in deep enough water, using a second scroll just before landing (you only get three), or by casting a Levitation/Slowfall spell, you can survive, making them Not Completely Useless. They even enter Lethal Joke Item territory as they are a favorite of speedrunners and (when combined with a few exploits) allow completion of the game in a matter of minutes rather than dozens of hours.
    • Enhancing your Speed attribute or Athletics skill to extreme levels will lead to this. Whether it's through the Alchemy abuse exploit or taking advantage of a Lethal Joke Item like the Boots of Blinding Speed (which let you run incredibly fast, but blind you), you can find yourself moving faster than the game can actually keep up with. A single button press to move can easily send you off a cliff or up against a wall, if not crash the game.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: A priest named Jocien Ancois, who was kidnapped by Ashlanders, tore out the pages of his history book, and left a trail for any potential rescuer to follow. Naturally, the Player Character has to be that rescuer.
  • Trauma Inn: Resting, which can be done in any unowned bed or in the wilderness, will restore your health, magicka, and fatigue proportionally to the amount of time slept. However, this will not cure diseases or remove effects like damaged attributes. (You'll need to visit a Temple/Cult shrine or use a potion/scroll to heal those.) Resting in the wilderness also brings with it the possibility of your sleep being interrupted by creatures. Resting is also required in order to level up.
  • Treacherous Quest Giver:
    • Almalexia in Tribunal. She's trying to get you killed which, along with her killing the other members of the Tribunal will leave her as the only person left for the Dunmer to worship. According to Vivec's post-main quest dialogue, the Tribunal are able to persist with a trace of their divinity in tact due to the faith of their followers. Almalexia may actually be onto something with her actions.
    • A few quest givers in the Fighters Guild, House Telvanni, and House Hlaalu have... questionable motives, and since those three factions cover the entire Fighter, Mage, Thief trope, it's pretty much inevitable that you'll have to deal with some of them. In the Fighters Guild, they are Sjoring Hard-Heart and his second-in-command Lorbumol gro-Aglakh, as well as Eydis Fire-eye if you don't go out of your way to turn her against Sjoring; in House Telvanni, all of the Masters except Aryon and Baladas will send you to kill and/or rob various rivals with whom you would otherwise have no quarrel; and Odral Helvi in House Hlaalu is a Corrupt Corporate Executive.
  • Treasure Chest Cavity: "Rabinna's Inner Beauty". A Camonna Tong agent in Hla Oad will ask you to escort Rabinna, a Khajiit slave, to his partner in Balmora. If spoken to, Rabinna will reveal that she was forced to swallow a ton of the illegal drug Moon Sugar in order to smuggle it inside the city. You can choose to either deliver her, where she'll immediately be killed for the drugs, or take her to the Argonian Mission in Ebonheart, where they'll remove the drugs and help her escape Morrowind.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Gemstones are larger than the game's gold coins. In a few cases, they can be mined directly and come out looking already sized and polished.
  • Trespassing Hero: You're free to enter just about any house or building you can get into. The only way to get in trouble for it is if you are seen by a guard picking the lock. There are also a few "forbidden" areas which, if you enter before you are supposed to as part of a quest, you will be told to leave. (Vivec's palace is one such example.)
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Several of the death traps in the Clockwork City at the end of Tribunal can only be solved after trial and error using the WASD keys or jumping at 'just' the right time to avoid getting killed, regardless of what defensive precautions you might have taken.
  • Tricked-Out Gloves: The Wraithguard is a tricked out Dwemer gauntlet with protective enchantments which allows one to handle the Tools of Kagrenac without dying instantly. It's also one the best heavy armor gauntlets in the game.
  • Trophy Room: See Superhero Trophy Shelf above.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: Vvardenfell is a tropical island with some rather... exotic scenery and wildlife.
  • True Neutral: The Daedric Princes in general fall under this, though with their Blue and Orange Morality, they can certainly seem "Good" or "Bad" in the eyes of mortals. Azura in particular can come across in this game as the Big Good, though other sources and later games paint her more as this trope, being more concerned with maintaining a sort of metaphysical balance than actually looking out for the mortals.
  • Truly Single Parent: Divayth Fyr, to his four Opposite-Sex Clone "daughters."
