Despite the name, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind only covers about a fourth of the eponymous region, specifically the island of Vvardenfell (with Tribunal adding one neighborhood of the mainland capital). As vividly realized as Vvardenfell is, much of Morrowind remains a mystery to players, who have to satisfy themselves with texts describing the machine-haunted ruins of Kemel-Ze and the elegant manors of the Indoril heartland.
Enter Tamriel Rebuilt.
Tamriel Rebuilt is an ambitious modding project founded in 2002, that is attempting to build the entirety of the mainland of Morrowind with the engine of Morrowind. This is no mere flash-in-the-pan project; over two decades after the game's release, Tamriel Rebuilt is still going strong and releasing new content. Smaller teams under the related-but-separate banner of Project Tamriel are working on recreations of Cyrodiil and Skyrim.
The mod maintains the fine Elder Scrolls tradition of creating a huge sandbox for players. Parts of the mainland boast extensive quest lines, and there are plenty of factions to join (or oppose). You can also simply strike out on your own, exploring the fungal forests, ash deserts, and places stranger yet.
Currently, the eastern third of the mainland is the closest to completion. Much of the geography of the western third has been established, but some towns do not yet have services, quests, or people. The southern third, which will require a number of new assets that the team is busy creating, is mostly empty. Remember: the team is always looking for new members, and you can go to their website to find out how you can help.
So far, the Tamriel Rebuilt modding team has released the following major installments:
- Telvannis (23 September 2006)
- Antediluvian Secrets (30 November 2008)
- Sacred East (6 June 2012)
- Old Ebonheart (31 July 2018)
- Aanthirin (19 December 2019)
- Dominions of Dust (23 November 2022)
- Andaram (31 October 2023)
In addition, the mod's sister project, Project Tamriel, teams have made releases covering the isle of Stirk and much of the Reach.
This video game provides examples of:
- Almighty Janitor: Thane Fomir in Karthwasten is a downplayed variant. Thanes are important figures in Skyrim's holds, but normally they rule a stronghold or village at most. Major settlements like Karthwasten are the domain of Jarls if not directly under the King or Queen of the holdnote , but a series of events led to the nominal Jarl of Karthwasten being barred from her own citynote and left Fomir, still technically only a thane, as the ruler of Karthwasten and trusted enough that the heir to the Reach has been sent to learn statecraft from him.
- Ancient Tomb: There are plenty of these.
- Arcadia: The more settled Indoril regions qualify as this.
- Artifact Title: When originally conceived, Tamriel Rebuilt intended to eventually build all of Tamriel. That was quickly scaled down to "just" the rest of Morrowind, but the name stuck around (the smaller teams working on Cyrodiil and Skyrim mentioned above came later and group under the banner of Project Tamriel, which cooperates and coordinates with Tamriel Rebuilt).
- Back from the Brink: This is the theme of the Thieves Guild questline in Andothren. Shortly before the start of the game, the Camonna Tong launched a massacre that practically wiped out the Guild in Andothren, and when the player comes in they work with the sole survivor to establish a new hideout and recruit new members before beginning to move against the Tong.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: The mod builds on the main game's proud tradition with river striders (waterborne silt striders), plain striders (silt striders built low to the ground), sky renders (big wasps that House Dres will use as mounts), and many more.
- Can't Argue with Elves: A weird in-universe example. There's an Altmer slave who seems to take a perverse pride in being more valuable than slaves of other races.
- Church Police: In addition to the High Ordinators from the original game, Tamriel Rebuilt adds the Ordinators-in-Mourning, who guard the city of Necrom.
- City of Adventure:
- Tribunal allows you to visit part of the capital city of Mournhold. Tamriel Rebuilt includes the rest of the city. It's not done yet, but the place is hugenote , and will be loaded with adventure.
- Old Ebonheart is far from as large as the plan for Almalexia or the current eventually-to-be-scrapped Almalexia implementation, but is a very compact city and has tons of quests, many which do not require leaving the city.
- City on the Water: Llothanis and Tel Ouda are both Telvanni cities grown over the water, with thick tendrils anchoring them to the mainland. Almas Thirr is another example, being a floating stone canton in the style of Vivec and Molag Mar in the original game.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Trela Varesi, a woman in Hla Bulor, is prone to some odd embellishments.
- Cultural Posturing: The conference hall of the Imperial Curia in Old Ebornheart has a mosaic of Vivec prostrating himself before a victorious and grandstanding Tiber Septim. It is a bit of a... biased take on signing of the Treaty of the Armistice.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Downplayed with the Imperial Cult. Whilst the religion itself is more reminiscent of Roman paganism, the Cult Chapel in Ebonheart is clearly modelled on Gothic cathedral buildings.
