• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Henry v. Keiper

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Just a few things...

I've gone through and played the game as far as I think I want to go with it, snapping screenshots along the way. So this AAR is pretty guaranteed to continue and finish, unless my laptop goes up in smoke, or some weird hobgoblin sneaks into my hard drive and deletes all the screenshots.

Also, after finishing up, I updated CK2 and downloaded the updated Elder Kings mod. I wanted to give a little shout out to them: it really is a fine mod, and they've updated a lot, not only in the graphics but in the gameplay. And yes, the new faces look AMAZING (look at Kolyfrog's new Orsinium AAR for a preview). I was looking at the Morrowind characters, and Nethyn and Rythe were barely recognizable (in a good way). It makes me wish I had waited a bit to start this AAR when the mod had updated, ha ha.

So in other words...

DOWNLOAD THE MOD, SUCKAZ.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Chapter 14

“Azura wants...our love above all.”

-- From
Invocation of Azura​

8 Evening Star, 470

All the council members were gathered, as were many of the nobles in the Hlaalu House. When Nethyn entered and moved towards the grandmaster’s chair, he took a moment to examine them all, one by one, darting his red eyes back and forth. None seemed particularly curious as to why this meeting had been called, and no doubt many of them thought it was the yearly “state-of-the-house” address, to make certain there were no pending matters or growing concerns across the region. When he arrived to the grandmaster’s chair, he turned and asked everyone to be seated. There was a shuffling of feet, the scuffling of chairs, and finally everyone found a spot at the long table - councilmen first, followed by nobles.

With everyone seated, comfortable, and eying him, Nethyn sat himself onto the grandmaster’s chair. He mused back to how twenty minutes ago, he had sat upon the chair as if it were some burden upon him, and yet now, after all this time, and after all he had gone through, he was sitting upon it as a true grandmaster. When he spoke, he spoke as one with great authority, from the chair of his leadership:

“I have asked you all here today because of two great changes I intend to make. First, I am sure we all remember the war with Eldrar that happened not too long ago. As we could see there, and the issues around it, there is unnecessary tension with the succession of the House. Our people must know that they will have an authority that will be strong in the face of great trials, and not wasting every opportunity bickering and arguing about who truly holds the reigns of power. Therefore, as of now, I am abolishing the electoral rule, and placing a primogeniture succession law upon the House of Hlaalu.”

The nobles and councilmen all exchanged nervous glances. Evos, Nethyn’s son, seemed to look rather relaxed, most likely because he knew that his current succession was secure, and the chance for another faction rising to oppose his rule had decreased.

“There is another serious matter I wish to discuss,” Nethyn continued, “for the past two decades, ever since my visit to Vvardenfell, I have begun to seriously consider the state of affairs with our people. We have strayed too far from where we were, and we have left those powers which assisted us in our meager states. We have attempted to place ourselves as gods above gods, and even worship those among us who believe they have obtained godhood. This is not how it should be. Despite our sins, however, Azura, Daedric Princess of Twilight, who was there to lead our people from the Aldmeri lands to Morrowind, has remained faithful and loving towards us, in spite of our transgressions. As such, I believe that she is truly watching over our people, and is truly preparing the coming of her champion. I know this because, ever since my pilgrimage to Vvardenfell, she has been speaking to me, and guiding me. My brothers and sisters in Hlaalu, I should have died when the axe hit my skull, but I was spared by the love of Azura, who appeared to me and told me that I would function in the preparation for the Nerevarine. It was Azura who guided me in the recent rebellion, leading me to victory. I have decided now that I can no longer live in secret, and I know in my heart that Azura will approve of this gesture as well. What you all choose to do with this information, I shall leave up to you - but as for me, and my leadership of House Hlaalu, we shall serve Azura and the True Tribunal.”

And there it was.

Needless to say, the room had become dead quiet. There was good reason for it as well: everyone knew that this meant Nethyn was setting House Hlaalu at odds with all the other houses, the courts of Mournhold, the Temple, and the very ALMSEVI Tribunal itself. He was, in essence, declaring complete spiritual, if not cultural and political, isolation with all other Dunmeri powers. Many seconds passed of awkward silence as Nethyn slowly scanned the room, waiting for the first real reaction.

