Hey everyone! We are grateful to all of you for the warm welcome you gave to first beta of Battle for Tamriel. Work on version 1.0 is in full swing and now it's time to talk about a race known for its age-old traditions, which include ancient magical practices, the art of armor-making, xenophobia, slavery, religious fanaticism, and more. We are talking, of course, about the Dunmer and their province of Morrowind.
UNDER SUN AND SKY, OUTLANDER, WE GREET YOU WARMLY
The history of Morrowind begins when the Chimer people, led by the prophet Veloth, arrived in northeastern Tamriel after the exodus from Summerset Isles due to religious schism. The Chimer settled on the territory of modern Morrowind and built the state of Resdayn there, but their existence was darkened, first by constant wars with the Dwemer, who lived on the territory of the island of Vvardenfell, and then by the occupation by the Nords, who always wanted to expand territories of their First Empire. To confront a common enemy, the Dwemer and Chimer had to unite. After defeating the Nords, they created a united kingdom, headed by the Chimer warlord Nerevar and the Dwemer king Dumak. However, the peace did not last long - disagreements led to a war, during which the Dwemer mysteriously disappeared from the face of Tamriel, and Nerevar was killed: according to one version, by his faithful friend Vorin Dagoth, and according to the other, by his comrades-in-arms Almalexia, Vivec and Sotha Sil. Be that as it may, the Three got their hands on the power of the tools of Kagrenac, became able to control the Heart of Lorkhan - the source of unprecedented power, and declared themselves gods of the Tribunal. Azura, the Daedric princess and patroness of the Chimer, cursed her people in revenge for this, turning them into Dunmer, dark elves.
Dunmer society is based on two key pillars: the Temple, which has an army of Ordinators at its disposal, and the Great Houses - kind of states within the state that independently govern various territories of the land of Veloth. Most Dunmer belong to one of the Great Houses and worship the living gods of the Tribunal. The decentralization of the Dunmer society has often played a cruel joke with them: despite the fact that many dark elves are fluent in sword or magic, due to disagreements between the Great Houses, they were several times unable to resist an external threat. However, when the Dunmer manage to cast aside contradictions, they become a force to be reckoned with.
WE ARE WATCHING YOU, SCUM
As we already mentioned, the Tribunal Temple and the Great Houses play an important role in the life of Morrowind, including the military one. Each Great House has many detachments of experienced warriors who, if necessary, can become a real army, and the Living Gods have at their disposal an army of fanatical Ordinator warriors.
Based on this, it is not hard to guess that in the two main barracks of Morrowind, the player will be able to train units of the Great Houses and Ordinators.
The first, starting barrack, the Great Houses Gathering, will allow the player to train Great Houses Infantry and Archers, the default units of Morrowind. These units are stronger than their starting counterparts from Skyrim and the Empire, they can fight on equal terms with the Stormcloaks and, with successful maneuvering, the soldiers of the Dominion, but will probably lose to the Imperial legions or Skyrim’s Bonebreakers. However, the Dunmer infantry is able to temporarily use enchanted swords, which allows them to inflict fire damage and, with the proper skill, defeat even legionnaires. At the second level of the barrack, the player will be able to train a unit of spearmen - Redoran Oathmen, and the Morrowind Waywatchers - the only cavalry in the faction's main roster. Waywatchers are cheap, but their stats are unlikely to allow the player to heavily rely on cavalry while playing Morrowind. At the third level of the Gathering, player will be able to recruit Redoran Warmasters - semi-elite infantry, comparable in strength to the Imperial City Cohort.
In the second barrack, Ordinator Citadel, player will be able to hire Ordinator Soldiers - an expensive Dunmer infantry, superior in stats to most of its counterparts in other factions and capable of forming shield wall. Along with them in Citadel player can also recruit Ordinator Spearmen, who will protect the Morrowind army from any cavalry threat. At the second level of the Citadel, the player will be able to recruit High Ordinators, strong single entities that deal splash damage and are extremely dangerous to enemy heroes. At the third level, the player will have access to the Morrowind’s hero unit - Buoyant Armigers, who can switch between swords and bows, shoot enchanted arrows and temporarily gain immunity to fire damage.
