A place where Skyrim and Oblivion fail where Morrowind succeeds is making things scary. Dragons, in Skyrim, are kind of event but eventually are no threat at all and are not actually scary or that interesting. You’d think Oblivion would be better but the literal gates to Hell popping up all over the landscape are usually more annoying than frightening. But Morrowind, oh boy Morrowind…
Like, the first time a Dreamer opens a dialogue box at you is actually frightening. It’s not something that happens very much in Morrowind and it happens early, usually in Balmora, and is pretty startling within the context of the game.
Maybe you open a box in the sewers and it’s full of weird red statues. You get quests and start hearing about cult and a devil that lives in a volcano lair.
And then when you actually start to get attacked in the middle of the night by elves with big gaping holes in their faces in when things get fucked up. The first time you see a dude with a tentacle growing out of his face and he curses you with a disease that has been hyped up the whole game as the worst possible thing to happen to a person.
The first time you see some kind of horrible giant octopus man and you see the withered hands at his side and realize “Oh this is what happens to those guys with the single tentacle in their faces. This is what grows out of the big gaping hole in the elves that attack you in the middle of the night and that’s what happens to the guys who stop you in the middle of the street. And it started for them with a bunch of weird dreams. That you, the player, have been having.
Bro, I have used lore for years to justify whether or not something is plausible in lore. It’s my specialty. Go ahead, ask me something and I can tell you its existence in the world of the The Elder Scrolls.
And to answer your question: trains exist in a nebulous state. A semi-canon text mentions “wailways” which I later expanded upon, and minecart rails, tracks, and of course steam power, all exist.
So trains COULD exist, theoretically. But there are no canon trains in TES yet.
I’m trying to write thank-you letters to the extended family over Christmas. Because that’s a thing to do in January, at least if you’re part of my extended family and don’t want your fruits frozen off the tree, as it were…
And just before I start on the last one, my brain just…sits down, cross-legged, on the metaphorical floor. It frowns. And it says to itself:
“Why the fuck’s Morrowind gotta semi-canonically have a town in its western bit that’s called Bodrum and that’s usually spelt that way – with a ‘u’ – when Bodrum is an actual real place in the real actual world, like, what the fuck Bethany? Ms. Esda? Ms. Bethany Esda? What? Were you thinking? Google your shit? Before you put it in your game? Like, oh yeah, sure, ‘Hey, Todd, I’ve got this great idea for a High Rock city-state, it’s called Bruges, like, the name just…came to me? And I thought it was good? So I just…built an entire city around it. A fictional original city. With canals. I hope you like it, Todd.’ Piss the fuck off.”
So I go into my semi-canon Morrowind map and I change the ‘u’ to an ‘a’. It maybe sounds more Dunmeri that way. Bodram. Sure. Fine. The only issue is this: THE UNEDITED VERSION IS STILL CIRCULATING. PEOPLE ARE STILL REBLOGGING THAT VERSION OF THE MAP. MY SINS AND FAILINGS ARE PIGGYBACKING ON BETHANY ESDA’S FUCKENUPPENINGS AND TOGETHER THEY ARE CAREENING TO HECK IN A GO-CART.
Okay so I still haven’t played Morrowind yet so I’m still not too familiar with it, but with all this talk of little statuettes for nomads to carry around, I started thinking about if there would be any for the tribunal and I thought about it and
So sometimes that post about Kintsukuroi goes around on my dash and I appreciate it passively, but THIS time it made me think about Tev and the corprus blues. …Though since I have been thinking the Morrowind Thoughts™ a lot lately, who is surprised!!
Anyway. Someday I’ll go into it more, but the whole corprus situation is a real turning point for Tev (and Dren, but y’know, he’s not in this pic). Also, it is a great excuse to make moody art!
One of the odder things about Morrowind modding is just how much of it focuses on Balmora. Maybe it’s because it’s the first city we’re sent to, maybe it’s that easy on the eyes Hlaalu architecture, who knows*. There are probably hundreds of mods that affect Balmora, so theoretically everyone’s Balmora could look wildly different. I’ve spent the past couple of days making sure all my Balmora mods run nicely together and this is nearly the finished product.
What does your Balmora look like? Which mods do you like to use? Would love to see some screenshots if you have some to share.