  • Tuckerization: You can find the ashes of two members of the official forums who died before the game shipped. Also, one of the very first characters you meet in the game - the one that helps you choose your class and birthsign and gives you the papers to deliver - is named Socucius Ergalla, which is a screen name that the Lead Designer of the game used online, and the character also looks considerably like him.
  • 20 Bear Asses: One side quest in Bloodmoon has an armorer who tasks you with hunting Snow Bears and Snow Wolves for their pelts. He will then turn those pelts into Snow Bear or Snow Wolf armor (medium armor and light armor, respectively) which is high quality and comes with a useful Resist Frost enchantment built in. To get both sets, you'll need 22 of each type of pelt. Snow Bears and Snow Wolves are uncommon enemies and are not guaranteed to drop a pelt upon death. Happy hunting.
  • 24-Hour Armor: Standard for the static NPCs in the game. There is no downside for the player either if armor is worn constantly.
  • Typhoid Mary: One Tribunal Temple quest has you deal with a woman blessed by the Tribunal who has caught the Corprus disease. She doesn't believe you because her "blessed" state means she isn't showing any symptoms. However, she can still spread the disease to others. You need to convince her to leave for the Corprusarium, or kill her.

    U 
  • The Unchosen One: By some readings, the Nerevarine is this. There have been a few people throughout Morrowind's history who have fulfilled a few of the points that would indicate the return of Lord Nerevar, but there have been enough convincing fakes and imposters that fulfilling a few of the prophecies regarding the Nerevarine won't get the local Dunmer in much of a stir. It's only when you start doing some of the big things that people start taking you seriously, and even then, during the fight against Dagoth Ur, you can straight up say that you aren't sure if you are Nerevar reborn or not, and then proceed to kick Dagoth's ass regardless.
  • Under City: Mournhold in Tribunal was built over the ruins of old Mournhold which was destroyed by Mehrunes Dagon thousands of years prior. Naturally, you'll be spending quite a bit of time there.
  • Underground City: The Dwemer were fond of building these, and their ruins are still standing thousands of years after their disappearance. Some of the larger Daedric ruins with underground portions may also qualify.
  • Underground Railroad: The Twin Lamps serve as one to free slaves and help them return to their homelands. Given that slavery is legal in Morrowind, they need to be discreet.
  • Underwater Ruins:
    • Mudan Grotto, off the coast of Ebonheart, leads to a long forgotten Dwemer ruin which contains the legendary Dragonbone Cuirass and a funny Easter Egg.
    • Boethiah's shrine is off the west coast of Vvardenfell. Some time ago, it was swallowed by the ocean. You can get a quest from the Daedric Prince himself there to build him a new shrine.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • There are several which are involved with side quests including Old Blue Fin (a unique, named Slaughterfish,) a Giant Bull Netch, The White Guar (and several named pack guars,) The Dreugh Warlord.
    • One particularly notable example is Beldoh the Undying, a unique named skeleton found in the very late-game dungeon Vemynal, within Red Mountain. He seems very out of place in a Sixth House citadel surrounded mostly by Ash creatures and Corprus beasts, and is in fact one of the weakest enemies in the area he is in. Still, he carries one of only two Blood Feat shields in the game. He's not related to any quest and there is no mention of him or his backstory anywhere else in the game.
    • The Worm Lord is a powerful skeleton that can be found in his tomb in the Urshilaku Burial Caverns. While one does need to visit the caverns as part of the main quest, the Worm Lord is in his own section which is completely optional to visit. He's a relatively tough foe and guards some decent loot, but he has no known backstory. He is also notable for being one of the few non-humanoid enemies in the game that cannot be soul trapped.
  • Universal Poison: Played straight with the Poison spell, but averted by Disease where there are three varieties (Common, Blight, and Corprus.)
  • Unobtainium: Vvardenfell's plentiful Ebony and Glass deposits make it quite valuable to the Empire. Both substances are protected by Imperial law and can only be mined and sold with the proper permits.
  • Unreliable Expositor: All the in-game historical texts and conversations you can have with NPCs are this. You are getting a limited perspective based on possibly inaccurate information, plus there are those who just flat out lie. For instance, everyone you can talk to regarding the main quest tells The Rashomon style stories of Nerevar's death, Dagoth Ur's treachery, and the Tribunal's rise to power.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Averted in most cases. Everything an enemy NPC is wearing when they die can be looted from their corpse. What very few exceptions there are come from unique enemies with equipment as part of their model. (Such as Vivec's pauldrons, for example.)