The first to finally speak was Drilame, the Hlaalu Spymaster and priestess for the province of Idranel. Her words cut to the point:

“Have you gone insane?

“I am of sound mind and body,” Nethyn said curtly.

“Do you realize,” Drilame continued, “that you will, by this stupidity, turn the world in opposition to House Hlaalu?”

Without wasting a second, Nethyn replied, “Then I am against the world.”

Again, there was silence. Drilame looked about, frantically trying to see if anyone else would speak up. Her red eyes settled on Athyn, the Court Chaplain, and the one who had spoken the most to Nethyn on spiritual concerns. Impatiently, she cried out:

“Athyn! Speak! You are court chaplain!”

The court chaplain had spent the entire time staring at Nethyn, his hand curved over his mouth as if in contemplation. Ever since Nethyn had begun to speak, he had not left his gaze from Nethyn’s face. It was as if he had been studying Nethyn’s mannerisms, tones, and words. When Drilame spat at him, he shifted his eyes briefly to her, then back to Nethyn. The grandmaster returned the gaze, waiting patiently for Athyn to speak his mind. He showed his court chaplain neither a look of threat nor a look of pleading, but a look that simply wanted to know where this man was headed.

Finally, Athyn stood up, walked down along the table, and reached the grandmaster’s chair. In a calm voice, he said:

“For the past twenty years, grandmaster, I have watched you, as you went from a man with many flaws to a man with few. I saw you turn from a man with only a fleeting interest in spiritual matters to one with a great interest in them. I have seen a transformation in you that I have never seen, in all my years wearing the cloth. Such transformation can only come about in the heart, and such a transformation can only come from that which is god-like. Therefore, I have no doubt that Azura has started a work in you. It is therefore…” Athyn dropped to his knees, bowing his head and resting his right hand on his chest, “...it is therefore that I pledge my faith to Azura as well, and to her coming champion.”

Drilame’s jaw dropped, her red eyes growing as large as saucers. Then, Brelo Merosid, the marshal, and Varvur, the steward, stood up as well.

“I am certain I speak for Brelo as well as myself,” Varvur began, “when I say that what I witnessed in the rebellion was something I could have never expected, and the results were something I have not seen the ALMSEVI Tribunal give in the last few hundred years. It could only come from Azura. And so, I pledge my loyalty to Azura and her champion.”

“And I as well,” added Brelo.

And so it went around the room. Vatollio gave in as well. Velothis, the court wizard who was also the Muthsera of Velothis, pledged loyalty to Azura and her champion. Muthsera Hlanas of Padani stood and pledged his own loyalty. In the end, only Muthsera Trivon of Andrethis and Spymaster Priestess Drilame refused to pledge their loyalty.

“Insane, all of you!” cried out Drilame. “The wrath of Vivec shall come upon you all!” She didn’t wait to hear a response or rebuttal, for she simply turned and stormed out of the room, her long robes flowing behind her. Nethyn’s wife, who had said nothing so far, merely glared coldly at him, and then, after Drilame’s exit, stood and grabbed Evos’s hand and tugged him with her, taking the grown Dunmer out of the room without a protest from his lips.

And so, out of the ten nobles present, six had converted, and four had refused to break from the Temple Tribunal. In Nethyn’s mind, it had been one of the best meetings he ever held.

***​

Author’s Note: Remember in the OP I said there would be a few times where I enabled cheats? This was one of those times. I basically put in cheat codes to convert Nethyn to the Nerevarine faith, as well as to institute primogeniture succession. The former I did because all attempts to do it in-game had failed (I had thought sending him to Nerevarine territory would give me an event to convert); the latter I did because there was no way in-game for me to do it. Both times were merely for the sake of storyline, not to give me an unfair edge against the AI. I didn’t use cheats to convert the other characters - they were done in the normal way conversion works in CK2 (ie., asking them to convert), hence why some DIDN’T convert.

Also, 10 points to whoever spots the reference to a famous line in church history in this post.
 

KolyFrog

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“Do you realize,” Drilame continued, “that you will, by this stupidity, turn the world in opposition to House Hlaalu?”

Without wasting a second, Nethyn replied, “Then I am against the world.”

If my google search results is correct, you are referencing St. Athanasius's reply to a colleague when said colleague told him that the whole world is against him. “Then it is Athanasius against the world.”
 

