The Red Year, Vol. II
The Red Year
When I originally decided to write this accounting of the Red Year, I elected to travel across Morrowind and speak to the Dunmer people themselves. I sought first-hand accounts and personal views about the cataclysmic event. I felt that if I simply did the research in the library stacks at the College of Winterhold, I wasn't really telling the tale that needed to be told. What struck me as I moved from city to city, town to town, camp to camp is that all of the Dunmer I met shared an incredible bond of sheer courage and unshakable faith. So what began as a chronicle of one of the worst events in the history of Morrowind became something altogether different, the celebration of a people who can never be defeated.
"I was a trader back then. Ran a pack guar from Vivec City clear down to Narsis. I was walking along the south road when the strangest thing happened. All of the noise around me stopped... the normal things one hears as they travel like the sound of the wind blowing through the treetops. It was just deathly quiet. I felt a tingling sensation all over my body and my guar began to stomp around. Whatever it was, it was driving him crazy. As I tried to get him under control, there was a massive explosion from the center of the city. I saw the cantons fall apart before I was knocked off my feet. Then I remember the ground starting to rumble. It lasted for a long time and it receded into the distance as if directed towards the center of Vvardenfell. A few minutes later, the Red Mountain erupted, sending a huge cloud of fire into the sky. My pack guar had long since fled, and I decided I should do the same. I never stopped running until I reached Narsis."
I asked him if he knew what had happened Vivec City.
"I didn't hear until much later that the Ministry of Truth had struck the heart of the city. What I do know for certain is that many Dunmer lost their lives that day and that Vivec City is no more."
"The Red Year didn't heavily affect Mournhold itself, but it touched many of the people who lived there. A lot of us had relatives somewhere on Vvardenfell, and after the first day that the eruption occurred we started receiving reports of widespread devastation in Vivec City, Sadrith Mora, Balmora and Ald'ruhn. I don't think a single night went by for months where you wouldn't hear someone openly weeping. It was a sad time for all of us."
I asked if Mournhold had sustained any damage during the Red Year.
"I don't know why, but the destruction seemed to pass us by. A few Dunmer claimed that it was the Tribunal watching over us, but others claimed that the Tribunal was to blame for everything. I actually saw a few of those disagreements come to blows. It was a strange time."
I got an interesting response from Deros regarding Mournhold's role during the Red Year.
"Relief efforts began almost a month after the mountain erupted. It was actually a directive that came from the House Redoran councilor that was living in Mournhold at the time. I can't remember his name, but he took charge of the situation and sent soldiers, supplies and able-bodied Dunmer to the outlying settlements that had been hit the hardest. I was sent to Balmora. The place was a mess; hardly anything left in town was still standing. I spent maybe two months there, helping to rebuild the town and getting my fellow Dunmer back on their feet. It started out as a burden, but it ended up being the most rewarding thing I'd ever done in my life. I started some friendships there that still last to this day, including my beloved wife."