  • The Un-Reveal: What happened to the Dwemer? Who killed Nerevar? Despite speaking with three of the people who were there for the actual events and one who understood a great deal about the first, it's still unclear. Additionally, are you really the reincarnation of Nerevar, or simply a convenient pawn of Azura? That too is left up to your interpretation.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Several used by the Dunmer. "Filthy s'wit!" "Die, fetcher!" "You n'wah!"
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: You can run around in legendary artifact armor wielding a legendary weapon, but not once NPC will actually comment on it. Averted, however, if you wear the Ordinator's sacred Indoril armor. They will mark you for death.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Since all NPCs are mortal, it is entirely possible to kill someone critical to the main plot and thereby prevent you from completing it. The game is decent enough to tell you when you do this so that you can reload a saved game. There is also a "back door" method of defeating the Big Bad that requires only one living NPC, but it skips the entire story and is pretty well hidden. However, this NPC can die as well. This is also true for other major plotlines, such as those for the Guilds and Factions you can join. (However, you will get no such message there.)
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: There are technically three ways to beat the main quest of the game. In addition to the two mentioned above, there is a third using the Alchemy exploit to make your character god like and capable of using the Tools of Kagrenac on the Heart of Lorkhan without the Wraithguard, which will instantly kill any player who doesn't have thousands of constantly regeneration health points. However, in all three methods, the tools Keening and Sunder are required to beat the game. If you misplace them, say but placing them on a corpse that then disappears, you can make the game truly unwinnable.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Nerevarine has this happen to them twice:
    • In the main quest, there is evidence that you are this to Azura. Depending on your interpretation of events, there is possibly no true "Chosen One", merely people who could be, and she has shoe-horned you into that role in order to cast down Dagoth Ur and the Tribunal. Dagoth Ur will even ask you about this in the final confrontation, and the only answer you can give which he'll praise is to say, essentially, that you don't know but you plan to defeat him anyway.
    • Happens again in the Tribunal main quest. Almalexia, has gone insane from the loss of divine power and is trying to get you killed by giving you an increasingly difficult series of quests which cross the Moral Event Horizon and then some. Whether your character is aware of this or not isn't elaborated upon, but you have been asked to go along with it by the King of Morrowind regardless. When the villain finally resorts to taking you out personally, she goes into a long monologue about how nutty she is and how stupid you are.
  • Upgrade Artifact:
    • The games many skill books instantly increase a skill by one point, just by opening them up.
    • The Bittercup is an artifact of Clavicus Vile, which will instantly give a massive boost to your top two attributes, up to the limit of 100. However, this one also come with a downside, as it will decrease your lowest two attributes by the same amount.
  • Urban Segregation: Most of the game's larger cities have this going on. It's subtle in places like Balmora and Ald-Ruhn, but more clear in Vivec's cantons. (Plaza > Waistworks > Canalworks > Sewers) In fact, in Vivec, outlanders are typically restricted to the Foreign Quarter only.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Spells that cure paralysis on self. Sounds like it might come in handy, right? Too bad you can't cast spells when you're paralyzed. (However, buying any spell allows you to use it as an enchant effect, thus allowing you to create clothing that cures paralysis on equip.)
    • The Blind spell, when used against the player, darkens the screen by a percentage based on the strength of the spell for the spell's duration. The spell does nothing when used against NPCs, however.
    • Spells exist to cure or resist various diseases. However, Corprus, the only incurable condition in the game, grants you pure immunity to all other diseases, making those spells pointless so long as you are sick. and it so happens that the Main Quest will force you to contract the disease.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: Averted. As opposed to the past games in the series, there exists the Sneak skill. If proficient enough with the Skill, one can pickpocket (no longer a skill), and open and loot locked containers right in front of characters, though striking someone still brings their attention to you. Pickpocketing is now dependent on the Sneak skill, however, and backstabs are no longer given direct bonus damage (though an undetected attack has a higher chance of being a critical hit). Finally, the Invisibility spell is disabled as soon as you perform an action, but the Chameleon spell is not.
  • Utility Magic: Many of the Alteration class of spells. Levitation, opening locks, increasing the amount of weight you can carry, etc. The teleportation spells offered by the school of Mysticism also have some extremely utilitarian uses. (Zapping out of danger, allowing you to move while over-encumbered, etc.)