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This chapter was so epic, despite it was only a council meeting. I'm glad the meeting went well there for you and that most of the council members converted.

Now I just wanna see how Temple and the false gods will react and of course the coming of Nerevarine. ;)
 

Henry v. Keiper

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If my google search results is correct, you are referencing St. Athanasius's reply to a colleague when said colleague told him that the whole world is against him. “Then it is Athanasius against the world.”
Very good. It was when Athanasius seemed to be the only one left after the Arians took over most of the Roman government and the church itself, during the period after the Council of Nicaea commonly known as the Arian Resurgence. He was very much in the same position Nethyn was in, albeit Athanasius was removed from his bishopric a total of five times.

You get a star. And possibly a brief cameo in a future update.

This chapter was so epic, despite it was only a council meeting. I'm glad the meeting went well there for you and that most of the council members converted.

Now I just wanna see how Temple and the false gods will react and of course the coming of Nerevarine. ;)
Glad you liked it. Sometimes I'm torn between quantity and quality in AAR updates. A long time ago, I read an AAR where it took five updates for two characters to walk down a hall - needless to say, it got painful. I do want readers to think I'm going somewhere with this, but I also think it's good to sometimes sit down and let characters breathe, so to speak.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Just FYI, might be a slight delay in the next post - just some RL issues. AAR is not abandoned, however.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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>.> I hate to mention it, but there are five great houses <.<.
My original description was (from the first chapter):

There are many houses, but only three Great Houses of note: Redoran, Telvanni, and Hlaalu. [emphasis mine]
You're right, there are quite a few more Great Houses than three, but in the game itself there are three that have any great territory (aside from the Dres, who I'll admit I did forget at the time of writing that).

House Indoril, in game, is present, but hold mostly leadership roles. They don't have territory like the other ones do.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Chapter 15

No doubt the morning after the council meeting, all of Morrowind was shocked to awake and find House Hlaalu to be Nerevarine. For now, of course, it was merely the government, for the most part, that was Nerevarine, but Nethyn hoped to change the will of the people towards Azura and the True Tribunal. His faithful court chaplain, Athyn, had begun to go out into the streets of Narsis and preach the coming of the Nerevarine and the blessings of the true Tribunal. At first, the response from the Dunmer was one of bewilderment at this, as it was perhaps the last thing most expected. Then, the bewilderment turned to rage, as some began to violently protest this. Athyn told his grandmaster that he seemed to recognize a few faces from his time studying theology with many who went on to serve in the Temple; these faces were seen stirring the crowd against him. Eager to protect his court chaplain, Nethyn assigned a personal guard to protect Athyn during his preaching.


In Frostfall of 471 2E, Morrowind declared war on the Temple. The reasons were like any before: there was territory on the mainland that the kingdom desired to take from the Temple. Many had taken to call these the “Petty Squabbles,” with the kingdom and the Temple compared to two bitter siblings. Nethyn was actually given a military command, as word of his skill in the face of Eldrar’s rebellion had made its way to the royal court, and he served as an officer until Morning Star of 472, when he was dismissed for other court duties.

Nethyn returned to Narsis at Sun’s Dawn, and found, in the courtyard, apparently awaiting his arrival eagerly, his own son, Evos. The grandmaster and son were soon going off to a secluded part of the estate, where Evos explained that he had been pondering the council meeting several months ago. He realized that Athyn was right - a change had come over Nethyn, a change unlike any most had ever seen in a Mer. Certainly it was common for drunkards to drop the bottle, or the profane to learn to guard their tongue, but Nethyn’s change appeared to have happened completely. From this, Evos decided that it would be best to heed his father’s request that he convert to the Nerevarine faith. So it was that on that day, Evos knelt before his father, begged for forgiveness of his arrogance and letting other forces lead him astray, and pledged to serve Azura and her coming champion. Nethyn said nothing - he simply took his son by the shoulders, helped him stand back up, and hugged him tight.


