There are a lot of good Morrowind walkthrough and hint pages out there, but none of them told me what
I really wanted to know, which was whether I had missed any cool quests, subplots, or character
interactions in Morrowind. Strategy and riddles I can figure out on my own;
but is there actually some reason Eldafire hangs out under the Seyda Neen bridge telling you to leave her
alone for hours at a time, or is it just a bug?
So here is my own Morrowind walkthrough, intended to provide beginning points rather than end points.
The emphasis here is on pointing gamers towards things they might not have tried, not divulging puzzle
solutions or giving step-by-step instructions. There are plenty of other Morrowind walkthrough sites doing that
already... and besides, some people don't want that stuff spoiled, they just want tips on where to look
for more things to do. So I've been vague where possible, including only the starting point for
each quest so you can work through the rest of it on your own. I haven't indicated every fight
or treasure source either. If you want a more explicit hint, please check out my
Morrowind Links for several good
Morrowind walkthroughs, maps and messageboards.
This is long, slow, unskippable, frustrating, and hella boring. There is really nothing you can do except follow instructions; you can't
talk to the pointless first NPC, or learn anything useful from the others. It is possible to steal lots
of objects once the tutorial has taught you how to pick things up (before that you can't take anything), however, if you take anything while one
of the NPCs is watching they will yell at you and take it back. For something very expensive (like that fancy plate in the room where you get your
release notice,) you can use the "drop it on the floor before the guard catches up with you" trick to stop them from taking it away. That's more of a
bug exploit than a strategic move, though, in my opinion. Have to be the world's stupidest guard to really not notice that.
Make sure you get the lockpick from the table, and you can even have a free shot at the chest on the wall. There are plenty of unguarded herbs and
potions around, sometimes even a petty soul gem in the basement, though taking it will, of course, mean that guards will confiscate all petty soul gems
from you for the rest of your miserable life, even though none of them saw you take it. They're this omniscient, yet they can't notice you dropping your
stolen goods on the floor. Go figure.
You will also be assigned your very first quest here, Deliver the Stupid Letter.
I know this looks bad, but hang in there. The whole entire game isn't lame fed-ex quests, I promise. Despite Sellus' stern admonition not to open the
letter, nothing bad happened to me when I did. You can crack the code
to read it now if you're so inclined, but you will be given a decoded version later on anyway.
This is the town you are deposited in at the end of the tutorial, and it's a good place to get used to the interface. In particular, learn how to sneak,
how to pick locks while avoiding capture, how to improve your skills, and how to grit your teeth and use the incredibly rudimentary combat interface
(there are some wimpy mudcrabs just north of town you can practice on). Even if you don't want to play a thief, unlock all the doors and chests you
can reach; it's an important skill you'll need for dungeons, and you don't have to steal anything just because the door is now open,
after all. There is only about one level to be gained in Seyda Neen from ordinary adventuring, but of course you can wander around town sneaking,
running, jumping, and admiring people until you've gained as many as you like (this will be true throughout the game). In Balmora your contact will
give you some extra money if he sees that you're low-level (below level 5, I think,) so you may not want to beef up TOO much just yet.
Things to do in Seyda Neen:
1) You can return the ring to Fargoth for a big reward in reputation. (Or you can lie and keep it for yourself, but if you're that sort of
person, you can always just steal it off him later.)
2) There are two quests in this area, Rob Fargoth and
The Taxman's Fate. You can follow the links if you want to find
out exactly how to be assigned these quests (still no spoilers on their solutions). Note that like most quests you will encounter in this
game, neither of these two HAS to be completed once you accept them. In fact, you probably won't want to complete one of them. That's okay,
just don't talk to the questgiver again. The allegations of corruption and oppression made in both these quests cannot be investigated further,
unfortunately; I took them as justification for looting the entire Census and Excise complex, myself. :-)
4) Vodunius wants to leave Morrowind; if you ferry back and forth between him and Darvame the silt strider lady, he'll eventually sell you a magic item
on the cheap. (It's cursed, which he tells you upfront, but may still be useful to you, and you will eventually be able to sell it for more than you paid him
for it once you develop decent mercantile skills.)