Each of the two remaining Morrowind barracks contains only one unit, but both are expensive and aimed at destroying buildings and large enemy armies. In the Silt-Strider Paddock, player will be able to hire Silt-Strider, a giant insect with a durable chitinous shell that will be able to break into enemy lines, inflicting massive damage, and in the Telvanni Tower, the player can recruit Telvanni Mages - fireball casters who serve as an elegant replacement for ballistas and catapults...
POWERFUL MAGES, GREAT WARRIORS AND DECEITFUL GODS
Morrowind will be one of five factions in the mod with seven heroes available for recruitment. Most of these will be familiar to players from TES III Morrowind, although some old-timers will get their looks from newer installments in the series.
The first hero of Morrowind will be a character from ESO - Naryu Virian, an assassin from the Morag Tong. As you might guess, in her arsenal there will be abilities that allow you to move stealthily across the battlefield and control enemy heroes.
Following her, the player will be able to recruit Neloth, a grumpy Telvanni wizard who is familiar to TES fans both from Morrowind and from the Dragonborn DLC. Neloth will strengthen allied units and heroes, and also has at hand a couple of spells from the school of Shadow Magic, which we believe he learned while studying Azra's staves.
The third hero of Morrowind will be none other than the Nerevarine himself, the incarnation of Nerevar Indoril and the protagonist of TES III Morrowind. He will give a leadership bonus to Great House units and use the magical abilities of the Tools of Kagrenac, Sunder and Keening, as well as Nerevar's magical sword - Trueflame.
The fourth hero of Morrowind is another Telvanni mage, Divayth Fir. He will use set of spells such as the ability to heal allies, subjugate lairs and summon his daughters to his aid. In battle, Divayth Fyr wields a Daedric mace called the Scourge, which will also be used for his most powerful spell.
Slots from the fifth to the seventh went to the Living Gods of the Tribunal, Almalexia, Vivec and Sotha Sil. Each of them will have a set of abilities that can easily change the course of the battle, however, in order to balance, in terms of spell power the ALMSIVI lose to expensive magicians such as Galerion and Abnur Tarn. This is compensated by powerful leaderships that they’ll give to Morrowind’s units as the spiritual leaders of this land.
OF GREAT HOUSES AND FACTION’S VISUAL APPEARANCE
Creation of the visual style of Morrowind was the hardest for us, due to the cultural diversity of the Dunmer people. The faction's main building design uses the neutral continental architecture style of the Dunmer capital, Mournhold, but several of the faction's buildings - Slave Farm, Ordinator Citadel, and Telvanni Tower - use different designs. Slave Farm will be similar to the wooden peasant buildings that can be found while walking around Vvardenfell, and Ordinator Citadel will resemble the cantons of Vivec and Molag Mar in its appearance.
We also had a long debate about how to give each of the Great Houses their place in gameplay and we believe that we found a way not to deprive anyone of attention, from Redoran and Indoril to the House Sadras mentioned in TES V Skyrim. Thus, the standard Great Houses Infantry and Archers will appear with random skins of one of the four Houses - Hlaalu, Telvanni, Dres or Redoran. House Indoril is presented by Ordinators, and a unit of Sadras Agents will be available to the player for summoning through a spellbook. House Redoran will also be able to deploy Oathmen and Warmasters - spearmen and elite warriors - on the battlefield, and Telvanni will play a key role in the siege of the enemy camp, because their mages will replace ballistas and catapults.A special unit of the House Hlaalu will be the Royal Guard, which King Helset Hlaalu can summon on the battlefield, while observing the battle from behind the fortress walls (we will talk about mechanics of the King of Morrowind in one of the following articles). A unique feature of House Dres will be the ability to hire Argonian slaves as cheap and extremely weak starting spearmen directly from any farm located on the battlefield.
Morrowind is a unique province, the culture and appearance of which is difficult to fit into one faction within the BFME engine. For example, the Ashlander tribes were not included in the main faction, but they will be available to the player for recruitment through the tavern and will fill the niche of light rifle cavalry. As for the Sixth House and the Tribe Unmourned - they also found a place, but we will talk about that later. In the following articles, we'll talk about the faction's spellbook, as well as the unique mechanics associated with King Hlaalu Helseth. That's all for now. Stay tuned as in the next article we’ll present to you the mighty sons of Skyrim.
Yours, LoRdNazguL and DaedraWarrior