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Questions on the Morag Tong

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Hello all, I hope this question is posted in the right place; it seems like a lore-related question. I am totally new to online RP in an MMO (I played tabletop D&D for many years, however). So I am playing a Dunmer Nightblade who was part of the Morag Tong, but some things are still unsure to me as I flesh out his background:

1) Is membership something that other Dunmer would know, close family for instance? It seems to be very much like the Mafia as far as membership goes. If I recall in the Morrowind quests Naryu is pretty open that she's a Morag Tong agent (I did these first but I know when you meet her earlier she is vaguer about her "organization"), but nobody else seems to know although you would imagine that people would know your face if you surrender to the authorities immediately after a killing and present a writ, even if you are hooded or something. Eventually, people might recognize you or at least spread rumors that you have ties.

2) I am guessing that, like the Mafia, one doesn't just leave (other than that clause where if you are too "famous" you get to retire on an island) and decided you don't want to be part of the Morag Tong anymore without becoming a target yourself.

Most of the RP I do takes place on the borders of Cyrodiil so I can't exactly broadcast that I had ties to the Tong without causing problems and potentially getting myself killed. Originally my idea was that he was, after a number of years being in the Tong, given a contract to kill a close family member and after doing it and presenting the writ went into hiding to escape the threat of a vendetta from his family (this seems like something Dunmeri houses would do, especially Hlaalu; have vendettas over things, legal writ or not) and that's why he went to visit a cousin (my IRL girlfriend's character) doing well for herself in Cyrodiil.

However, the more I thought about it the more it felt like remaining part of the Morag Tong, even if "in hiding" (I was originally going for something like Michael Corleone in Sicily from The Godfather) would limit options and potentially cause conflict with the others (if they found out, of course) so I am considering reworking it to be that he severed ties after it; having to kill a close family member was the straw that broke the camel's back and convinced him to give it up. This would give me more freedom potentially as it means I can play him more as a scoundrel/rogue and less as a covert operative (which he is also old enough to have been a rogueish sort before joining the Tong, so basically going back to that lifestyle), but I'm not sure what sort of repercussions it would have to sever ties with the Tong. Would I have had to fake my own death, give up everything (he's a minor Hlaalu noble), can't show his face in Vvardenfell without risking being assassinated?

The lore I've read is a bit vague so I'm not sure if there is leeway to do this or not, and if any of it flies in the face of established lore; myself and those I RP with are willing to give some leeway to fit the character, but nothing too extreme.
Posted May 15, 18 · OP
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Sanctioned murder is fun. I shall explain.

1: Regarding anonymity, this is not a concept at all. Remember, the Morag Tong have a vital role in Morrowind politics by preventing full scale wars between the Great Houses (Warring between the Houses is illegal, after all). In TES III, the members of the Morag Tong were out in public in open guildhalls in Sadrith Mora, Balmora, Ald'ruhn and Vivec. The nature of the Tong gives them immunity from punishment, and they are in fact supposed to present their Writ of Execution to the authorities to ensure that the Dunmer know exactly how the target died (this will prevent misconceptions and investigations).

The biggest example of this is the Morrowind tutorial. When you arrive in Seyda Neen, Naryu will present her Writ of Execution to the governor. So, notoriety isn't an issue. The impartial and legal nature of the Morag Tong protects them from that, and if they become too famous Vounoura awaits them (as you mentioned).

2: There's no clear lore on what happens if one leaves, but we do know that traitors and members who are expelled will have a writ on their head. Take Eno Hlaalu's dialogue in TES III if you're expelled:

"Your actions of late have not gone unnoticed. There is currently a writ against you. I can have it rescinded, but I must have your word that this was an isolated incident and nothing of is sort will ever happen again. Do I have your word? "I will personally revoke the writ. You are reinstated in the Morag Tong as %PCName, the %PCRank. I do not need to remind you the consequences of failing a second time"

Keep breaking the rules..and this happens:

"Traitors to the Morag Tong must die."


Going by inference, your character must remain in the Morag Tong or suffer the consequences for abandoning them. The best option for a character in this dilemma would be to change their identity, even if it means faking their death.
Posted May 15, 18
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Thanks, that was very helpful, since I haven't played TES III.  Another question, if I may: is it mentioned how an agent is chosen for a contract?  I was operating on the assumption it would be based on how likely the person would be able to fulfill it or their skills. I.e. my character would have easy access to his family member so was given the contract for that reason.

So it sounds like either I'll need to have faked my death so I can travel to Morrowind without a death sentence, or still be an agent but in that case it doesn't sound like you get a "leave of absence" for a few years without being considered a traitor.
Posted May 15, 18 · OP · Last edited May 15, 18
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TES III gives us that info thanks to the ability to join. New members begin as a probationer and will perform a writ to prove that they are fit to join as a proper member. There is a degree of skill, but most of the writs are not locked.

There doesn't seem to be any overarching criteria. Members will go to their local Master to receive a writ. Given the impartiality of the Tong, your character would have been given that writ regardless of familial ties, but as to what impacts the process is not known. There are two exceptions in the Grandmaster Writs and Eno's special duties. The writs require you to be the Grandmaster of the Morag Tong and involve the death of high profile targets such as Mistress Therana or Larrius Varo. Eno will also give you special duties when you reach the rank of Thrall (which is a very low rank).

In TES III, the Morag Tong has the distinction of allowing you to receive any writs (minus the Grandmaster ones) at any time. With that said, you can be a member of a Great House and have a writ for someone in the same House in TES III. That's probably just a game mechanic, so I wouldn't put a lot of stock into it. Your best bet for justifying a writ against a family member is the Morag Tong's impartiality.
Posted May 15, 18 · Last edited May 15, 18
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Hihihi if you are playing on the NA server, I encourage you to check out the Morag Tong Network. Llandras beat me to the punch, mhm. If you want to further discuss this with others tho and get some feedback from folks playing Morag Tong, def check us out. I think that as far as being "chosen for a writ" or an assignment, some of us decidedly think about a character's rank and generally go about a more realistic sort of "you're a new blood so you need to earn some reputation before you can get bigger things that require experience" and whatnot.
Posted May 15, 18
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