Not too long after, in the month of First Seed, a letter came in the mail. It was from Muthsera Trivon of Andrethis, one of those who had rejected the call for conversion at the council. As Nethyn sat down in his study to read, he could only gather from it that Trivon had come across some supposedly grand arguments that would forever seal Nerevarine beliefs in the ground. Many of them were beliefs Nethyn had heard on Vvardenfell, from Archcanon Farwil and others, and much of it no doubt Trivon took from others in the court who were hostile to Nethyn’s cause. Overall, it was a weak, flimsy letter of protest, attacking the Nerevarine faith but in no way truly representing it. Nethyn felt inspiration to write a response back, and dedicated the rest of the night to this endeavor. He chose his words carefully, and oftentimes censored himself when it seemed to him that he was not being gracious enough. As he sealed up the letter, he quietly prayed, “Let this be your message, O Azura, and not mine.”

Some days later, Nethyn received a response back. In it, Trivon wrote that he had seriously pondered what Nethyn had said, and meditated upon the great decision that lay before him. In the end, Trivon realized that the False Tribunal was blasphemy, and the True Tribunal served as the true deities of the Dunmeri people. In other words, Trivon had finally relented and converted to the Nerevarine faith. The letter brought a smile to Nethyn’s lips, and he clutched it to his chest.

By the year 473, things seemed to be going well for the Hlaalu grandmaster. His love for Azura began to grow, and he truly realized now that she really was caring for him, and watching over him. His passion for the True Tribunal began to grow, and he was now carrying himself with greater confidence in his faith. With each courtier who converted, he found it easier and easier to speak of his faith with boldness.


Then came one fateful night, on 30 Heartfire, 473, when the most extraordinary happened. It started, as things often did, with a dream. In the dream, Nethyn saw Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness himself, seated in a chair before a great and terrible void of blackness. He was wearing fine, purple garments with light brown pants, with one of his legs resting over the right armrest while he leaned his elbow against the left armrest. His head leaned against his fist, staring nonchalantly at some objects which were before him. They were two strange, spherical shapes with rough texture, and they seemed to be orbiting around one another while keeping a great distance.

As Nethyn gazed on this strange sight, someone else entered into the picture, not too far from where Sheogorath sat. It was a tall, Dunmeri women wearing loose garments, and bearing sun and moon in either hand. Nethyn quickly recognized it as Azura herself.

“Oh, hello there,” Sheogorath said casually, shifting his pale, lifeless eyes to Azura and grinning, “long time no chat. You know, you never write me any more. I was beginning to think you didn’t care.”

“You must let these two go,” Azura said matter-of-factly.

“You mean these?” Sheogorath asked, motioning towards the two spherical objects with his free hand. “But they are so much fun. Did you know that they haven’t shared a bed since his little council? It’s been a long time since then...that’s the easiest way for me to cause anyone to go mad!”

“I have made a promise to protect him and his house,” Azura said, “this will include his own household. I will not watch as his marriage dissipates. Let them both go.”

Sheogorath cackled and waved both his hands into the air, “Tit-for-tat! You can’t expect me to relinquish my fun and get bored again! I can only have so much fun in Mania for so long. It drives me insane.”

“If you desire something from these people,” Azura said, “then you may have the royal family in Mournhold.”

“They shall be my crowning achievement.” Sheogorath said. “But if you wish…”

He waved his hand, and the two spheres shifted, drawing closer and closer in their orbit. Soon, they collided, but instead of bouncing off one another or breaking apart, they began to slowly morph and change until they were united together. Then, in a matter of seconds, they were one again.

It was then that Nethyn woke up. He woke to the sound of knocking on his bedchamber door.

“Who is it?” he called out.

It was a servant, stating that his wife desired to see him in the library. Nethyn quickly put on his robe and went to the door, following the servant down the hall towards the library, where he left him. The grandmaster entered, and sure enough found his wife waiting for her. She was wearing one of her simple beige dresses, and her hair was let down in a plain manner. In her eyes were a look of exhaustion, as if she had just finished a tiring bit of work - gone was the anger and hate she had shown him in the previous months.

“Llavesa,” Nethyn said, blinking his red eyes, “what is wrong?”

