Character Build: The Grandmaster

For this build, it is important to note the original Morag Tong guild function, and this is perhaps best explained by the translation of the name Morag Tong: meaning Foresters Guild. A "forester" is one who walks observantly through a forest, tasked with keeping it healthy- occasionally given reason to "cull" a sick or otherwise unwholesome tree. A dark euphemism, but fitting. The Guild would selectively kill the few who would otherwise wantonly slaughter the many. A collaborative build between Harry and I, we proudly present…



It was not long after Red Mountain erupted, all of Morrowind fell into chaos; governments collapsed, traditional Dunmeri faith and religion had been broken and forsaken, slaves revolted and took vengeance for centuries of servitude- destroying the capital and a magnificent amount of art and history in the process. The Red Year saw to the end of much culture, the loss of traditions, and the death of many Dunmeri. Among those timeless traditions and institutions seemingly lost, Morrowind’s famed government sanctioned assassin guild, the Morag Tong, have been absent from the public eye for some time. 

Having disbanded until a less critical period, when the Great Houses again achieve some sense of stability, Morag Tong brethren were strictly instructed: 1.) Never illegally operate using the guild name, 2.) Never involve themselves in actions against Dunmeri government, and 3.) Await word for the day when Mephala grants the Morag Tong its glorious reformation. These edicts were the final and solemn instructions given by the Grand Master of the Guild. 

The highest rank achievable in the Morag Tong, the “Guild Leader” as it were, is the Grand Master. In ancient days it has often been a position that has proved seductively corruptive. Not so with the Grand Master of this age. But he is alone now, Red Mountain has shattered his homeland... But not his sense of honor, and not his faith in Mephala’s Guidance. And if he will ever see the reformation of his beloved guild, he must first see to it that the Great Houses stay intact- but as it turns out, the stakes are so much higher…



Race: Dunmeri 

Stone: Warrior, for leveling. The Shadow is a good option later on.

Major Skills: One-Handed, Two-Handed, Archery, Sneak

Minor Skills: Blocking, Enchanting, Smithing (only up to Elven)

Raiment/Armor: Temple Priest Robes, Heavy Chitin Helm, Light Chitin Boots and Gauntlets (The Ultimate Dunmeri samurai look) 

Weapons: Enhanced Dwarven Crossbow, Scimitar and dagger, and the Ebony Blade 

Shouts: Slow Time is essential for the Grand Master’s Special Move (words 1&2 suffice).

Stats placement0/1/1 

The Grand Master is a Dunmeri samurai, if you will. The Morag Tong operates traditionally under legal sanction, and The Grand Master follows an innate sense of justice and honor; even though the ends are those of the assassin, the means can often be quite different. Sneaking and observing, the hidden arrow from the night sky, the poisoned dagger in the dark- these are all part and parcel of an assassin’s repertoire. But the Grand Master can break away from the rank and file assassin, becoming a versatile warrior who wields life-absorbing dual blades at speed, or uses the Ebony Blade to unique and excellent effect as well. Mephala always preferred you have a grudge against your targets, and you can show your contempt as you blitzkrieg your way through subordinates with enchanted scimitar and dagger, or draw your Ebony Blade and use my very own first “Special Move”, cutting a path all the way to the Big Boss.

The Grand Master will be a bit of a glass canon at first, but this should be balanced by the fact that you only seek to engage in combat against the unlawful, for profit. Later on, Alduin, Harkon Volkihar, and Miraak are exceptions to the profit requirement- you may find yourself in a unique position to selectively kill these men who would otherwise wantonly kill the many.

Poisons and potions should be purchased for emergency situations until enchanting takes off, and in the beginning, you should be prepared to flee and reposition, or leave and re-equip yourself for over whelming tasks. Enchanting is used to buff two-handed, and for absorb health on scimitar, dagger, and greatsword. I recommend getting the enhanced dwarven crossbow with the various bolts, but you could keep it samurai and just use a bow with suitable enchantments.

 A most difficult path lies stretched out before the Grand Master.



Level 20 Perk Spread



The Grand Master is a force to be reckoned, not trifled with. Constantly stealing the life-essence of his foes with a selection of enchanted weaponry, both one and two handed- he is a devastating whirlwind of blood and steel, devastating those who get too close or those he chooses to spring upon. Years of agency with the Morag Tong has given him the ability to sharpen his reflexes at critical moments, slowing down time and increasing the precision of his strikes. Throughout his life he has neglected his innate Dunmeri talent in Illusion, preferring skill and steel to serve Mephala and his employers- but a pilgrimage to the Shadow Stone allows him to utilize a powerful invisibility spell. The Grand Master is also a competent marksman, using a crossbow to land deadly strikes from afar.

When engaging in combat, first survey the area from the shadows- taking note of the enemies there. Once you have decided on your first target, use your crossbow to achieve a fatal or critical sneak-damage effect. Enemies will be alerted to your location, so either retreat to another hiding spot (yeah right), or utilize invisibility potions or the shadow stone and single out the strongest now among the enemies ranks. After dispatching the strongman with your dagger and scimitar, you should activate Slow Time, equipping the fully charged Ebony Blade. Using swordsmanship and evasive prowess during Slow Time, you should be able to avoid attacks while absorbing the health from enemies to recover from whatever attacks they happen to land.

