The door closed behind us as soon as we were through the threshold.

We waited a few moments for our eyes to adjust to the light.

In the dim light, we could see a figure, floating in the air just ahead of us.


"We have business to discuss, you and I"

He certainly wasn't what I expected. He looked thin, gaunt, as if the last several thousand years of floating in the air, holding up the Ministry of Truth in the air, and maintaining the power of the Ghostfence was taking everthing else out of him.

"When I was young, like you, I was very impatient." he said. "So, I willkeep our business short. Then, later, there may be time for other things. First, I propose to remove my curse upon the Nerevarine, end the persecution of the Dissident Priests, and proclaim to all Morrowind, that Eldorf Dragonmeal is the Incernate and Nerevarine, the prophesied savior of Morrowind, and the last hope to withstand the manace of Dagoth Ur and the Sixth House. These things I will do, whether you wish or not."

So far, so good. I was no longer a wanted man.    


"Next," he continued, "I propose to surrender to you the power and responsibility of defeating Dagoth Ur. You may choose to refuse; I will not compel you. You will receive the power as a gift, in the form of an artifact called 'Wraithguard'. You may accept the gift, then do with it as you will. You will receive the responsibility as an oath. You may give your oath, then keep it or break it as you like."

Well, that seems a little wishy-washy to me, but ok, let's continue.

"First, will you accept Wraithguard as a gift?" he asked.

I accepted.

"Good. Sensible of you." he replied. "And now, will you give your oath, before all gods and men, before all spirits visible and invisible, before my honor and your honor, to dedicate yourself and Wraithguard to the defeat and destruction of Dagoth Ur, and the preservation of Morrowind and it's people?"

No small task, but I had come this far, and the wisewoman said I would need Wraithguard to defeat Dagoth Ur. I accepted this oath.    


"Very well." he replied. "You will now have a brief, momentary sensation of time passing. Don't be alarmed. You are being taken out of time in order to avoid the unpleasant experience of learning how to use Wraithguard. It will be done before......"

I had a brief sensation of motion in total darkness, floating, but without a sense of weight or direction, then suddenly I heard his voice again.

" know it." Now, I will notify the Temple that you are our champion. There shall be no more persecution of the Dissident Priests, and I hope both sides shell swiftly be reconciled."     


"We have time for questions, if you like" he continued, "or you may leave, if you wish. But I think there are at least two things you ought to know before you leave; how to use Wraithguard, and how to defeat Dagoth Ur."

"What about Dagoth Ur's defenses?" I asked.

"Confer with the ordinators and Buoyant Armigers garrisoning Ghostgate for the latest information about the defenses of the citadels of Dagoth Ur and his hearthwight kin."

"What can you tell me about Dagoth Ur's plans?"

"We know nothing for sure," he replied, "but we have learned much from interrogating Sixth House cultists and victims of dream compulsions, and from our study of Dagoth Ur's actions. The temple scholars and Inquisitors have prepared a document entitled 'Dagoth Ur's Plans' that summarizes what we know or suspect." I found a copy of this document in my left hand, though I do not remember picking it up from anywhere.


"What can you tell me of his powers? I asked.

"He is able to send his mind into the dreams of susceptible victims across vast distances." he replied. "The victims are either swayed by his compulsions or driven mad. He also seems nearly invulnerable to physical and magical harm. His flesh, and the flesh of his followers, evolves towards a mutable, magical form. Dagoth Ur and the highest ranks can control the distorted manifestations of their flesh; lower ranks lose control of their bodies, and become mindless corprus monsters."

"What of his servants?"

"Chief among his servants are his seven brothers, the ash vampires." he replied. "They are powerful hartwights and cunning sorcerers of old. These creatures appear to die, but always are revived at the Heart. Somehow, Dagoth Ur has conferred some portion of his immortality upon them. Or perhaps they sustain themselves through more conventional sorcery."     


"So, Lord Vivec," I asked, "what is our plan? How do we defeat this evil thing?"

"To defeat Dagoth Ur, go to Red Mountain." he replied. "There, you must recover the artifact hammer Sunder from Gate Citadel Vemynal. You must then proceed to recover the artifact blade Keening from Gate Citadel Odrosal. Once you have them, along with Wraithguard, proceed to the citadel of Dagoth Ur. Within the citadel, find the Heart of Lorkhan. Use the three artifacts to sever Dagoth Ur's connection to the heart, and he will be destroyed, and the Blight ended on Morrowind."


"How exactly do I use Keening and Sunder" I asked. "Do I use them on him?"

"No." came the reply. "To destroy Dagoth Ur, you must sever his connection with the Heart of Lorkhan. To do this, strike the Heart with the hammer Sunder once, then strike the Heart more than once with the blade Keening. You must wear Wraithguard when using them, because without it, their profain magic will kill you.


"I give you further council." he continued. Prepare for war. Beyond the Ghostfence, there are no safe places, no allies. Stockpile resources. Plan for retreat and replenishment. Quest for artifacts of power."

"Ordinators and Buoyant Armigers stationed at Ghostgate have the most practical knowledge of the nightmare world inside the Ghostfence. Seek them in my name for counsel and aid."


"One more thing." I said. "What really happened during the battle of Red Mountain?"

Without hesitation, Vivec responded, as if he knew the question would come up. "In my library, I have made available two conflicting accounts of the events of Red Mountain, my own true account, and another false account common among the Ashlanders and preserved in the Apographa. I don't care whether you believe my account or not. I leave it up to you to judge which is true."


Laurenna tapped me on the shoulder. While I had been busy speaking with Vivec, she had found something of interest - it was this "library" that Vivec had spoken of.