“I wanted to apologize,” Llavesa said, her voice weak and breaking, “for how I have been acting.” She let out a sigh, then continued, “I do not know what came over my at that council meeting, but it was improper for a wife to behave, especially the wife of a grandmaster. I suppose it was just a strange thing to me, since I had never been trained for it growing up in Narthan. However, I have recently realized that...that…” Tears welled up in her dark red eyes, and trying to muster all her strength to speak what remained in her, she said, “I see in you peace, happiness, and contentment which I have never seen before, nor I think will ever see in any man. All my life I have tried to find it in my pride, or in what my family possessed in their dignity and possessions, and they have all come out wanting. I have decided that...that...whatever you have, I want…”

She couldn’t finished. She broke down crying. Immediately, the grandmaster surged forward, grabbing his wife. Nethyn and his wife hugged one another as tightly as they had held one another during their entire marriage. Llavesa did not say anything else, but she didn’t have to. Nethyn kissed her on the forehead and gently whispered, “It is alright, my wife. I love you, because I know for certain that Azura loves you as well…”

So it was that Nethyn’s family was once again united, under the headship of Azura.

 

Henry v. Keiper

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A note to my readers: I'm going to be on vacation for a week, so they'll be a long lull in the updates.
 

stratigo

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My original description was (from the first chapter):



You're right, there are quite a few more Great Houses than three, but in the game itself there are three that have any great territory (aside from the Dres, who I'll admit I did forget at the time of writing that).

House Indoril, in game, is present, but hold mostly leadership roles. They don't have territory like the other ones do.
That island of vanderfell? That's Indoril. So's the current reigning king. And there are literally 5 great houses. Other houses are not great houses. Indoril pretty much controls the temple.


EDIT:

I personally don't get why the temple is "separate" in vanderfell and necrom (Necrom being a major indoril holding).
 

Henry v. Keiper

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That island of vanderfell? That's Indoril. So's the current reigning king. And there are literally 5 great houses. Other houses are not great houses. Indoril pretty much controls the temple.
None of which I've denied. Like I said, I was going off of the in-game setting - there is no territory marked "House of Indoril" like there is for Dres, Hlaalu, Redoran, etc., hence my wording that House Indoril "in game, is present, but holds mostly leadership roles."

I personally don't get why the temple is "separate" in vanderfell and necrom (Necrom being a major indoril holding).
Most likely to emphasize the conflict of power that the Temple and Kingdom often had throughout their history, with Morrowind kings attempting to gain more and more power over the Temple (which, IIRC, the player could experience somewhat in some ES: Morrowind side quests). But you would have to ask the modding team that question.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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I'm back, and intend to update this AAR sometime this week. Just giving y'alls a heads up.

Things are going surprisingly well for a heretic and one of the Nereverine Cult at that. Praise Azura for her love and guidance.
Amazingly enough, no holy wars or anything (then again, I recall turning my entire duchy Eastern Orthodox in a vanilla CK2 game and no one seemingly losing their minds).
 

Henry v. Keiper

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I'd love to read this, but know approximately 0 about Morrowind.... Anything I need to know before going in?
I try to explain as much as possible about Morrowind lore so that even those not familiar with the Elder Scrolls world can at least try to follow along. However, I recognize it can still be daunting for people. Some bare bones factors:

1) Morrowind is a region in Tamriel (the main continent in the Elder Scrolls world) populated by the Dunmer, which is the Elder Scrolls version of dark elves. They used to be called Chimer and had fairer skin, but were cursed by Azura when three of their top leaders obtained immortality (and supposedly killed off Nerevar, a Chimer hero).

2) The three top leaders who obtained immortality basically started a cult of worship after them, which became the Dunmeri religion, and which is what the Temple represents. They're known as the Tribunal, or ALMSEVI (which is an abbreviation of all three of their names put together).

3) Daedra are, in the Elder Scrolls universe, kind of like lesser gods (the official "gods" are called Aedra). Some call them "devils" because most of them are evil and mess with people, however it's been argued that daedra are only seen as "evil" from a mortal perspective, and many of them (such as Azura) actually try to help mortals out as much as possible, and show some compassion for their plight. You might say that, while Aedra represent more positive traits, the Daedra tend to represent that which is seen more negatively.

4) You can read about the Nerevarine prophecy, which this AAR is centered around, here: http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Nerevarine_Prophecy . It was also part of the plot for the game ES: Morrowind, however, as I said in the OP, I didn't intend to just make an AAR version of the computer game (which means no game spoilers!).
 

