Morrowind

Online:Sun-in-Shadow

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Sun-in-Shadow
Home City Sadrith Mora
Location Archcanon's Office, Vassamsi Mine, Vivec City
Race Argonian Gender Female
Reaction Friendly
Other Information
Faction(s) House Telvanni
Sun-in-Shadow
Sun-in-Shadow as a slave

Sun-in-Shadow is an Argonian slave in Sadrith Mora. She aspires to become a mage of House Telvanni.

Related Quests[edit]

Quest Related Events[edit]

A Hireling of House Telvanni[edit]

You'll initially find her sweeping in the tower, Tel Naga in Sadrith Mora:

"Yes? Can I help you, serjo?"
Sun-in-Shadow? Eoki sent me.
"Bless his eyes. Yes, I'm Sun-in-Shadow. Eoki told you I have a plan to earn our freedom, right? It will require finesse and discretion. I trust that I can count on you for both.
To earn my freedom, I need the help of Magister Therana."
Magister Therana?
"She's a recently elevated Telvanni magister. Not so set in her ways as the others, and probably more likely to remember her early struggles.
I know she wants something from Zaintiraris. I need to find out what it is, then get it for her."
Do you have any idea what she wants?
"I'm afraid not. I traded in some favors to get a better idea of what she's seeking, but I learned very little. Apparently, her Mouth, Eraven Onthim, has some correspondence that might give us a clue.
I need that letter."
You can earn your freedom?
"Oh yes! House Telvanni has its warts, but it's a true meritocracy. With enough guile and cunning even a lowly slave can sit on the council!
I've studied spellcraft since before I could lift a broom. All I need now is the sponsorship of a magister."
How do you earn the magister's approval?
"Therana's been haranguing the Council—trying to get their help in claiming Zaintiraris from House Redoran. She wants something in that shrine. I aim to get it for her.
Her Mouth, Eraven Onthim, has a letter that contains the clues we need."
I'll try to get the information for you.
"Be cautious in the Council House, sera. House Telvanni is not just some beast you can slay. In this place, subtlety will serve you better than any shield.
We have to play the game."
You've told me how this plan helps you, but how does it help Eoki?
"Truthfully? It doesn't. Not yet.
Telvanni plots take time to develop. If I demand Eoki's freedom too early, I show my hand. Suddenly, he's a valuable piece in the game—moved and sacrificed as the magisters see fit."
So you're protecting him by keeping him in chains?
"Do I sense a rebuke? It's not ideal, I know.
Look, I treasure Eoki. He's placed his trust in me. I hope you'll do the same."
How did you and Eoki meet?
"Ah. It was during one of his many escape attempts.
I was cleaning Master Otheri's tableware when Eoki burst through the kitchen door, dragging his chains behind him. He threw open the window and started to climb through it … then he saw me."
And?
"He hesitated—even smiled. You don't see Marsh slaves smile much. Certainly not when they're being chased by nix-hounds.
They dragged him off and threw him in the dry-box. He told me he'd spend a year in there if it meant seeing me again."
You two seem pretty different.
"There's an old alchemist's proverb. "No reaction is ever so forceful as the mixing of opposing components." A mouthful, I know, but it fits.
Eoki and I occupy different poles on the same sphere. He keeps me grounded. I keep him safe."

Retrieve the letter and she'll say:

"There you are. I was afraid you'd been compromised.
Were you successful? Did Onthim have anything worth reading?"
Therana wants a relic hidden away in Zaintiraris.
"May I?
Ah, a saint's relic. Saint Felms? Never heard of him. Hmm, says here the Redoran want it too—to squirrel away in some musty old chapel, no doubt. We need to make sure Therana gets it before they do."
How do you propose we do that?
"Looks like the shrine is locked, protected by some puzzle-ward. Luckily, the letter provides some hints on how to break in.
Solve the puzzle, grab the relic, then make haste to Tel Branora. Therana should be there. Offer her the relic on my behalf."
How confident are you that Therana will trade the relic for her sponsorship?
"Somewhere between certain and apprehensive? The Telvanni respect all clever schemes and love to barter. This little intrigue will prove my worth, I know it.
Then again, she could just try to take the relic by force."
What then?
"Run? Telvanni magisters wield magicks that put Julianos to shame.
Of course, you're quite the hero in your own right. Hopefully it doesn't come to that."
"Do be careful in Zaintiraris. The Mad God put his fingerprints all over that place. I … we've got a lot riding on you."

