"I hope you're all taking notes, because there's going to be a quiz next period."
                                ----- Tom Leher (from "An Evening wasted with...")

The next morning, we got up and reported the incident to the members of the Mage's Guild of our attack in the middle of the night. Naturally, "The guards will be informed." was the standard response. I knew they'd never catch the attackers on their way in.

We headed to the teleport chamber and headed to the offices in Caldera.   


It was 6 am, and still dark outside when we arrived in Caldera. We stopped by the outfitter's shop and picked up some food supplies, then headed to our home.   


Once home, we both changed into something a bit less shaggy.

I told Laurenna I would be teleporting to Solstheim Castle and check over the books and papers I had been given, and that I would be back in time for dinner, if not sooner.

I gave her some gold to go buy some pretty dresses, and teleported to the castle. As much as I hate homework, there was a lot to review, and I wanted to do it in a quiet place, undisturbed for a few hours.  


Once back at the castle, I headed directly to the kitchen, and had the cook make me a nice, hot cup of tea. I then headed upstairs to the lab.  


Once in the lab, I cleared one of the work benches, and sorted out all of the papers and books I had been given by the monestary.

I hate homework, but some of these books might answer a lot of questions.

The first book I looked over was "Nerevar Moon-and-Star". It implied that in ancient days the Deep Elves and a great host of outlanders from the west (the Nords, if I remembered my history correctly) came to steal the land of the Dunmer. Nerevar was a leader of the House People, but also honored the Ashlander customs, and pledged on is great Ring of the Ancestors, One-Clan-Under-Moon-and-Star, to honor the ways of the Spirits and rights of the Land. He managed to unite all four tribes and the three houses in Vvardenfell, and fought a great battle at Red Mountain. Many died in battle at Red Mountain, the Dwemer were defeated, and their evil magicks destroyed, and the outlanders were driven from the land. However, treachary was afoot: The khans of the Great Houses slew Nerevar in secret, and set themselves up as gods. The book went on to say that Nerevar will come again with his ring, and will cast down those false gods and by the power of his ring, will make good on his promises to the Tibes, to honor the Spirits and drive the outsiders from the land.

The next thing I checked into was a paper called "Saint Nerevar". It said that Nerevar was the greatest Dunmer general, First Councilor, and companion of Vivic, Almalexia, and Soth Sil, and with the power of this same ring mentioned in the earlier book, united the four tribes and three houses to confront the Dwemer, the treacherous House Dagoth, and their Western allies at Red Mountain.

I thought about this for a moment. In my dreams, Dagoth Ur actually called me a friend, and that Nerevar had betrayed him. I was a little confused by that, but I decided to read on.

It went on to say that the Dwemer were utterly destroyed, and allies defeated, but that Nerevar had been mortally wounded in combat with Dagoth Ur. It said that he was driven from Red Mountain. It also said he died of his wounds not longer after, but managed to live long enough to see the birth of the Temple, bless the unity of the Dunmer into the safekeeping of Almsivi, the Temple, and their saints.

Two different versions of the same story - similar, but with a different direction.

The third thing I checked into was a book called "The Real Nerevar", written by some Telvanni, but listed no sources. It started pretty much the same way; Dunmer followed Veloth into Morrowind, starting off as many warring clans, no law or leader in common, and Nerevar managed to unite them all for a common good.

It also said that Nerevar went in secret to a Dwemer smith who made this Moon-and-Star ring mentioned in the earlier texts. The ring was enchanted in such a way that only Nerevar could wear it, for it was set up to kill anyone else who wore it. It was said that this ring helped Nerevar unit the various clans into what was called the First Council. However, disputes over religion divided the Council, with House Dwemer and House Dagoth on one side, and all the other houses on the other. The book said that House Dwemer and Dagoth invited Orc and Nord clans as allies, and held northwest Morrowind while Nerevar mustered the other houses and tribes into one force to fight them. As mentioned earlier, the battle took place at Red Mountain, which was a Dwemer stronghold. There was mention of great slaughter and terrible sorceries being used, resulting in the total extermination (to use the book's words) of House Dwemer, House Dagoth, and their allies. As stated in the other papers, it indicated that Nerevar was killed in the battle, but this book said his ring had been lost. It did say that Nerevar's alliance survives in Morrowind's ruling political institution known as the Grand Council.

I figured that the Dwemer had to have done something terrible in order to be wiped out like that, but how?

