Thursday, February 13, 2014

Morrowind Day 78 - The Planning Stage

1 Sun's Dusk
The documents provided by Vivec have shed a lot of light on the infestation of Red Mountain and what I need to do in order to 'save' Morrowind from Dagoth Ur's blight. I spent this morning reading everything that was provided to me and came up with a plan of my own.

The first document detailed what the Temple believed to be Dagoth Ur's ultimate plan for Morrowind. They helpfully broke down the plan into categories and I have noted on a separate document and in this journal what I believe my response to each of Dagoth Ur's goals should be. Below is my transcription of the Temple document.

Dagoth Ur's Basic Objectives
  1. Establish a theocratic government based on the worship of Akulakhan/Second Numidium (note to self: what is this?) to be created by Dagoth Ur. The resulting unification of the Dunmer would then be used to drive the foreigners out of Morrowind. The Temple document points out that this belief mirrors that of the long-dead Dwemer priest Kagrenac, whose enchanted tools are in posession of Dagoth Ur. I would speculate that Kagrenac may be acting through Dagoth Ur by influence of the tools, but who knows?
  2. Expose the false worship of the Tribunal and destroy the Temple as a religious and political organization.
  3. Eliminate all foreigners from Morrowind.
  4. Recover the ancient Dunmer territories in Skyrim and Argonia.
  5. Extend the religion of Akulakhan/Second Numidium to Tamriel.
Unfortunately I have no clue what form this Akulakhan/Second Numidium thing is supposed to take. Is it a device? A creature? A piece of armor or a weapon? I do not know yet. I remember hearing about something called 'Numidium', but I have forgotten what little I had heard. Whatever it is, the Temple seems to think Dagoth Ur is close to finishing the crafting of such a thing, so time is certainly not on my side here.

Dagoth Ur's Plans for the Sixth House
  1. Secure Red Mountain against intruders
  2. Expand the Sixth House's influence through dream manipulation, targeting coastal villages and the waterfront districts of Vivec. Willing followers from the poorer groups of society are being consciously approached by Sixth House agents. The Temple's document singles out the Dunmer fortress Kogoruhn as Dagoth Ur's largest base outside of Red Mountain.
  3. Expand from coastal villages to inland towns and send cultists to occupy abandoned places.
  4. Utilize assassination to eliminate high-ranking officials in the Imperial and Hlaalu organizations.
Having been within Ghostfence, I can attest to the security of Red Mountain against adventurers, but I have been able to make a respectable amount of progress with mapping its interior. The second item does a lot to clear up the mystery of the babbling people I have encountered and I need to make their release a priority. The fishing villages (unfortunately) require my attention as well.

Vivec's own document, optimistically titled 'Plan to Defeat Dagoth Ur' is really just series of broad steps to recover Kagrenac's tools, Sunder and Keening. I would call it more a series of instructions than an actual plan, for it makes the recovery of the tools sound as simple as walking into the Red Mountain ruins, picking up the tools, and walking out. I have yet to be able to complete a single patrol around the inside of the Ghostfence, so I do not think I would survive an attempt to recover these tools just yet.

The tool 'Wraithguard' that Vivec gave me appears to be a normal Dwemer armored gauntlet and is a very awkward fit. I will not be wearing it until it is absolutely required.

These are the objectives I have set for myself:
  1. Complete a patrol of the area outside of the Ghostfence to probe for weak points and possible routes of entry/exit that may be unknown to the Temple.
  2. Visit each of the coastal towns and search for smugglers' dens/mines that may be harboring Sixth House agents. This will take a lot of time without paying for boats, but Folm's ability to send me to the Dunmer fortresses might make up for it.
  3. Visit each of the inland towns and interview people in an effort to identify those experiencing disturbing dreams. Their presence may indicate a nearby Sixth House base, but I do not know how far Dagoth Ur's control reaches, so my assumption may not be true.
  4. Assault fortress Kogoruhn once again. If Dagoth Ur is using it as his main operational base outside of Red Mountain, then it stands to reason that there is some way to pass between the fortress and the inside of Red Mountain that has escaped the Temple's notice. I need to find this way and either close it or exploit it for my own use.
  5. Raid the ruins of Red Mountain to acquire the tools of Kagrenac, Sunder and Keening.
Objective number one is the easiest. There is nothing I have yet encountered outside Red Mountain that has caused me any great alarm, even immediately bordering Ghostfence. I was resolved to walk entirely around the outside of the Fence and explore any tombs or mines I came across.