When next you meet, she'll be in the Council Chambers in Tel Naga:

"I've imagined this moment since I was a hatchling. I knew I'd be free eventually, but now that the moment's here … I just hope I don't embarrass myself."
What will the council do?
"They'll deliberate, needle each other a bit, then set me free. I only hope that they take me on as a hireling as well. I'll even get my own quarters. Can you imagine that? Not only my own room, a whole house to myself.
My heart is racing!"
If you're a hireling, will you be able to leave? I thought you were headed to Black Marsh.
"Yes, of course. I mean, eventually. We can talk about that later. Just let me bask in this moment, all right?"
As you wish.
"Truly, I couldn't have done this without you and Eoki. A plan is only as useful as the people who carry it out. You have my deepest thanks, sera.
Now … I suppose it's time!"

Rising to Retainer[edit]

You can initiate the quest by speaking to either Eoki or Sun-in-Shadow. If you speak to Sun-in-Shadow first, she'll say:

"A hireling! Can you believe it?
Not much of a title, I know, but I've spent a lifetime earning it."
What will you do next?
"I'll burn these rags, polish my scales, and work even harder.
The next few days are critical—I can't afford any slip-ups. Magisters circle new hirelings like cliff racers. If they see any sign of weakness, they swoop in and pick the bones clean."
What about Eoki? Can you free him now?
"Not yet, no. Like I said, even the smallest mistake could spell disaster. It's still too early.
I can't say more—not here, anyway. Too many listening ears. Meet me in my new quarters, all right? I have a plan that might speed things along."
I'll come by when I can.
"You go ahead. I think I'll linger here a while. Who knows when they'll let me back in."

She'll now go to her home, or if you started the quest with Eoki, he'll direct you to her there. Speak to her in her home, and she'll tell you:

"Welcome, sera. Sorry about the mess. Believe it or not, this place feels like a palace compared to my old slave quarters.
With any luck, I won't stay here long. I've hatched a plan that might catapult me to the rank of House retainer!"
What's the plan?
"I'm glad you asked!
Retrieving scrolls and relics, gathering up roots and mushrooms—that's what the Magisters expect from hirelings. Trust me when I say nothing stunts advancement like doing the expected."
So how do you plan to defy their expectations?
"Real estate. Surprised? Good.
Master Firuth's been making secret inquiries—looking for land near Vos. Eoki knows a farmer who may be willing to sell his plot. If I purchase the deed and give it to Firuth, he might sponsor my next promotion."
I'll look into it.
"I knew I could count on you. Here's the gold. I'll not pay a drake more than what's in that pouch … mostly because I don't have a drake more than what's in that pouch.
Eoki can provide more details, or you can just ask around Vos yourself."
How's life as a free woman?
"Fantastic! I bought new clothes, see? And no more sharing a room with eight other people. This space belongs to me. It's mine.
Best of all, I can stop hiding. I don't have to tuck my tomes under blankets or hide scrolls in my bodice. I can just be."
As a hireling, do you still work for the Magisters?
"Of course. Everyone works for the Magisters in one way or another.
Hirelings occupy the lowest rung on the ladder, aside from slaves of course. But we can earn a wage and study in peace. We can even refuse a task, if we wish. It's remarkable!"
You seemed fairly independent even before you were made a hireling.
"I enjoyed more freedom than most, it's true. Most of the marsh-born slaves hated me for it. Called me "smoke-scale," "elf-heart" … and much, much worse.
But, that's all behind me now. I won."
You won?
"I harnessed my ambition, served my masters with loyalty and discretion and earned my freedom. They whine like belly-sick guars and rot in chains. It doesn't get any clearer than that."
How goes the plan to free Eoki?
"I told you before, these things take time. I can't simply buy him because hirelings aren't allowed to own slaves—and I can't just set him free without jeopardizing my position in the House.
This requires patience and an overabundance of caution."
Who owns him currently?
"Archmagister Otheri. None of the other Magisters would have him. Too many escape attempts.
Then there's the matter of his magical aptitude. The Telvanni abhor Hist-magic and make him wear suppression manacles all the time … even when he sleeps."
If you removed the manacles, could he use his magic to escape?
"Doubtful. Hist magic doesn't operate by the same rules as Telvanni spellcraft. I think that's why the Magisters hate it so much.
I can't say for certain, but I doubt there's anything in Eoki's repertoire that could get him out of Sadrith Mora."
Why does Master Firuth want this land near Vos?
"From what I gather, he wants to build a new tower there. I've no idea why. Mistress Dratha essentially owns Vos, and I can tell you, she does not welcome intruders.
If I was mad enough to antagonize one of the Magisters, it would not be Dratha."
If that's the case, are you sure you should be helping him?
"I only need him to survive long enough to sponsor me. He won't break ground on his tower anytime soon. Plus, there's a rumor that Dratha suffers from some mysterious illness. It could be Firuth's doing. You never can tell with the Telvanni."
"I hate to be pushy, but you really should make haste to Vos. That purse contains my entire life savings. Pick-pockets will take notice, I assure you."