I read over "The Lost Prophecy" again, mentioning an "Outlander Incarnate beneath Red Mountain," countering seven curses, and so on. I decided I'd let the Wise Woman figure out what all this meant. My eyes went to the part of the page, however, that mentioned "Star-blessed hand wields thrice-cursed blade." Master Barelo mentioned that this might have something to do

I grabbed the paper titled "Kagrenac's Tools". I had heard of this magecrafter from the last living dwarf in the Corprusarium. What I read gave me some insight was to what the Dwemer were trying to do that caused this war in the first place:

"Beneath Red Mountain, Dwemer miners discovered a great magical stone. By diverse methods, Lord Kagrenac, High Priest and Magecrafter of the ancient Dwemer, determined that this magical stone was the heart of the god Lorkhan, cast here in the Dawn Era as a punishment for his mischief in creating the mortal world". (It seems that he tricked the other gods into creating it, and their reaction was one of "We are NOT amused." The rest, of course, was history.)

"Determined to use its divine powers to create a new god for the exclusive benefit of the Dwemer, Kagrenac forged three great enchanted artifacts, which are called 'Kagrenac's Tools'. Wraithguard is an enchanted gauntlet to protect its wearer from destruction when tapping the heart's power. Sunder is an enchanted hammer to strike the heart and produce the exact volume and quality of power desired. Keening is an enchanted blade that is used to flay and focus the power that rises from the heart.

When Kagrenac used these tools on the heart in the Battle of Red Mountain, no one knows what happened, but the Dwemer race disappeared entirely from the mortal world. Lord Nerevar and Lord Dagoth retrieved these tools, and didn't know what to do with them. Nerevar asked Dagoth to guard the tools while he went to consult with his counselors, Vivic, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil. He left and spoke with his three counselors, and they decided to return together to Red Mountain to decide what to do.

But while Nerevar was gone, Daogth was tempted and confused by the powers of the tools. When Nerevar and the counselors arrived, he refused to give up the tools, claiming he had sworn to Nerevar to protect them. Dagoth Ur fought with Nerevar and the counselors, and was mortally wounded, driven off, and the tools were recovered."

I found this last part pretty strange. I was under the impression that House Dagoth and House Dwemer were on the same side. Why would Nerevar trust Dagoth Ur with such powerful tools? What had caused Nerevar to leave them in Dagoth's care? I wasn't sure of the answer, but read on.

"Then Nerevar and his counselors decided to take the tools for safekeeping. They all swore a great oath never to use the tools, but after Nerevar's death, Vivic, Almalexia, and Soth Sil yielded to temptation. They took these tools themselves and went to Lorkhan's heart buried beneath Red Mountain, and gave themselves divine powers."

Well, that would explain why Vivic didn't want anyone to know where his powers came from. No wonder anyone trying to expose this was locked up! But wait: there was more:

"But Dagoth Ur had not died. We don't know what happened, but this is what we believe. His experiements with Kagrenac's Tools had joined him to the heart's divine nature in some way, so that he learned to draw power directly from the heart.

We conjecture that Dagoth Ur, diven by anger and greed, used the heart without caution and restraint, and, as a result, he has become terribly powerful, and terribly mad. But the Tribunal showed great care and restraint in their use of the tools, and so they were not driven mad, and they did many good things. None-the-less, the Tribunal, too, appear to have been corrupted by the heart's power, though more subtly.

Kagrenac's Tools are cursed. Stealing power from the heart of a god is a terrible folly, and fated to the power of the heart. They are sustained by the same tained power that drives Dagoth Ur mad. They grow weak, and cannot protect us from Dagoth Ur. But even if they could, would we be wise to worship gods such as these? They conceal the truth from us out of shame. They persecute the Nerevarine and the Dissident priests out of shame, when they should be welcoming them and enlisting their aid against Dagoth Ur.

The Tribunal have done much good for Morrowind and the Dunmer. But they succumbed to the temptation of Kagrenac's Tools, and though these tools once may have seemed the instruments of salvation, now they must be seen as instruments of doom."

"Keening and Sunder" I thought. I remembered something in a book I had seen, long ago. It was a quest I had done for one of the Mage's Guild guides, Edwina in Ald'ruhn, I think. I looked at the books in front of me to my right. I had retrieved those books in an old Dwemer stronghold, but the pages had images that didn't make sense to me.





Until now.  In one of the books was something I had seen so long ago, and now the images made sense.




These were diagrams of the heart, Keening, and Sunder, and showing their useage.   


The other book was from the same stronghold, but showed some kind of humanoid creature. This was probably the 'god' the Dwemer were constructing.   


I decided to head back to Balmora and have dinner. It was late, and I had been reading this all day, trying to make sense of it all.

The one important thing was that there were several indications that the Tribunal wasn't all it was cracked up to be, and that they fell to the same temptation as Dagoth Ur.

One thing was certain: Nerevar had been killed at the battle of Red Mountain, but how? Did he die of the wounds he had received in battle, or did the Tribunal have something to do with it? These papers all seemed to show several different versions of history, but none of them matched any of the others. It was as if certain details were being messed with, either for the benefit or detriment of someone or something.

And finding out what and who would have to wait for the next day, because I heard the clock strike 5 pm, and if I was late for dinner, I'd have an angry Laurenna to deal with as well.