5) You can loot the locked warehouse, if you can get it open. (Picking the lock works but you'll have to pay a fine unless you're very good at
sneaking; stealing the key from Sellus Gravius works but is harder than picking the lock, frankly; you can also get up
onto the roof if you're good at jumping, and go in through the balcony.) There's some good stuff in there, including quite a lot of illegal drugs.
(Maybe there's something to that corruption story after all.) Arrille will actually refuse to deal with you if you're carrying
any of these drugs; you'll have to drop them on the floor first (you can pick them up afterwards). He'll also tell you a bit about them if you ask.
It's not very clear why moon sugar and skooma are illegal while other mind-altering potions are all fine, but most countries' drug policies are a little
wonky, really. You can learn who will buy this stuff from you later, in Balmora.
6) You can also loot any or all of the other buildings in town if you're so inclined. None of the objects in Seyda Neen is important to the rest of the game
(including the warehouse shipping logs, which I carried around the whole game to no avail), but there is a skill-raising book inside one of the locked houses.
Even if you decide against a life of crime, you probably still want to consider unlocking every door in town that you're able to (this improves your security
skill, which you'll need dungeoneering) and reading any books you find in there (improving your skills) Though your security level is probably high enough
to get you into most of the houses here, eluding the notice of the townsfolk as you do it can be problematic, particularly for the houses that face onto busy streets.
If you make sure you've already sold any stuff you've stolen from the Census and Excise Building, it doesn't hurt you to just go around town picking all the locks open.
You'll have to pay 5 gold per attempt, and don't steal anything until you're done lockpicking, or the guards will just take it and charge you more. Once all the
doors are open you can go around and explore the houses at your leisure (including stealing anything that strikes your fancy.)
7) Elone, the bartender upstairs of the trading post, can give you directions to Balmora, if you need them (though the map should really do you just fine). If
you're wondering why she has a "training" button but tells you she doesn't offer training services, it's because you don't yet belong to her faction. This will
be true of many NPCs you meet throughout the game. Once you've joined their guild/house/organization/whatever, these characters will begin to do business
8) Except for the ones involved in the Taxman quest, the other townspeople are uninteresting. Arrille is a merchant, of course, and Socucius, Raflod, and Adraria
(inside the locked warehouse building) are trainers. (So is Elone, though you won't be able to use her yet, as I mentioned.) One thing I was never able to figure out was why
Eldafire the high elf hangs out under the bridge half the time. At first I assumed she'd fallen down the slope due to faulty AI, Might-and-Magic-style, but then I saw her
walk back up the slope, go about her business, and return to beneath the bridge; and, though she'll talk to you normally around town, she has the
same abrupt "get lost" reaction when you bother her under the bridge that Fargoth has when you're trying to rob him. If anyone knows of a subplot Eldafire
could possibly be related to please let me know.
10) Near the Silt Strider platform, there is a small cave called Addamasartus Cave you can explore. (A few of the townsfolk will mention it as a smuggling
spot if you ask.) There's some enemies to be fought, loot to be had, and slaves to be freed. Don't neglect the two pools: one of them contains
some submerged loot, and the other leads to another room. (It is possible to get up onto the land in this room, though it can be tough:
just walk up the underwater ramp till you're out of the water, then jump.)
11) If you go north of town a little ways, you will have an odd encounter with a mage falling from the sky. If you want to read one of his scrolls, use
some common sense and save first. (-:
12) There are a couple of low-level magic items hidden near town here, inside hollow trees in the fens. One is just southwest of the lighthouse, the other is a small
ways due north of town. In both cases you'll have to jump up the surrounding rocks far enough to be able to peek down inside the trees.
Leaving Seyda Neen
You can take the silt strider straight to Balmora if you like; it's not very expensive. That's what I did the first time, and I recommend against it--when
you get there, the guy you're supposed to meet will just send you out to gain some more levels before he'll deal with you. So you might as well walk to
Balmora, gaining some of the levels along the way. The main plot will not get interesting for a very long time, so you'll have more fun with the game if you
concentrate on suplots for a while anyway. You can get directions from the bartender upstairs of the trading post, but it's an easy route: just
take a right at the signpost, and keep following signposts to Pelagiad, Moonmoth Fortress, and then Balmora.
