Morrowind is the northeastmost province of the Tamrielic Empire, bounded
on the north and east by the ocean, on the west by Skyrim, on the southwest
by Cyrodiil (also known as the Imperial Province), and on the south by Black
Marsh (also known as Argonia). Vvardenfell District consists of the island
of Vvardenfell, surrounded by the Inland Sea, and dominated by the titanic
volcano Red Mountain and its associated ash wastelands. Only recently open
to settlement and trade, most of the island's population is confined to the
relatively hospitable west and southwest coast, centered around the ancient
city of Vivec and the old Great House district centers at Balmora, Ald'ruhn,
and Sadrith Mora. The rest of the island is covered by hostile desert wastes,
arid grasslands, and volcanic badlands, and thinly populated by the nomadic
Three major cultural groupings have settled Vvardenfell: the Ashlander nomads,
the Imperial Provincial culture, and the Dunmer Great House culture. The smallest
settlements are the Ashlander nomadic camps, comprised of small portable huts.
Recent Imperial colonies like Pelagiad display the same sturdy half-timbered
homes and stone castles as might be found in Daggerfall or any other Western
The three Dunmer Great Houses that have settled Vvardenfell have distinctive
architectures and lifestyles. Aristocratic, warlike Great House Redoran favors
a spacious, irregular, organic building style. Great House Hlaalu, an aggressive
mercantile culture, strongly admiring and influenced by Imperial culture,
prefers simpler, more modern, more densely populated settlements, while bizarre
wizard towers dominate mushroom-hut villages of the Great House Telvanni sorcerer-lords.
A fourth Great House style, the Velothi or Temple style, is evident in the
monumental architecture, bridges, buttresses, and grand canals of the ancient
religious center of Vivec City.
POLITICS AND RELIGION
Vvardenfell District's Grand Council, presided over by the sovereign Lord
Vedam Dren, Duke of Ebonheart and Vvardenfell, is dominated by five interest
groups: the three Great Houses, the Temple, and the Imperial colonists. The
Temple and House Redoran are champions of ancient Dunmer customs and privileges,
and uncompromising and intolerant worshippers of the native religion call
the Tribunal Temple, which venerates three immortal god-kings -- Lord Vivec,
Lord Sotha Sil, and Lady Almalexia. The Imperial colonists and House Hlaalu
find common cause in their shared tastes for progress, tolerant polytheism,
free trade, and vigorous exploitation of Vvardenfell's untapped resources.
The policies of House Telvanni's sorcerer-lords are completely unpredictable,
whimsically allying with or opposing one faction or another for their own
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Vardenfell's greatest challenges are its mutually hostile cultures, its
cruel and untamed wildernesses, and the troubling phenomenon of the Blight.
The Temple and traditional Dunmer cultures are in direct opposition to the
values of the Imperial conqueror's colonists, and the interests of each Great
House conflict with the interests of the other Great Houses. Only the unquestioned
military dominance of the Imperial Legions and the shrewd policies of the
Duke prevent political disputes from expanding into civil unrest or warfare.
Even the Legions, however, cannot extend their protection into the sparsely
inhabited wastelands of Vvardenfell, where bandits, necromancers, witches,
fiends, and grotesque monstrosities find refuge, emerging to threaten the
lives of explorers, colonists, and traders. The greatest, and most obscure,
threat is the Blight, a mysterious weather-like phenomenon that emanates from
the crater of Dagoth Ur, warping and poisoning creatures in its path, and
creating diseased horrors that attack travelers and outlying settlements.
The greatest opportunities of Vardenfell lie in its untapped wealth, its
rich mines and ancient treasures, its unexplored and unclaimed lands. And
even its threats represent limitless opportunity to any bold adventurer determined
enough to fight and scheme his way to distinction, earning the attention of
the great lords and wizards of Morrowind.