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The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal

The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal is the first expansion for Bethesda Game Studios' The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. It takes place in the temple-city of Mournhold, the capital of Morrowind, located in the larger city of Almalexia. The title refers to the three "Living Gods", known as the Tribunal.[1][2]

The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal
The Elder Scrolls III - Tribunal Coverart.png
Developer(s)Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher(s)Bethesda Softworks
Producer(s)Ashley Cheng
Designer(s)Ken Rolston
Programmer(s)Craig Walton
Artist(s)Matthew Carofano
Christiane Meister
Writer(s)Gavin Carter
Brian Chapin
Mark E. Nelson
SeriesThe Elder Scrolls
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Xbox (GOTY Edition)
  • NA: November 6, 2002
Genre(s)Action role-playing



Instead of directly modifying the original game world, the city of Mournhold is only accessible by teleportation. While the city of Mournhold appears to be similar to the open-air towns of the original game, Mournhold is actually akin to an interior room. Players cannot levitate while in Mournhold, because levitation would reveal that the "sky" of Mournhold is little more than a ceiling (although the game states it is forbidden so not to offend Almalexia). Should a player go over the walls of Mournhold (using spells or scrolls such as Scroll of Icarian Flight) they will find the area of Mournhold they were in floating in an endless ocean. The other districts of Mournhold will be absent from the ocean. This was probably done because the original game included only the islands of Vvardenfell, and Mournhold, in the fictional geography of Tamriel, lies on the mainland and a considerable distance inland.

The most notable aspect of Tribunal is the modification of Morrowind's journal system. In the original game, a player's journal can become extremely lengthy and cumbersome. Tribunal allows a player to sort their journal by quest (instead of chronologically sorted) in order to determine what is required for a specific quest. Another notable feature of the expansion is the Museum of Artifacts. The owner of the museum will pay the player half of the value of an artifact (up to 30,000 gold) for one of the very rare artifacts of Morrowind. This is more than the player can get for the artifact at any other store. The museum starts with one artifact (Stendarr's Hammer) and puts the new artifacts on display cases as they are sold to the museum.


Once Tribunal is installed, the plot will start after the player first goes to sleep. While this can happen at the very beginning of the game, it is assumed to chronologically begin after the end of the main plot of Morrowind. The player will be attacked by an assassin, who is later revealed to be a member of the Dark Brotherhood, an assassin's guild that spans Tamriel. To find out more about the Dark Brotherhood, the player will be sent to Mournhold, the capital of Morrowind. Once in Mournhold, the player will have to locate the head of the Dark Brotherhood and complete a series of side quests for the new King Helseth, and the Living God Almalexia. Almalexia has ruled Morrowind for thousands of years alongside her fellow gods Vivec (seen in the base game) and Sotha Sil, who call themselves the Tribunal, and are worshiped by the Dark Elf people.

After the completion of one of the side quests, a group of mechanical creatures called Fabricants suddenly attacks Plaza Brindisi Dorom. The creatures emerge from the statue in the middle of the plaza, and after their attack, a secret passageway to a Dwemer ruin is revealed. Since the creatures are mechanical, it is suspected that the secretive god Sotha Sil is behind this attack. The player then has to investigate the ruins and complete a few more side quests, in order to reconstruct Nerevar's lost sword called Trueflame. Upon acquiring the sword, the player is sent to the Clockwork City in order to kill Sotha Sil.

The player continues to explore all the rooms of Clockwork City, finally arriving to find Sotha Sil dead. When the player tries to leave the room, Almalexia appears and alleges that she had killed Sotha Sil and instigated the attack in Mournhold, in order to gain more power and control over the citizens and the Tribunal. Having been driven mad by the Heart of Lorkhan, she perceived Sotha Sil's silence as mockery. The player is then forced to kill her before returning to Mournhold.

As the player exits Almalexia's temple in Mournhold, the Daedric Prince Azura reveals that the Heart of Lorkhan drove Almalexia mad and made her hunger for more power, and that mere mortals cannot become gods without consequences. By destroying the Heart of Lorkhan and killing Almalexia, the player continues fulfilling the Nerevarine prophecies, particularly the death of the Almsivi Tribunal.


Tribunal was originally the working title of the third main Elder Scrolls installment, which would have taken place on the Summerset Isles, a province far southwest of Morrowind. Bruce Nesmith contacted Clyde Caldwell in 1996 and commissioned him to do an early cover art for the game. After the setting of the third game was changed from Summerset to Morrowind, the title of the game was changed, and "Tribunal" was later re-purposed as the name for the game's first DLC.[3] The expansion was announced on September 6, 2002, by Bethesda.[1]


The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal
Aggregate scores
GameRankings81/100 (based on 28 reviews)[4]
Metacritic80/100 (PC; based on 16 reviews)[5]
Review scores

Tribunal was generally well received in the gaming press.[9] Among aggregate review sites, Metacritic scored the PC version of the game with an 80 out of 100,[5] and GameRankings scored it at 81 out of 100.[4]

Steve Butts of IGN said "Although the few cameos of people you heard about but never met are neat, it's the big revelations that really sell the title. Some of the legends of Morrowind finally make their entrance here in aspects both splendid and terrifying." and gave the game an 8.6 out of 10 rating.[10]


  1. ^ a b "The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal Announced Expansion Set to Award-Winning RPG Morrowind to Arrive in November". September 6, 2002. Archived from the original on August 1, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  2. ^ Laprad, David (2002-09-22). "The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal Interview". The Adrenaline Vault. Archived from the original on 2005-05-01. Retrieved 2007-05-13.
  3. ^ "Clyde Cadwell on the 1996 Tribunal Cover". Imperial Library. Archived from the original on November 5, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
  5. ^ a b "Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal, The (PC) Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
  6. ^ Desslock (2002-11-21). "The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal for PC Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
  7. ^ Abner, William (2002-12-02). "Morrowind: Tribunal (PC) Review". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2002-12-21.
  8. ^ Lafferty, Michael (2002-11-18). "Review: The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2002-11-19.
  9. ^ a b "Tribunal Reviews page". Bethesda Game Studios. Archived from the original on 2007-06-12.
  10. ^ a b Butts, Steve Muatra (2002-12-09). "Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal Review - Do you even need to expand Morrowind?". IGN. Retrieved 2017-11-06.

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