The Elder Scrolls Lore – The Tribunal and the Houses of Morrowind

A look at the lore of  Houses of Morrowind – The Houses and a few Lore Theme Decklists….

The Elder Scrolls Legends is set in Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls universe. The single player role-playing classic series of The Elder Scrolls provides a tremendously rich universe with a lot of Lore. This lore is transported into the cards that we play with every day. Myself, I have been able to play The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim games on PC and later on console. Many of the characters shown on the cards are somewhat familiar from these “old days”. But I really enjoy reading about Elder Scrolls lore, the stories and the universe. I found a great read on the Team Rankstart blog about the Lore of The Tribunal Temple and the Houses of Morrowind, which I recommend to read. Since I didn’t know the Elder Scrolls Morrowind game at all, I found this to be full of additional interesting background information. It makes playing so much more fun.

In addition, those of you who would like to dive into the world of the Houses of Morrowind, there is some additional resources worth checking out:

  • The Tribunal Temple was a religious organization that worshipped Almalexia, Sotha Sil and Vivec, the Three Gods, known together as the Tribunal or Almsivi.
  • The Temple was an organization created for the worship of the Tribunal. The three demigods Vivec, Almalexia and Sotha Sil joined their powers to set up the Ghostfence, a magical boundary around Red Mountain on the island of Vvardenfell, to contain the spread of the Blight plague. The history of the Tribunal goes back to the War of the First Council, after which the then mortal Almsivi exploited Kagrenac’s Tools to make themselves gods.
  • Of the Great Houses of Morrowind,
    • House Indoril was the one most deeply rooted in the Temple hierarchy, dominating both the priest caste as well as the Ordinators who serve as guardians of the Temple. House Indoril is openly hostile to Imperial culture and religion, and preserves many traditional Dunmer customs and practices in defiance of Imperial law.
    • House Redoran is one of the most pious houses; Redoran Buoyant Armigers serve together with Ordinators as guardians of the Ghostfence and the Tribunal Temples.
    • House Hlaalu, being dominated by Imperialised Dunmer, prays when it is convenient, maintaining the appearance of piety through lavishly-appointed structures.
    • House Telvanni has little use for the Tribunal Temple, as the Magelords themselves are as ancient as the Almsivi, letting its temples become overrun with dust and squatter merchants.
    • House Dres, being the most traditional of the Great Houses, supports the Temple when it is convenient for their slave trade.House Dres has presence only on the Morrowind mainland. It governed the Dres District of south-eastern Morrowind from the city of Tear. The district included parts of the fertile Deshaan plain, and bordered Indoril District and the swamps and marshes of Black Marsh. In the mid-Second Era, House Dres also controlled the cities of Ebonheart and Kragenmoor in central Morrowind. It was formally established as a Great House by Grandmaster Thalthil Dres after a slave-raid over Thorn.
  • House Dagoth or simply the Sixth House is the defunct sixth Great House of the Chimer led by Voryn Dagoth, later known as Dagoth Ur. All records of the house’s existence were destroyed following the Battle of Red Mountain and its members were either killed or absorbed into the remaining houses. Unbeknownst to all, Lord Dagoth had survived and spent centuries slowly building his strength and influence from within Red Mountain. This culminated with Dagoth’s attempt to re-create the Dwemer god-construct Numidium in order to overthrow the Tribunal and conquer Morrowind. In 3E 427 Dagoth Ur was slain and his plans halted with the destruction of the Heart of Lorkhan by the Nerevarine.

As the time of this writing, Elder Scrolls Legends, currently covers all of the Houses, except for:

  • House Dres
  • House Indoril

…although a few Indoril cards

  • Indoril Archmage (blue, Intelligence) – a Dark Elf guard with a strong last gasp ability of dealing 6 damage to all enemy creatures in his lane, and
  • Indoril Mastermind (purple, Endurance) – a Dark Elf helping with card draw


…and a few Dres cards already exist:

  • Dres Renegade & Dres Tormentor in blue Intelligence (the stars of the Shackle  attribute in TESL), and
  • Dres Spy is a common Dark elf in the green Agility attribute,
  • Deshaan Avenger is also Agility, and the Deshaan plain was partially inside House Dres realm.

Based on the information above, it is my own pure speculation, but I think and hope that we will see these two additional Houses see play in TESL in a future expansion. I would love to see the House of Dres being a combination of – Willpower – Intelligence – Agility and House Indoril a combination of Strengths – Intelligence – Endurance. Of course, there would need to be many additional new cards to counterbalance the new combinations of those attributes. And there could also be great new cards. A wish it would be released rather sooner than later.

But let’s stop the speculations, and return to the game. If you are interested in Elder Scrolls Lore, then you might want to check out a few of the awesome Lore Decklists, that Stale-Gum has put together on

  • Therana’s Endorsement (House Telvanni) – The story of Sun-In-Shadows, Therana and the Tel Vos Magister
  • Hlaalu’s Harmony (House Hlaalu, obviously) – About the downfall of the House Hlaalu
  • Voryn’s Ambition (House Dagoth) –  As a mortal, Lord Voryn Dagoth was one of the few who knew about the Heart of Lorkhan, together with Vivec, Almalexia, Sotha Sil and their leader Lord Indoril Nerevar. Dagoth claimed that the Dwemer high priest Kagrenac was drawing power from the Heart using special tools to create a mechanical god, Numidium, that would be used against the Chimer. After Azura confirmed Dagoth’s story, action was taken to stop the Dwemer, starting a war that culminated in the disappearance of the Dwemer and the transformation of the Chimer into the Dunmer
  • Boethiah’s Anticipation (Warrior Class) – Boethiah is the Anticipation of Almalexia
  • Jagar’s Scheme (Battlemage) – Jagar’s schemes to obtain power and prominence grew from a young age and his fascination with powerful relics took fruition when he managed to manipulate and steal the Staff of Chaos from Queen Barenziah under the disguise of a bard named “Nightingale” or by employing Drayven Indoril to play the role.
  • Pelinal’s Madness (Crusader) – Pelinal’s reputation is well renowned but also varied widely among the masses. His many legends include being one of Ysgramor’s Five Hundred Companions, Imperials believed him the one who freed them from oppression from their Ayleid oppressors, among mer he was the Nibenay warlord who led the Elven Pogrom, and the Khajiit revile him because he mistook them for another type of Aldmeri, slaughtering many before his mistake became apparent.

See you on the ladder! 🙂

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