- Doppelgänger: The quest Belated Justice centres on former General Casik, who has been imprisoned on charges of treason during the Simulacrum but claims that the crimes were done by a Daedric doppelganger — which is known to have happened with other people, hence how a final sentencing has dragged on for three decades. The right ending to the quest reveals that the crimes were committed by a Daedric doppelganger — but a guilty sentence is still accurate, if misleading, as the Casik they have in prison is the doppelganger, seemingly having forgotten they aren't the real one somewhere along the way.
- Dungeon-Based Economy: The Telvanni town of Marog actually bases its economy on looters, archaeologists, and adventurers exploring the nearby ruins of Kemel-Ze.
- Easter Egg: Much like the base game, there are items that can only be gotten by doing very specific actions. For example, the Battlemage's Cuirass can only be acquired by offering Tynachos Azura's Star filled with the soul of Vivec or Almalexia without any quest or dialogue pointing to it being possible to do so.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Old Ebonheart is in much a piece of Cyrodiil plunked down in the middle of Morrowind, which means it features political, social and material elements more similar to Cyrodiil than the surroundings, including some that are featured in Tamriel Rebuilt before Province: Cyrodiil — such as the Briricca Private Bank, owned by Heartlander merchant nobility.
- Enslaved Elves: Though most slaves are beastfolk, it's not hard to find human and elven slaves.
- Eternal Engine: The Dwemer ruins of Kemel-Ze.
- Evil Tainted the Place: Aranyon Pass sure has a lot of undead...
- Feed the Mole: A quest for House Telvanni involves ferretting out a Mages Guild spy by baiting several suspects with fake intel about Telvanni agents in the Guild and seeing if any of the "agents" suddenly disappear. A similar quest for the Mages Guild involves determining if one of their moles with the Telvanni (the same mole as in the other quest, in fact) has become a Double Agent by "leaking" information about a fake Guild expedition to them and seeing if the Telvanni act on it.
- First Town: Teyn is an unusual case. It is not an actual first town (unless you use other mods), but it is designed to somewhat mirror its counterpart on the other side of the Inner Sea (Morrowind's First Town, Seyda Neen) and consequently to act as a good starting place if you go directly to the mainland at level 1 and look as a place where people might first arrive in Morrowind (complete with a Census & Excise office).
- Fungus Humongous: This is Morrowind, so mushrooms are everywhere. The fungus-riddled Tevanni Isles and the desolate Grey Meadows are the most notable examples.
- Ghost City: The fabled ruins of Kemel-Ze can be considered this. The only living residents are archaeologists and surprisingly polite looters. Go deeper in and you'll run into residents who are less alive and less friendly.
- Good Shepherd: Though the Temple is shown to be pretty corrupt in the main game, many of the mainland priests seem to care for their flocks. Those in Telvanni territory continue serving the faithful despite the persecution they suffer.
- Happiness in Slavery: Some house slaves appear relatively content with their lot, and may even express genuine loyalty to their masters. The field slaves usually don't feel this way.
- Hermit Guru: Tamriel Rebuilt adds new Master Trainers, and continues the tendency for many but not all of them to fall near this trope:
- Margia Sycora (a master of alchemy), Massitha (a master of illusion magic) and Za'bar (a master of acrobatics) all live in caves of their own. Appropriately to his specialisation, Za'bar's cave requires high acrobatics (or magic) to even reach.
- Bel-Betu (a master of enchantment) exists in Sehetu, a building hidden inside a cave behind a magical maze. Unlike the others, he couldn't leave even if he wanted to as his survival is down to being ensconced inside magical machinery.
- Holy City: Necrom is the standout, a sacred city of the dead boasting a brand-new architectural style. Entire neighborhoods are devoted to corpse preparation and interment. The cities of Almalexia and Almas Thirr also qualify for this trope.
- Holy Ground: The areas around Necrom, the Sacred Lands, are an example of this.
- Illegal Religion:
- House Telvanni openly bullies and persecutes the Tribunal Temple, even though the Temple is the official state religion. There's even a quest that assigns you to get rid of a local preacher (though you have a lot of options in how you can handle it). However, some Telvanni lords tolerate the Temple (and one is implied to be religious himself).
- The Temple has the authority to outlaw religions and heresy (except for the Imperial Cult) within Morrowind as a clause of the Armistice. The Empire tends to dislike the idea of outlawing religions for theological reasons, as a lingering reaction to the extremism of the Marukhati period — which does not mean it does not outlaw religions, it just does so for political reasons, like connections to anti-Imperial movements (many Meridian cults), being involved with conspiracies to usurp the throne (there was a crackdown on Mehrunes Dagon cults after the Simulacrum) or attacking the legitimacy of the Septim Dynasty (Arcturianism).