    V 
  • Vampire Refugee: Vampirism starts off as a mild common disease which can easily be cured in the first three days with a standard potion. However, after that, one will become a full blown vampire with no known cure (except for death, as the Tribunal Temple would say.) By finding a certain (rare) book and then speaking with Molag Bal, the patron Daedra of vampires, one can be cured.
  • Vampire Vannabe: One side quest you can only receive if you are a vampire has a mother recruiting you to convince her vampire fanboy son not to be turned. It's impossible to talk him out of it and if you tried to fight him straight up, you'd kill him easily. The only way to complete the quest is to fight him then lose, letting him wail on you for a while until he decides that vampires are weak and overrated.
  • Vendor Trash: While far more objects are given actual uses than in previous games in the series (such as "light" items which can now be held in the off-hand to illuminate dark areas, as well as items such as scrap metal, chunks of ore, and the like which are now alchemical ingredients), there is plenty of vendor trash as well. Dinnerware, silverware, empty bottles, musical instruments, etc. cannot be used in any way beyond as decorations, though all are at least worth 1 gold if sold to a merchant.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
    • The main game has Dagoth Ur's Red Mountain citadel, an ancient Dwemer ruin inside an active volcano surrounded constantly by a Blight storm.
    • Tribunal has Sotha Sil's Clockwork City, full of strong fabricants and numerous death traps.
    • Bloodmoon has the inside of the Mortrag Glacier, a giant ice maze full of werewolves and your very dangerous fellow competitors in the "hunt".
  • Victory Fakeout: The final stage of the main quest leads to a confrontation with Dagoth Ur. After the Nerevarine bests him in single combat, he disappears and mocks the hero for believing they could actually kill a god. Of course, if the player paid attention to the main plotline, they already knew their goal was not to kill Dagoth Ur, but to destroy his source of power. You then proceed to the next room to do exactly that, while avoiding revived Dagoth Ur's attacks.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: Morrowind was the jump for the Elder Scrolls series.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Throughout Vvardenfell you can free multiple slaves provided you have the key to unlock their shackles. Although freeing some might be illegal in certain areas such as the farms and mines.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • You are free to kill anyone you want. However, if you kill anyone involved with a quest, you'll lose the opportunity to complete that quest. This includes the game's main quest, but at least there you'll get a pop-up message explaining how you've doomed the world and should restore a saved file.
    • A high-level Fighter's Guild quest and a high-level Mages Guild quest task you with killing off all the leaders of the Thieves Guild and House Telvanni, respectively. There are alternative quests available in each case that allow you to complete the faction questlines without wiping out the leadership of another faction. Should you choose the Kill ’Em All option though, you'll lose out on all of the quests and rewards offered by those factions.
    • The "Fake Soul Gem" quest gives you an early opportunity to steal some very valuable soul gems from Galbedir without getting caught. Unfortunately, doing this means you can never do business with her again. She will identify every soul gem you give her for the purpose of selling or enchanting as hers, and you'll likely get a bounty large enough to count as a death warrant on the spot.
  • Video Game Flight: The Levitate spell. When cast, it allows the caster to "walk" through the air. The speed at which you walk is determined by the spell's strength.
  • Video Game Geography: Being the first game in the series to be hand-build rather than relying on randomly generated sections, Morrowind still feels much more massive than most video games despite being considerably smaller than its predecessors. However, the ability to remove the persistent in-game fog in order to increase visibility to realistic levels brings with it the uncomfortable realization that all of Vvardenfell's major settlements are about 100 feet apart.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential: "Mature" content game mods are, of course, some of the most popular.
  • Violation of Common Sense: One Tribunal Temple quest requires that you drown yourself. (You'll be just fine, however, as it was a test of faith.)
  • Violence Is the Only Option: Two of the three Great Houses have one council member who will never agree to make you Hortator, and the only way to get the full council's approval will be to kill them. Similarly, the only way to be named Nerevarine by the Erabenimsun will be to kill the Ashkhan and his supporters, and encourage his son to take charge.
  • Video Game Stealing: When pickpocketing, you are literally stealing items directly from a NPC's inventory.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Vivec's 36 Lessons are a series of in-game books which, at first glance, seem like the scribblings of a mad man. However, the books must be cross-referenced with one another and deciphered. Upon doing so, one finds plenty of Breaking the Fourth Wall, Anvilicious, Tropes Are Not Bad, and Getting Crap Past the Radar with a sprinkling of In-Joke.