When fighting dragons, you have to use extra caution, as even a small mistake may end your life. Using the environment to your advantage, take cover behind tumbled pillars or other suitable structures. Take shots with your enchanted crossbow bolts immediately after they finish a breath attack, as the dragon’s shout has a small cool down in which you are relatively safe to return fire. Once weakened to half health, the dragon will land, making melee combat possible. Here the Ebony Blade has a distinct advantage over dual-wielding, it enables you to block.Even with the Grand Master’s minimal armor, blocking can roughly halve the damage you take, and prevent kill cams. Block the dragons melee attacks, bash to interrupt breath attacks, and regain any lost health with the Ebony Blade. Dragon Shouts such as Become Ethereal, Bend Will, and others should be utilized to good effect as they are acquired.



I basically had the idea to give players an explanation of the Grand Masters morality and way of operating, and letting things unfold naturally from there. However, in order to experience the core of the Grand Masters destiny, the below quests are essential.

Ancient Technology
The Dawnguard could use your abilities as a scout to recover ancient crossbow technology. 
You may decide to take it further and go after Harkon directly.

The Whispering Door: I figured it went together so well, thematically, to have the Mephala-worshipping Morag-Tong Grand Master become the champion/ operative of Mephala directly. Also, this brings me immediately to the next required quest-

Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!: The story of conflict between the Morag Tong and their disowned offspring the Dark Brotherhood is long, and detailed elsewhere. Suffice it to say, that even Mephala enjoys the destruction of this unscrupulous death-for-profit cult- and you can almost completely charge your Ebony Blade with the deaths of your sworn enemies!!!


The remnants of the Great Houses must be protected if Morrowind will ever regain her stability; Saving House Redoran in Raven Rock will bring you in contact with former members of your Guild, operating without legal consent, under the name of the Morag Tong. Punish them.

Neloth Telvanni once had a Morag Tong contract in his name (but the developers took that quest out of Morrowind before releasing it lol. Phwew. Close call.) He could use your help, and he could also teach you a thing or two about enchanting.

Don’t join the Thieves Guild or take any quests that require breaking the law. Exceptions being religious matters, such as obtaining the key to the Whispering Door.


(Side-note: A secondary armor/clothing option, one I like equally well as the first, but thought it suited an end-game Grand Master more than the early level version. When you acquire Telvanni Robes, try it out in combination with a Light Chitin Helm, with Shrouded Boots and Shrouded Gloves. This is reminiscent to the Morag Tong concept art in Morrowind, and I hope everyone enjoys both the aesthetic combos.)


Special Move
A Devilish Wind Blows Through The Temple
“With the Ebony Blade in hand, the Grand Master is able to achieve such a focused state of mind he may literally sprint forward, never stopping, cutting with precision each of the foes in his way!”

With the Two-Handed perk Great Critical Charge, we are able to hold sprint and press the attack trigger (not a power attack) and he will keep sprinting, slashing every time without stopping. In conjunction with two shouts of Slow Time, you have good and precise timing. (I was only able to get this to function in 3rd person. Other users have reported success in 1st person. If in 1st PV, your character stops running after each chop, try it in 3rd person.)


Again, I’d like to thank Harry for his continued play testing, his perk spread images, feedback and support. This build would never have been more than a save game on my PS3 if it weren't for his collaboration.

Thanks all, I hope you enjoy the Grand Master!



You need to be a member of THE SKY FORGE to add comments!


Email me when people reply –


  • Formatted, images aligned, and tagged to perfection :)

  • Oh this is even better than I remember, and that armor combination just suits this build so well. So you originally collaborated on this build with Harry? I missed that guy. 

    • I think Harry really taught me how to play this build lol. All I had was vague ideas on paper and the armor/weapon combo for Morrowind nostalgia flavor. I believe the combat section is basically a copy/paste from a PM between us.


      Also of note; I cannot for the life of me get that special move to work on PC. I'm guessing it's USSEP or Wildcat. Drives me nuts as my Aberrant Blade used it too and I intend a full re-playthrough of her soon.

      • It’s likely The unofficial patch. I think a simpler combo that would  still work for this build would be extended slow time. 

        • Agreed. Extended slow time is awesome, and doesn't require more than a single word. I think if I were to replay this, I'd perk Block Runner. Take out the archers/mages from stealth, then openly kite melee groups with Block Runner while shouting Marked for Death, and then afterwards use the extended slow-time to go in for the slaughter. 

  • The armor combo in this build is sick

    • Thanks Kaiser. I'd definitely re-touch the perks if ever I revamp this but I'm keeping that outfit heh. I love how exclusively Dunmer it looks (to me.)

  • This is an awesome build. Well done!

    • Henson! Thanks man, not alot of love for wearing mudcrabs on ones head, hope this build changed some minds :)

      • I can’t be the only one disappointed that the actual Morag Tong armor in game is simply recolored chitin armor 

This reply was deleted.