The land around Ald'ruhn does not lend well to walking and I wound up having to use my levitation amulet more times than I anticipated, just to get over a particularly steep hill or across a small gorge. It was obvious that the Ghostfence was something of a rushed thing, for it cut right through several paths that used to be roads leading into Red Mountain.

I did find a tomb built just outside the Ghostfence and I admit to being pretty excited at finding an underground entrance to Red Mountain so quickly. But it was just a regular ancestral tomb with a few undead guardians, the skeletal remains of a would-be looter, and no treasure to write of.
My walk around Ghostfence brought me to Ghostgate by early afternoon and I decided to stop in for supplies and information about the interior of Red Mountain. I entered the Temple's tower, the Tower of Dusk, first and received a much warmer welcome from them than I have been in quite some time. They admitted to the situation being very confusing to them, but Lord Vivec's confirmation of me as Nerevarine was all the Temple needed to lend me their support. Some of the Temple's acolytes were selling scrolls and potions, including several each of healing and restoration, which I purchased.

I was not able to get detailed information from anyone within the tower, other than that there were five ancient Dwemer strongholds within Red Mountain, each ruled by Dagoth Ur or one of his kinsmen, the Ash Vampires. Each of the strongholds are named for the Sixth House lord occupying it: Endusal, Odrosal, Vemynal, Tureynulal, and Dagoth.

A Buoyant Armiger standing in the Tower of Dawn eating area provided me a map of Red Mountain listing the compass points were each ruin could be found with Dagoth Ur's citadel at the center. Useful, but the accompanying illustration was a bit of a mystery, for it was really a map of the entire island and I do not know what point it served.
Surprisingly, there was an old Imperial Legion veteran named Wulf visiting Ghostgate. He looked exhausted, but when I caught his eye he motioned me over with a slight smile. He greeted me more amicably than I have been in a long time, describing Ghostgate as a "hell of a place" and asked why a Khajiit would be visiting. Thinking the man was friendly and drunk, I told him the complete truth: That I was recognized as the reincarnation of the Dunmer warlord, Lord Nerevar, and I was at Ghostgate to gather what information I could about confronting and defeating Dagoth Ur. He laughed uproariously and slapped me on the back (a first for me) and exclaimed what terrible luck I had to draw that lot. He explained that he had served in the Legion all his life and had always wanted to see the cursed Red Mountain of Morrowind, but after finally making it to Ghostgate, he found his health and age prevented him from going any further beyond. He asked that I carry his lucky coin with me when I defeat Dagoth Ur as a sort of memento to the warrior he used to be. I agreed and he handed me a very worn coin, wishing me luck with a grin. I did likewise and walked upstairs to talk with some of the Buoyant Armigers.

When I came back downstairs after fruitlessly quizzing the warriors about the Red Mountain, Wulf was gone...and no one could remember ever seeing him at all, even the woman tending the bar where he had been resting. Very strange! Holding the coin makes me feel optimistic for my own journey and I hope the aged warrior is relaxing at somewhere safer than Ghostgate by now.

My journey around the exterior of the Ghostfence continued after lunch and the weather was unusually clear. From a small hillside outside Ghostfence I could just barely see the Red Mountain citadels of the Sixth House.
The weather did not last long. A Blight storm whipped up without warning minutes after leaving Ghostgate and I became disorientated. I stumbled around the unfamiliar ground as best I could, but I had to conclude that Dagoth Ur had won one over on me today. It was simply too dangerous to proceed forwards without being able to see.

I recalled back to Ald'ruhn and spent the rest of the evening repairing my equipment and going over my plans again. Tomorrow I will try to walk around Ghostfence starting from the west side rather than the east as today and hopefully complete the patrol so I can start visiting the coastal villages soon.

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