  • Villain Has a Point: Dagoth Ur is pretty well established as a particularly homicidal Well-Intentioned Extremist once you look past the Tribunal Temple dogma, but it goes even further when you look at his hatred of outlanders. The Tribunal pretty much set themselves as undisputed rulers that freely encourage slavery and look down on the native ashlanders. And the Imperials are arguably not much better, especially if one plays this game after playing Skyrim, which showed them at their worst (if you play as a Stormcloak).
  • Villain Respect: Dagoth Ur has a rather complicated relationship with the Nerevarine, but one can make an argument that at least his reaction to you stating that you are a self-willed hero making your own fate fits here (he expresses admiration for it, even as the context means you're saying that all his previous offers and compliments weren't actually for you).
  • Virtual Paper Doll: If one chooses to forgo armor by specializing in the Unarmored skill, it turns out that there is quite a high number of clothing options available.
  • The Virus: Vampirism and Corprus Disease (which will either turn you into an Eldritch Abomination or a zombie depending on your personality), the Blight (which kills plants, drives animals insane, causes health problems in humanoids, and can carry corprus), as well as some more mundane illnesses ("Swamp Fever," "Jitters," et cetera).
  • Volcano Lair: Dagoth Ur takes up residence within Red Mountain, a massive shield volcano with an ancient Dwemer city complex built into it.
  • Voluntary Vassal: A plot important part of the backstory occurred when Vivec (having recently lost two of the tools Kagrenac to Dagoth Ur and thus, the ability for the Tribunal to recharge their divinity,) negotiated this status with Tiber Septim when Septim's forces threatened to invade. Vivec also offered the Numidium in trade, allowing Morrowind to keep many of its pre-Imperial privileges (including slavery, which was illegal elsewhere in the Empire).

    W-Z 
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Snowy Granius is a battlemage who hangs out on the bridge to Arkngthand. He's wearing a heavy armor cuirass, wielding an axe, will likely summon a skeleton when he sees you, and knows several other damaging spells as well. For a player who has stuck to the main quest, this will likely be his or her first real challenge, and may even be the first non-critter the player has fought.
  • Wallet of Holding: With all of that Money for Nothing, most players will quickly amass hundreds of thousands of gold and there is no penalty for carrying it all around with you.
  • Walk on Water: Exists as a spell in the game. It does Exactly What It Says on the Tin. It can also be enchanted onto an item for a permanent effect.
  • Wall of Weapons:
    • A number of weapon shops have the weapons on display around or behind the counter for browsing.
    • The player can create one of these in wherever they choose to call home. Made even easier by mods which allow the placement of weapons directly on walls.
  • Warmup Boss: Boss Crito in Arkngthand. He is found at the end of the dungeon for the first quest given as part of the main quest line and is a bit stronger than his Mooks throughout the rest of the dungeon. He even has "Boss" in his name.
  • Warp Whistle: The spells "Divine Intervention" and "Almsivi Intervention" will teleport you to the nearest Imperial shrine/Tribunal temple, respectively. The Mark and Recall spells are similar, allowing you to set a "Mark" and then "Recall" to that spot. Useful for traveling long distances when no fast travel is available, getting out of a sticky situation in a hurry, or for transporting more loot than you could carry on foot.
  • Was Once a Man: The Dagoth/Ash creatures and Corprus monsters. Both have been twisted by the Eldritch magics of Dagoth Ur into HumanoidAbominations.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: "The Axe Man," an in-game book, provides a dark example.
  • Weapons Kitchen Sink: The game features all manner of bladed weapons, blunt weapons, axes, polearms, bows, crossbows, thrown weapons, etc. All have their strengths and weaknesses determined by how they are used. (For example, a spear does little damage from a slashing motion, but significantly more damage from a thrust.)
  • Weather-Control Machine: The Dwemer built one (known as the Karstangz-Beharn) in their city of Bamz-Amschend. After their disappearance, the city of Mournhold was built over top of it. Almalexia will command you to use it in Tribunal to create ash storms in Mournhold as a show of her power. It will reset to normal following completion of the Tribunal main quest, but nothing is stopping you from going back to it and setting it to create whatever weather you want.