- Layered Metropolis: Port Telvannis is an unusual example, with many shops and even entire manor houses grown over the lower pods.
- Mad Oracle: Aurelia Draconis in Old Ebonheart has considerable natural faculty for communing with and channelling the dead. Unfortunately, she isn't aware of this nor has she any training in it, which has resulted in her visions and accidental summonings leaving her somewhat… detached from reality around her.
- Mithril: Re-introduced from the older games, but given a new niche. Mithril here is a Breton-made (but derived from Direnni experiments, hence the association with elves) alloy of iron and spellstone (a sort of solidified magical residue), and acts as a sort of side-grade to adamantium, not as tough or hard-hitting, but lighter and easier to enchant.
- Original Flavour: A variation in that the aim is to be true to the lore and flavour at the time of Morrowind, which means that — especially prominently in the Project Tamriel provinces — it can end up fairly diverged from actual later Bethesda releases covering the same areas (for example, a major aspect of the PT Cyrodiil is the difference between Colovians and Nibenese, something prominent in the First Edition Pocket Guide to the Empire but barely mentioned in Oblivion).
- Our Orcs Are Different: The Malakh Orcsnote are a subgroup of orcs found in the mountains between Morrowind and Cyrodiil/Skyrim who can essentially be summed as exaggerated orcs — stronger, larger, more aggressive and a more intense berserker rage, but also even more fragmented and isolated from mainstream Tamrielic society with the "barbarity" that comes from that.
- Portal Network:
- The two portal networks of the main game are, respectively, expanded and planned to be expanded on the mainland — there is a mainland Guild Guide network which is connected to the Vvardenfell network, and some of the mainland Chimer strongholds have functional propylon chambers — which might be more important than on Vvardenfell, as not all of the strongholds will necessarily be accessible by normal meansnote .
- While it is not part of an actual in-game network yet given none of the other nodes are close to finished, the Weir Gate in Old Ebonheart lorewise connects provincial Legion headquarters.
- Prestigious Player Title: A design point is that Morrowind's primary PPT, being the Nerevarine, ties into Dunmer legends and stories and comes with facing a threat people outside Morrowind don't really have the context to understand the scope of... so while it will grant respect throughout most of TR, if at times begrudgingly, it won't do much in the areas PT covers, outside special cases like the Dunmer diaspora in Cheydinhal and Winterhold. Of course, those areas will have their own prestigious titles the player can gain, just not as singular and mythically important.
- Rage Helm: In addition to the solemn "Frozen Face" Indoril helm of the main game, there are specialized Ordinator groups whose helmets are altered to show other emotions. The ones who have shown up thus far are the Ordinators in Mourning, the guards for the necropolis of Necrom, whose helmets are designed to look like a crying face.
- Reasonable Authority Figure:
- Master Mithras, one of the few Telvanni lords who actually care about his subjects. Just remember: reasonable isn't the same as nice...
- Rilmas Athyrion, the Telvanni leader in Marog, may also count.
- Shout-Out: Bel-Betu, the Master of Sehutu, is a reference to Mr. House. His personality, goals and influence is entirely different, but he is in a magical version of House's physical situation (ensconced in machinery beneath his base of operations that keeps him alive and lets him communicate with the outside world, primarily operates through non-living minions and, if you come along and join him, a single highly competent operative), and his name means (more-or-less) "Mr. House" in Assyrian.
- Swamps Are Evil:
- The Sundered Scar fits the bill, being a large region of swampland infested with durzogs that is also home to Ruinous Keep, the skeleton-filled lair of a powerful lich and her human lover.
- Averted with the Inlet Bog, which is somewhat dangerous but not particularly awful.
- The City Narrows: The poor section of Old Ebonheart is an example, complete with a local gang.
- The Witch Hunter: In addition to being a base class, you can help a pair of witch hunters clear out a Daedric ruin.
- Truce Zone: The Temple-run bridge city of Almas Thirr straddles the Thirr River, and keeps some degree of peace between House Hlaalu and House Indoril. Downplayed in that the Temple tends to favor House Indoril (and vice versa), but the priests there do seem to keep things calm.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The Sogat Dur-Gada is an underground group seeking the return of the areas Hammerfell lost in the War of Bend'r-mahk (the Skyrim perspective is that the areas were reclaimed, as they were only lost by Skyrim less than two centuries prior, as a result of the War of the Red Diamond). From their own perspective, they are liberators fighting against Nord oppressors, while from the Nord perspective they are terrorists. From the perspective of the rump Bend'r Mahk government in Dragonstar West, they are extremists that vary between being useful and being a threat to sober, considered preparations to reclaim the lost territory of the Bend'r Mahk (or at least Dragonstar East, which had been in Hammerfell even before the War of the Red Diamond).