Good morning, good afternoon or good evening, and welcome back to Come Roleplay With Me! By this point I’m sure you know the drill, I play a particular game (while roleplaying a certain character) and then fail miserably at whatever challenge I set myself. This week, it was The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind‘s turn to punish me relentlessly.
In last week’s Come Roleplay With Me I played The Witcher 2, roleplaying Geralt as a sleazy pervert. This week, I was an Imperial thief who’d steal the breath out of an old lady’s lungs.
Before I begin, I need to confess that I changed my plan slightly from last week. I’d decided that I was going to roleplay as an Imperial Spellsword who was loyal to the Empire, but I’d forgotten that at the beginning of Morrowind you can answer questions to determine your class. I thought it would be fun to answer those questions, then roleplay as whatever class I was given. I think this led to a much more fun playthrough than what I had planned, so I hope you enjoy. (If you’re wondering why the screenshots look amazing, it’s because I have the Morrowind overhaul mod installed, you can find it here).
Borrowin’ from Morrowind
“I heard them say we’ve reached Morrowind, I’m sure they’ll let us go…”
These were the words that first awoke Secundus as the boat made port on Vfardenfell. He’d been taken from the Imperial city and transported to Morrowind in chains, given no explanation as to why. He figured it could have been something to do with the fact that he stole roughly half the Imperial City from under its own nose. Whatever the reason, the only thing he was sure of was that he had to get out of this backwater as quickly as possible, and that required money.
And there was only one way he knew how to make money…
A guard approached and told Secundus that this was where he had to depart. Making a brief farewell to his travelling companion, Jiub, he swiftly made his way up on deck. The sun was blinding after hours in the darkness of the lower decks. As he looked around, his worst fears were realized. This place was a real shithole.
He was herded down to the docks and greeted by an Imperial soldier. The fool asked where Secundus hailed from, to which he told him Cyrodil, could he not recognize a fellow Imperial? He was then led into a small census office, overhearing that he was now somewhere called Seyda Neen. By the looks of this swampish backwater, there wouldn’t be too much of value here, so nothing to steal. No need to stay too long.
He found himself being asked questions to figure out what profession he was best suited to. It turned out he was most suited as a thief. Who could have guessed? Wondering why this Imperial book keeper was promoting his kleptomania, he made his way into the next room with his papers. To his delight, he was in a room on his own. It was filled with simple loot and even a handy dagger and lockpick.
These Imperials really weren’t a good influence on him.
Secundus made his way through to the captain, he’d already forgotten his name but he couldn’t really care less. He was given a lecture and told that he’d have to fulfill certain duties for the Empire. He promised he’d head to Balmora and perform his duties, and in a way, he would – his duty was to get out of this racist dump as quickly as possible, and Balmora sounded like it had a few wealthy sorts there. So that’s where he’d go.
However, an expedition like that would require some better equipment. He currently only had the rags on his back, some chitin gloves and a dagger – and Balmora was quite a long way away. Since he didn’t have any money, he got to work stealing from the locals. The first two houses didn’t have much interesting in them. He filled his pack with all of their utensils, plates and even food. He usually didn’t stoop as low as to steal what little the poor had, but this was an emergency. He needed money more than them anyway.
The third house didn’t go as well as the first two sadly. He picked the lock with ease and entered, only to find the house owner (more of a hovel owner really) staring at him. For whatever reason, this dark elf buffoon seemed delighted to have had someone break in and relished the opportunity for a chat. After flapping their gums over some local drivel, Secundus bid him farewell and went to leave. However, he didn’t want this trip to be a complete waste, so he decided he’d pick the pockets of this friendly oaf. He slowly crept back and started rifling through the elf’s pockets. Sadly, after weeks of travelling, he’d lost his touch and the elf caught him. The struggle that ensued was short and brutal. Secundus had a dagger and the elf had nothing but his fists. In a few moments, the elf was dead.
That’s what he got for bringing fists to a knife fight.
After shedding a few crocodile tears, Secundus decided to make the most of a bad situation and take everything from the house (including the 8 gold pieces from the elf’s corpse). He decided to leave him with some dignity and didn’t steal the clothes from his cold dead body.