  • We Buy Anything: Along with We Sell Everything, mostly averted, as the majority of shops only buy and sell in one type of product. They also only have a limited supply of gold to barter with after which they will not be able to purchase anything until the player purchases items from them or 24 hours passes. There are a few general traders and pawnbrokers who will buy and sell in nearly anything, but they often have significantly less gold to barter with. The two major exceptions are the talking Mudcrab Merchant and the talking Scamp, Creeper. They have 10,000 and 5000 gold respectively, and will buy almost anything you attempt to sell them.
  • Weird Moon: The twin moons Masser and Secunda, as per series tradition (see Alien Sky above for more details.) Also, Baar Dau, a rogue moon hurled by Sheogorath at Vivec city. It was stopped by Vivec above the city, and is kept suspended there by his people's love for him. Eventually, it was hollowed out and converted into the Ministry of Truth.
  • Weird Weather: The island of Vvardenfell is regularly blanketed by ash storms, where the wind picks up the soot and dust from the Red Mountain volcano in the middle of the island. However, until the main quest of the game is resolved, the normal ash storms are replaced with "blight storms" — ash storms that additionally infect everyone caught out in the open when they are hit with the Blight and Corprus diseases.
  • Welcome to Corneria: What little spoken dialogue there is in the game gets repetitive quickly. However, text-based conversation dialogue options are quite numerous and change based on the NPC's profession. (Try, for example, talking to a Savant. Exhausting all of their dialogue options could take a real-life hour.)
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dagoth Ur seeks to make Morrowind independent from the Empire, which is an idea that quite a few Dunmeri groups would support, ranging from the honorable House Redoran to the mafia-esque Camonna Tong. The fact that his method of achieving that independence involves spreading a disease that drives its victims to homicidal madness and horrifically mutates them throughout the entire world is acceptable in his mind. (Although if he had succeeded with his ultimate goal, he would have turned the entirety of the universe/multiverse into nothing more than an extension of his own mind. The collective inhabitants of reality dodged a bullet there.)
  • What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: The scrolls of Icarian Flight. They boost your Acrobatics by 1000 points, but wear off after only 7 seconds, meaning you'll no longer have the power to land safely.
  • What the Hell, Player?: The message you receive when you kill a character essential to completing the main quest reads this way.
    "With this character's death, the thread of prophecy is severed. Restore a saved game to restore the weave of fate, or persist in the doomed world you have created."
  • When It All Began: Nerevar's death following the Battle of Red Mountain some 3500 years prior to the events of the game. All of the events of the game's main quest (and the Tribunal main quest) can be traced back to that event.
  • Whispering Ghosts: These can be heard around the ash pits in Tribunal temples and ancestral tombs.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: As per The Elder Scrolls tradition. It's actually the smallest game in the series in terms of square footage. Makes up for it by being entirely hand built, unlike the other games in the series which rely on many randomly or procedurally generated portions to fill out the larger area.
  • The Wild Hunt: The main quest of Bloodmoon is setting one of these up for the Daedric Prince Hircine, Lord of the Hunt, featuring The Most Dangerous Game. (During said hunt, it's possible and even encouraged to reverse your role from hunted to hunter.)
  • With Catlike Tread: The Dark Brotherhood assassins sent to kill you to kick off Tribunal are apparently quite bad at their jobs. First, you awaken to "a loud noise," then the assassin yells at you as he attacks.
  • With This Herring: Sheogarath's Quest. If you manage to find the shrine of the slightly-mad demigod, he gives you a quest to kill a giant bull-netch (a flying jellyfish the natives use for livestock) with "The Fork Of Horripilation." Okay, you might think to yourself, there's tridents and pitchforks in the game, no big deal. But no, after schlepping all the way to the other side of the island, you find that the Fork is really... a serving fork that does 1-2 damage and drains your own Magicka as you weild it. So you end up chasing a big, living zeppelin. With a fork.
  • Wizards Live Longer: All of the Telvanni councilors are implied to be extremely old by way of magic. Special mention Divayth Fyr, who at around age 4000, is said to be one of the oldest non-divine beings in Tamriel.
  • The Wonka: The leaders of House Telvanni. Each, in one form or another, is a massively powerful wizard while also being of questionable sanity. They user sorcery to extend their lifespans by thousands of years, summon lesser Daedra as guards and test subjects, openly defy Imperial law, and have a system of advancement centered around Klingon Promotion and Might Makes Right. The reason they can get away with it is because they are such ancient, powerful wizards.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Morrowind features some of the best looking landscapes in gaming relative to when it was released. These are beefed up even more using the Morrowind Graphics Extender which includes a higher view distance than normally possible in-game. It brings some fresh awe to the venerable old game.