"You might want to see this." she said.


There, displayed neatly for all to read (both of us), were all these pieces of information that Vivec wanted us to have, including that account of the Battle of Red Mountain, that had two possible storylines, depending upon who's account you wanted to believe.

The Battle of Red Mountain
This was Vivec's account of the Battle of Red Mountain.

Nerevar at Red Mountain
This account was supposedly written by a close friend of General Nerevar.

(NOTE: Each link opens in a separate window)


Both accounts were similar for a large number of points, but differed greatly where it came to the point about how Nerevar died, when and how the Dwemer vanished, and exactly when the Tribunal turned themselves into gods.

There was also a time line of events leading up to the current situation. Apparently, Dagoth ur and his ash vampires emerged from Red Mountain into the Heart Chamber in the 882nd year of the Second Era (2E882), and bound himself and his brethren as heartwights in a ritual of his own devising. This was when it is thought he began construction of the Second Numidium.

Around that same year, The Tribunal arrived at Red Mountain for their annual ritual of bathing in the Heart's power. Since they had been doing this yearly for so long, they had no idea that Dagoth Ur was now active. The Tribunes were driven away, and prevented from restoring themselves from Kagrenac's tools at the Heart of Lorkhan.

Between 2E882 and 3E417, the Tribunal tried several assaults on Red Mountain, but were repeatedly driven back. By now, Dagoth Ur was recruiting Sleepers and Dreamers through dream sendings. Cultists were recruited through dream compulsion. Weaker cultists became corpus beasts; stronger cultists advance to creatures such as Ascended Sleepers.

Around 3E410, Sixth House bases were founded near Gnaar Mok and near areas of Vivec. Smugglers were hired to pass around those small ash statues that I had been finding here and there. These devices (according to the Illuminated Order) were used to amplify the dream sendings from Dagoth Ur.

I noted that at 3E417, Almalexia and Sotha Sil lose the artifacts Keening and Sunder to Dagoth Odros and Venyn. Vivec managed to rescue the two other Tribunes, but failed to recover Keening and Sunder. The Tribunal retreated from Red Mountain in disorder. The Three Tribunes returned to their respective capitals and continue to perform their ritual functions.

As they no longer had access to the Heart, their powers would continue to weaken. This would prove a factor in their strengths, since it required a lot of energy to maintain the Ghostfence. Without that reconnection to the Heart, it is feared the Ghostfence would eventually fall.

Between 3E426-427, there were a number of Sixth House assassinations of prominent Imperial Citizens and Hlaalu Imperial sympathizers. There was also a sudden increase in the number and seriousness of attacks by cultists and victims deranged by soul sickness.

Also noted:

  1. Dagoth Ur can apparently perceive and communicate directly through his cultists. Sleepers and dreamers are often reported speaking as though with Dagoth Ur's voice and intention.
  2. Little is known about the features, scale, or state of completion of Akulakhan (Second Numidium). No one has gained entrance to the Heart Chamber since 2E282. In 3E417, Keening and Sunder were captured, and may substantially aid in Akulakhan's construction.

From interrogation of captured Sleepers and other Sixth House cultists, agents of Vivec were able to establish Dagoth Ur's plans.

  1. Establish a theocracy in Morrowind based on the worship of the new-born god Akulakhan (Second Numidium), created by Dagoth Ur from the Heart of Lorkhan and a body constructed according to the principles and rituals pioneered by Kagrenac. He would use Akulakhan to drive the Imperial forces out of Vvardenfell.
  2. Expose the false worship of the Tribunal and destroy the ecclesiastical authority and political power of the Temple.
  3. Extirpate all remaining individuals or inferior and mongrel races from Morrowind.
  4. Drive the Empire from Morrowind.
  5. Recover ancient territories stolen by Skyrim and Argonia.
  6. Extend the worship of Akulakhan to all nations of Tamriel through subversion and conquest.

There was more information, mostly the things Dagoth Ur would be concerned about, but one paragraph caught my eye:

"The Incarnate represents Saint Nerevar, a mythic force that has previously defeated Dagoth Ur, and Dagoth Ur is obsessed with this threat. At the same time, Dagoth Ur knew Nerevar personally, knew that he was a mortal man with faults and weaknesses. Dagoth Ur may have some hope of seducing or negotiating with Nerevar's reincarnation. Further, when Nerevar and the Tribunal defeated Dagoth Ur, they were strong and allied; now the Nerevarine and the Tribunal are weak, opposed, and divided. Therefore, though the Nerevarine and the Tribunal represent the most serious threat to Dagoth Ur's plans, he still has good reason to believe that this time he will prevail."


We had seen enough. We took our leave and headed back to the office of the archcanon to report our findings.


Tholer Saryoni acknowledged our arrival with a smile.

"We have heard the proclamation. Vivec has removed his curse upon the Nerevarine, and has ended the persecution of the Dissident Priests. Vivec has acknowledged you as the Incarnate and Nerevarine, the prophesied savior of Morrowind, and the last hope to withstand the menace of Dagoth Ur and the Sixth House.


There wasn't much more to say. Tholer wished me luck on my mission, a mission that would take me into the depths of Ghostgate, and into the heart of Red Mountain.

We decided to head back to Balmora and regroup my resources there.


Laurenna noticed that I was silent all the way back to Balmora.

"Are you ok?" she asked, concerned over the next step.

"I'll be ok." I replied. "I just have to think about the next step."

Heading into the middle of the most dangerous area of Vvardenfell was not high on my list of things to do, but I could see this is where I would need to go.    



PAGE 119