Return to her from your adventures in Vos, and she'll say:

"Back so soon? Well, you're quite the negotiator!
I trust you found a suitable property outside Vos?"
Not exactly. A Dark Elf swept in, bought the deed, and gave it to a wizard named Jinrisa.
"Jinrisa? Interesting. That envious hag never misses an opportunity to stick a thumb in Firuth's eye.
Listen carefully. I need you to acquire that deed as quickly as possible—before she makes it public that she's bought land near Vos."
How do you suggest I do that?
"I suggest you use all available means. You can begin by searching the Adept's Hall in Tel Naga.
I will warn you that the Adept's Hall is not open to outsiders. You'll need to be careful while searching for the deed, so as to not raise suspicion."
I understand.
"Jinrisa's offered us a chance to double our winnings. If we acquire the deed and embarrass her in the process, Firuth's bound to support my promotion!"
"I doubt Jinrisa's been especially careful with the deed. There's a reason she's never advanced beyond the rank of wizard.
Unless I miss my guess, you'll find the document tucked away in Tel Naga somewhere. Good fortune, sera."

Retrieve the deed, exit the tower, and she'll be waiting for you in the street below:

"Did you find the deed? I'd hate to think that clumsy wizard, Jinrisa, outnixed me on this."
I got the deed back from Jinrisa. You can give it to Firuth, as you planned.
"Oh no, no. I can't do it myself. It's not subtle, or even polite, if a Telvanni just bluntly demands this thing or that service!
I'm sorry to impose once again, but could you give the deed to Master Firuth on my behalf?"
I suppose I can deliver it.
"I know I've asked a lot. Trust me, payment is forthcoming.
Just offer the deed to Firuth, and tell him that Sun-in-Shadow would like his written support for her elevation to the rank of retainer. Make it subtle … but not too subtle, you know?"
Where can I find Master Firuth?
"Just west of here, in a place called Hanud. Firuth values his privacy, so be wary of atronachs and traps—and don't be surprised if he's a bit … eccentric.
Meet me in the Council Hall, when you return. I have a very good feeling about this!"
"Fair warning—Master Firuth may say some strange things. Do me a favor and try not to laugh, all right? He may seem odd, but he's still a powerful mage. Don't forget that."

Return with Master Firuth's Writ of Endorsement, and you'll find Sun-in-Shadow in conversation with Angharal Suth:

Angharal Suth : "We will review the request soon. In the meantime, continue your studies.
Sun-in-Shadow : "Muthsera Suth is most kind. I thank you."