He slowly crept out of the hovel and tried to look as nonchalant as possible. Thankfully, it seemed as though his luck was in. Nobody had heard the struggle. He quickly made his way to the local trader and unburdened himself of his bulging pack. The high elf shopkeeper shot him a few awkward glances as he went through what Secundus was selling. It wasn’t often that a man came in selling knives, forks, plates, clothes and food. But whether or not the elf was suspicious, he gave him good gold for the wears. Secundus quickly picked out some more chitin armor, a new short sword and a bow. These would do for his trip to Balmora.
He decided to walk at first, thinking that he’d be best to save his gold. Not only that, but the only mode of travel was on a siltstrider, a great insectoid beast about 20 times the size of him, and that freaked him out a bit too much. So he started along a path into the swamp, thinking this would be the easiest way to get to Balmora.
After about 50 yards, Secundus heard a blood curdling scream. Thinking that the end had come, he prepared his blade, ready to fight to the death. As he waited, he saw a small wood elf fall from the sky to his death. And then, nothing. The scream had been from this poor soul who fell from the heavens. Rather than question the matter for too long, he quickly looted everything off the body and ran back to Seyda Neen, reasoning that it might be safer to brave the siltstrider.
Morrowind was a messed up place.
On the journey to Balmora, Secundus read the book that he’d found on the wood elf. It turned out, he’d created a magical scroll that would allow him to jump great distances. Sadly, the scrolls worked too well, and the elf jumped so high that he plummeted to his death. Secundus tried to suppress a laugh thinking about this, but failed, making a note to never even look at the scrolls. He’d sell them off to some other poor sap.
After several painful hours, the siltstrider finally scuttled its way to Balmora and Secundus made a hasty exit – cursing Morrowind and all who lived there. The city of Balmora was more his kind of place though, full of people with more wealth than sense. He decided to visit every tavern and inn first, hoping to find a thieves guild (he’d heard that there might be one somewhere in Balmora).
After a few failed attempts, he finally came across Habasi, leader of the Balmora thieves guild. Everything was coming up Secundus. He quickly signed up and became a toad in the thieves guild.
A toad? Today was a proud day…
His first job was to steal a diamond from a herbalist. Easy. He made his way to the right part of town and cased the joint. Only one guard who seemed to stay downstairs, as did the shopkeeper. He waited until night and took out his trusty lockpick, breaking in through the upstairs entrance. After looking around for a few moments, he found a small chest that was locked. This would surely be where she kept the diamonds. His trusty lockpick did the trick again, and voila, he’d found the diamonds. He pocketed all three and returned to Habasi, informing her that he only found one in the chest. She took him on his word and promoted him to a wet ear (another very proud moment). He was two diamonds richer and was on his way to making his way out of this dump and back to Cyrodil (where the women were wild and the wealth was rife).
His next mission was to get the key to a mansion from a butler, who could be found in the Hlaalu social club. This is where things went badly, as they always do. He made his way into the social club and found his mark. He tried his hand at pick pocketing again, but it turned out, he was very rusty. He was pretty swiftly stabbed to death by several very angry dark elves who’d caught him in the act. Justice was swift and harsh in Morrowind.
“Morrowind… what a shithole…” were Secundus’ last words.
I really loved doing this playthrough, even though I didn’t actually manage to grow a single level. Yes, you heard me right, not even one level. I’d forgotten how unforgiving Morrowind is, but I absolutely love it for that fact. They just drop you into this huge world and let you go nuts. There’s very little guide as to what you should be doing – no quest markers either, so you actually have to listen to the directions people give you and then follow them. I think that’s something that many modern games have lost, it makes you feel so much more involved in the game world.
Because I loved playing Morrowind again so much, I’m going to be playing The Elder Scroll IV: Oblivion for next week. I’m just going to work my way through the first dungeon and see what class it generates for me again, and depending on what class I’m given, I’ll roleplay accordingly. My only challenge for myself will be to reach level 5 (which I might actually achieve for once!) and all of this will be done in one sitting and with permadeath.
As always, I’d love to hear about your roleplaying experiences in the comments, or if you have any suggestions for me, then please feel free to let me know. I hope you have a great week, and please come roleplay with me again next time.