  • World of Muscle Men: Every member of a given race and sex uses the same character model below the neck. The male models are all quite well-toned.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: One side quest has you running messages between two exceptionally stupid Orcs. Your reward for the hassle? A "useless rock" — which happens to be a diamond. (The orc thinks he's pretty clever conning you.)
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Exactly what Dagoth Ur thinks about the Nerevarine fluctuates over the course of the game, but it usually is somewhere within the spectrum of this trope, especially in the conversation before the final battle. If the Nerevarine denies his/her status as the reincarnation of Nerevar, saying that they have made their own destiny rather than been guided by fate to that point, Dagoth Ur goes as far as to say that the Nerevarine's story shall be what teaches the gods their limits.
    • Blood Knight Umbra is actively seeking one of these to end his life. You can do so in a side quest.
    • In Bloodmoon, Hircine is seeking the greatest warriors on Solstheim to be the "prey" in his hunt. Naturally, the Nerevarine just happens to qualify.
  • Written by the Winners: Because of Nerevar's death, the disappearance of the Dwemer, Dagoth Ur's presumed death, and the fact that Azura is a Daedric Prince who doesn't often openly communicate with mortals, the Tribunal were the only ones present for the events following the Battle of Red Mountain left in a position to declare how the events there took place. As such, the Tribunal Temple's official story about what happened is the most widely accepted version, even though it is clearly the version most full of Blatant Lies and Metaphorical Truths out of those that comprise The Rashomon once you've done a little research. All stories to the contrary are considered heresy, kept alive only by the actions of the Nerevarine Cult and the Dissident Priests.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: The game has hundreds of NPCs, but only a few dozen combinations of faces and hairstyles. A few unique models do exist, but they're usually reserved for important quest characters.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: Per series tradition, the game starts you off as a prisoner aboard a ship, about to be released.
  • You Are in Command Now: When Caius is recalled to the Imperial City, he leaves you in charge of the Blades in Morrowind. Of course, since the other Blades agents mostly do their own things and any orders from Cyrodiil to the contrary are liable to come with an actual superior, Caius basically tells you to ignore the big picture and just keep doing what you're already doing.
  • You Are the Translated Foreign Word: You're the Nerevarine, the prophesied reincarnation of the ancient Chimeri/Dunmeri hero Nerevar, who is said will defeat Dagoth Ur and cast down the "false gods" of the Tribunal.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: A comedic example in the form of Boethiah's Pillow Book. It is a book so pornographic that "No words can describe what you see. Or what you think you see." It features into a Thieves' Guild quest where it will be used to blackmail a Redoran councilor.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Aggro'd NPCs will sometimes shout insults like this when they attack.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • The Fighters Guild questline ends with this if one goes for the evil path of working with the corrupt Master — you kill the Thieves' Guild leaders for him to get in good with the Camonna Tong crime-syndicate, and then when you talk with him to get your payment, he declares you're a potential threat to him and that he's going to kill you instead of paying you, now that you've done your part.
    • Tribunal ends like this, with Almalexia attempting to kill you after you've completed her quests. The reasons are a bit vague, on account of her madness, but it seems to be a combination of this and thinking you would be useful as a dead martyr (the intent is to frame someone else, possibly the Empire, for killing you).
    • The Werewolf path in Bloodmoon ends precisely the same as the other path: you facing off against an avatar of Hircine in battle, regardless of your previous service to the Daedra.
  • You Mean "Xmas": Bloodmoon features a side quest with a Santa Claus type figure called Uncle Sweetshare. (Only instead of presents, he gives you drugs.) The game's files include an unused version of Sweetshare named Grandfather Frost, who was even more Santa-like. Supposedly he was replaced for being too much like Santa.
  • Your Mom: One of the NPC reactions to a failed taunt is, "No, I believe that was your mother."
  • You Rebel Scum!: Ordinators in Vivec, a city which only recently started allowing outlanders to enter beyond the Foreign Quarter, are commonly heard to say things like "We're watching you, scum." and "Move along scum." to the player.
  • Zip Mode: in the form of large insects, boats, and Mage Guild teleporters, to replace fast travel that's been around since Arena.


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