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Fantastic read. Every new chapter you post sucks me in more and more in this aar. Good to hear that Nerevarine faith is spreading under house Hlaalu. But I'm not quite sure how will other leaders in Morrowind react to Nethyn's 'conversion', hope to learn it in next chapter.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Fantastic read. Every new chapter you post sucks me in more and more in this aar. Good to hear that Nerevarine faith is spreading under house Hlaalu. But I'm not quite sure how will other leaders in Morrowind react to Nethyn's 'conversion', hope to learn it in next chapter.
Glad you're still interested. Things kinda went slow at first, I'll admit, but I think things are gonna start picking up...
 

Henry v. Keiper

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BOOK II: SANCTIFICATION

Chapter 1

“Fate, monstrous and empty, the whirling wheel of evil.”

-- From
The Book of Dawn and Dusk​

Nethyn had begun to have more frequent dreams. Azura provided him these dreams, and they took on various personalities of their own. She never spoke in them, nor did she ever reference herself or give them her personal approval...but they were so fantastic, and yet real, that he had no doubt about their source. Only Azura could have presented such a harmonious contradiction as this. Only the queen of twilight, uniting night and day, could have blended these two conditions so perfectly.

In one dream, Azura seemed to take him high above Tamriel, and show him all the kingdoms of the region. He saw the peace and stability that could be seen in the Aldmeri and Dunmeri regions, as well as the peace that was coming to the Khajit lands in Elsweyr (somehow, Azura put it into his mind that the Khajit worshiped her as well). Everywhere else, there was only war, plague, deaths and chaos. Everywhere else, chaos reigned, and madness ruled.


Then Azura would lower Nethyn down towards Morrowind, and show him the state of Vvardenfell, that island that was the bastion for the false Tribunal. Those Ashlanders who had rebelled against the Temple were expanding now, and their rebellion was slowly gaining more and more territory. There were altogether three major powers among the Ashlanders: those in West Gash, those in the Ashlands proper, and those in the Grazelands. Vivec City still ruled from Red Mountain downward, but their power was fading. Azura, the daedra of twilight, was bringing night to the Temple’s day.


Azura took him to each individual leader, in his camps or his abodes - wherever he may be. He saw Urkhan Mausur Zainab, whom he had met and who still ruled the Grazelands. Since that meeting, Mausur had grown far more cruel, and become intoxicated with the power he was obtaining. He had also been crippled in battle, which meant he was not as active as he had formerly been, and he had taken to eating heavily. This sight disheartened Nethyn, and he thought back to the Mausur he had encountered in Vvardenfell not so long ago...that Mausur would never have permitted himself to sink this low. He was an Ashlander with a cause; he was an Ashlander who was rising against tyranny and fighting for the dignity of his people. Now, he was growing into a more corrupt ruler than the Temple leaders he fought.


Nethyn was taken and shown Ainab Urshilaku, the Ashkhan of the Ashlands. He was a talented warrior, and a far more fit ruler than Mausur was. He had obtained control of the region just above Red Mountain, and seemed content by this, refusing to send his armies south towards Vivec City. This contentment, however, had turned to a soft form of hedonism, and he seemed to prefer drinking wine and partaking in skooma when his desires called for it.


Finally, Nethyn was shown Zabamund Ahemmusa, the Urkhan of West Gash. He seemed far more concerned about the plight of his people than Mausur, but was trained in the darker arts, and hence was just as immoral. He enjoyed food and delicacies whenever he could, and held himself as the best of the three rulers among the Ashland powers. He seemed intent on beating Mausur to Vivec City.


Then Azura took Nethyn to Vivec City itself, that impressive sight which he had seen in person so long ago when he and the high king went on their pilgrimage together. In one of the hundreds - if not thousands - of rooms in the various sections of the city, was Archcanon Farwil himself. He still retained some dignity among the Temple officials, and in fact had begun to be called “The Pilgrim” by his peers and those in the city. He was definitely more pious than when Nethyn had first seen him...however, this had proved to be detrimental. With so many lost wars under his belt, the Kingdom of Morrowind winning the game of Dunmeri politics, and the Ashland revolts spreading like wildfire, Farwil could only think to himself...where? Where was the Tribunal? Where was the ALMSEVI? Why did they not answer his prayers? Why didn’t General Vivec ride out as he had before, and led his faithful believers to glory? Why did it seem as if he were completely alone?


It was all futile, Nethyn knew. Farwil worshiped those who pretended to be gods, but were in fact false gods. He was trusting in an arm of flesh, and now he was experiencing the weakness of the flesh.