1) On the left-hand side of the road on the way to Pelagiad there's a tomb (Andrano's tomb) that you could explore, but there are two good reasons not to do this
yet: one, the ghosts inside are resistant to spells and require a magic weapon to slay, and two, you will need to do this dungeon as part of a later quest
anyway. (So if you do decide to go in, make sure you hang on to any unusual items you find there!)
2) Further on towards Pelagiad, off to the right of the road, there is a large lake. It's worth swimming around in and exploring the lakebed; you don't
need water breathing.
The inhabitants of this sleepy village all remark that it's just like the towns back in Daggerfall; and indeed, it is reminiscent of the robotic 1996 game of that
name, populated by faceless NPCs with huge dialogue menus who all have the exact same thing to say about each and every topic on the list. If you're female,
the only person who's vaguely worth talking to is Yakum, the Ashlander in the bar, who has a few unique comments to make. If you're male, though, you can meet your,
um, romance partner here in the bar. It's probably not who you think it is. Wait to see who flirts with you, act receptive, and you'll get a series of five
Romance Quests. You may need to be a Thieves Guild member
before she appears on the scene, so if no one in the bar compliments you on your "smooth moves," try joining the guild and coming back later.
Beyond that, don't even bother with anyone else, unless you want to loot their houses. Conversation in Pelagiad is a boring waste of time.
Upstairs of the trader's there's a book that will update your map, and downstairs of the bar there's a very useful weapon; this early in the game,
you may also want to make sure to check in with the merchants, just to see if they have anything you need. (Nels will also turn up at the bar if you don't kill him,
by the way, and can train you even if you don't belong to any factions. The other trainers in this town, Ahnassi, Ladia, and Angoril, require special membership
to train you.) A few of the NPCs here will become useful in quests you may acquire later on; otherwise, nothing in this town is noteworthy.
There are three encounters you can have on the outskirts of Pelagiad, though, two of them involving bandits with annoyingly similar names (Nels and Nelos):
1) A dark elf bandit can be found hanging around the road just south of town; if you're female he'll ask you for a kiss, but even if you kiss him, you won't
get any special quests out of it like the male characters get. Phooey. (You don't have to kiss him, incidentally; he takes 'no' for an answer very
gracefully.) If you're male, he just tries to mug you. He can be a little bit tough to beat at this level, but the fight should be winnable.
2) On the path between Pelagiad and Balmora, there's a turnoff to a cave called Ulummusa. There's a tough fight in here for a low-level character, but it's
winnable if you're careful. You can loot this cave, and one of the objects you find in there will
give you a journal entry and a small quest (Return the Bowl) to give it back to its rightful
owner. This quest cannot be activated by talking to the owner first, so unlike most areas in Morrowind, you'll just have to loot the cave on your own initiative
to find what's inside (none of the townspeople in Pelagiad mention this cave as far as I know, either.)
3) The other encounter is with a Breton woman named Maurrie, standing around by the side of the road north to Balmora (well past the turnoff to Ulummusa). You can
get a quest from her, The Bandit's Lass.
4) And finally, almost to Fort Moonmoth, there's another smuggler's cave, Adanumuran. You can loot this cave with no ill-effects.
The next point of interest along to road to Balmora is Fort Moonmoth. It's really just a garrison, but as with Pelagiad, if you're passing by here early in the game
then the several merchants and two trainers (Radd and Larrius) within the fort may be of great use to you.
Other things of note in Moonmoth Fort:
1) You can join the Imperial Cult here by talking to the cleric. You won't be able to get quests from them until you arrive at Ebonheart, though, so the ability to use
Imperial shrines to pray for blessings may or may not be worth forgoing stealing from anyone belonging to this faction till after you get to Ebonheart.
2) Larrius has a quest for you, Bloodbath. This is a really hard quest to complete at this
level, but you lose nothing by accepting it now; you can always complete it later, after you've gained some more levels and learned some more about the
Cammona Tong and the Thieves Guild. He also has another, rather easier quest, Careless Travelers,
which he'll offer you if you chat him up enough and his disposition is high. You don't need to have finished Bloodbath first to get this quest.
Now continue on to Balmora for your first taste of a real Morrowind city!