Speak to her and she'll say:

"Ha! I recognize that swagger. Firuth agreed to my demands, didn't he?"
Yes. Master Firuth agreed to endorse you.
"Excellent!
I ran into Councilor Angharal just a moment ago—totally by chance, I might add. I asked her about the potential for advancement, and she hedged a bit. This endorsement will make all the difference."
Here's the writ. Firuth seemed pleased with the deal.
"Well, that makes two of us! I took no pleasure in spending all that coin, but as a retainer, I'll be able to double that sum before long.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a writ to deliver! Thank you again, my friend."

Objections and Obstacles[edit]

Enter her home, and she'll greet you with:

Sun-in-Shadow : "Ah, what a pleasant surprise. Stay a while, won't you?"
"Always a pleasure to see you, sera. I'm glad you dropped by. I could use a friend right now."
What's going on?
"I just received a summons from the Council. Typically I'd be overjoyed. After all, I just submitted a petition for advancement to oathman. But the Council never acts on petitions this quickly.
Someone's arranging pieces on the game board, I know it."
What are you asking me to do?
"If a member of the House plans to spring a trap, I need to project strength.
The councilors know you've assisted me in the past. If you appear before the Mouths on my behalf, it puts the magisters and I on equal footing. It might even save my life."
All right. I'll go to the Council House in your stead.
Sun-in-Shadow : "Thank you, my friend. Be careful."

Exit the audience chamber, and Sun-in-Shadow will be waiting for you:

"Sorry, I grew tired of waiting. I received more than a few sideward glances on my way over. What happened in there?"
The Council rejected your petition.
"Oh. I see. Maybe I was too impatient—requested it too soon. Damn.
Did they give any reason? Was there anyone who spoke out against it?"
Gothren's Mouth, Ralasa Delvi, seemed dead set against it.
"Of course it was Ralasa. That pig has hated me from the start. Gothren's not fond of Argonians, but this is clearly personal.
Would you act as my emissary once more? If you go to Tel Aruhn and speak to Gothren directly, maybe he can settle this."
I'll try. I have a few questions though.
"I'll answer what I can, of course."
Why do the magisters have people who act as their Mouth?
"Most Telvanni magisters prefer to be left alone. They dislike and mistrust each other, so they appoint Mouths to handle business outside their towers.
Of course, the magister's wishes and the Mouth's wishes often get tangled. It's imperfect."
Sounds like it.
"Just trust me, it's better this way. If the councilors had to deal with each other directly there would be no peace in Vvardenfell. You wouldn't jam a bunch of alits into a pen together. Mages need room to stretch—room to breathe."
Seems like Telvanni mages need a lot of things.
"I never said House Telvanni was perfect. We take the good with the bad.
When I sit on the Council I'll put things right, how's that?"
You seem to be able to do what you want as a retainer. Is the oathman rank so important?
"Yes! When I achieve the rank of oathman, I should be able to purchase a slave. I'll free Eoki, and we'll toast to our success. That is what we've been working toward, right?
I know that some of this feels a little unsavory, but it's necessary."
None of this troubles you?
"A Telvanni mage doesn't have time to be troubled. Everyday I learn something new. Everyday I peel back one mystery to reveal another ten beneath it. If this is the price of that kind of discovery, I'll pay it!
That came out poorly. I … never mind."
What more can you tell me about Magister Gothren?
"Magister Gothren reigns over Tel Aruhn—the fungal tower west of here. He has a sour reputation, but remains one the most powerful mages in Tamriel.
I never had cause to work for him, but Eoki did. He doesn't like to talk about it."
Do you really think he's going to listen to me?
"I'd be lying if I said yes. But if there's anyone who could get through to him, it's you.
Gothren keeps a few "pupils"—henchmen more like. You'll probably have to get through one or two before he'll deign to speak with you. Just be careful."
"Mind your manners around Magister Gothren. I hear he's … unpleasant."

Notes[edit]

  • Sun-in-Shadow's name was originally datamined as "Clever-Scales".
  • Sun-in-Shadow appears as a card in Legends.
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