In the same room as Farwil was his successor: a Dunmeri nun known as Raven the Wicked. As Canon-Elector, she held the second most highest position in the Temple. Azura showed the essence of her heart to Nethyn, and the grandmaster was surprised at just how opposite the Canon-Elector and Archcanon were from one another. Raven had a way with words, and was a fine speaker, and no doubt this had helped her win allies among the Temple leadership, but she cared little about the hard work which came with Temple ministry, and was growing more and more suspicious of those around her or below her. She was paying lip service to Farwil for now, but no doubt once he was out of the way, she would not waste another second thinking about him or the needs of those he knew well.


Now Azura took Nethyn about the kingdom, and showed him the powers of Morrowind. First she showed him Theldyn, the current Archmaster of House Redoran. A great house known for its military prowess, Redoran was at that moment engaged in a civil war. Theldyn was fighting a group of rebellious nobles, who (rightfully) believed that he was unfit for rule, both for his lack of justice and his ruthless, bloodthirsty tendencies in rule. Azura planted in Nethyn an understanding of the disarray that existed within the Redoran leadership, and it seemed that such wars would continue within Redoran lands for years to come.


Then Azura took him to the southeast of Morrowind, where Nethyn saw Relur II, Archlord of House Dres. He was a capable enough ruler, though Nethyn could tell that he was more interested in making a quick coin than worry about matters of faith or politics. He was seen well dressed and laying on a couch in his study, speaking with his wife and some associates about some Argonian slaves they had recently acquired from an excursion into the south. Nethyn could see into Relur’s heart, and could tell that, if it would mean a few extra coins, Relur would no doubt slit his own mother’s throat. It caused Nethyn to stop and ponder on his past, and his previous transgressions. He remembered how he had once treasured the acquiring of gold, and would often become irate because the treasury never seemed to bring in as much as the House Dres brought in. These thoughts caused Nethyn to quietly pray to Azura, and give her thanks for her grace and mercy towards him...for if she had not intervened, Nethyn might very well have become as someone like Relur.


Finally, Azura took Nethyn and showed him Archmagistress Ulmesi, the leader of House Telvanni. She appeared to be yelling at a courtier for giving her (what she claimed) to be the wrong potion. Ulmesi even went so far as to toss the empty potion bottle at the poor Dunmer, who beat a hasty retreat out of the room. Azura granted Nethyn the ability to peer even deeper into Ulmesi’s heart and soul, and he saw that she was reaping the consequences of some fleshly sin she had committed some time ago, during one of the wars with the Temple.


There was one more vision. It was of Red Mountain. A strange ash storm had begun to pour down from it, and one not like any Nethyn had witnessed on his trips there. No, this storm carried death. It carried some strange sickness and disease, one which originated from Red Mountain and poured over the Ghost Gate, swirling about in the Ashlander and Temple lands, causing wild animals to become enraged, to attack viciously, and to bring distress to all living on the island. From the source of these ash storms, there seemed to be a great evil...a great, terrible evil that had lay dormant before, but was now awakening...

The visions ended. Nethyn found himself back in Hlaalu regions, at his mansion, and in his own bed. As the sense of slumber left him, and he gradually began to fall into the state of consciousness, he quietly began to pray to Azura over the dream. He saw it all, now; he saw why he was the only one who could serve Azura in her quest to prepare for the Nerevarine. Amidst the chaos that was Tamriel, Morrowind was a conundrum: it was at peace, and yet it was torn by internal conflict; the Dunmeri were a united people, and yet they distrusted each other; the Dunmeri were a religious people, and yet there was no spirituality in them. Now, however, Nethyn had to step up and begin to move against the growing evil. Now, Nethyn had to prepare the Dunmeri for the arrival of the Nerevarine. Nerevar’s champion would return, and Nethyn was Azura’s chosen instrument to bring the prophecy to full fruition.

“Azura,” Nethyn prayed, “show me what I must do. Show me what I must do to begin to prepare…”

A loud knock on the door echoed across the room, startling Llavesa so badly that she very nearly lost all the air in her lungs. It was, however, just a messenger, asking forgiveness for the nighttime intrusion, but swearing he had something important to tell Nethyn. He carried word from the northern provinces...Temple forces, sent by Canon-Elector Raven, had just raided Hlaalu lands.