The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
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In Odai Plateau, there is an ebony shortsword that is supposed to be sticking out of a rock, but due to a bug, the sword's coordinates actually put it underground, making it unobtainable in normal play. It can be viewed through noclip console commands or through the mod creation kit.
Contributed by MehDeletingLater
Gentleman Jim Stacey, leader of the Thieves Guild in Morrowind, is likely a reference to the comic "Gentleman Jim" by children's author Raymond Briggs. In it, Jim becomes a highwayman to steal from the rich and give to the poor. In the game, Gentleman Jim Stacey attempts to create a new group of Bal Molagmer, who stole from the unjust and gave to those in need.
The Pilgrim's Lantern has the longest light-life among all non-infinite candles and lanterns found in the game, lasting for 999,999,999 seconds. This translates to nearly 32 years in real time.

While this is effectively infinite, infinite candles and lanterns already exist in the game, possibly making the unusual life-span an oversight, or simply left over from development before they were implemented.
Contributed by G-Haven
The month of "Morning Star" is omitted/missing from the game, presumably by accident. It was present in the former two Elder Scrolls games, The Elder Scrolls: Arena and The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, as well as the future games of the series.
Contributed by G-Haven
Inside of the Sixth House base of Sharapli (which can be found a bit east of Ghostgate), there is an interesting pool there named the Pool of Forgetfulness. Activating the pool does absolutely nothing, and there is no script associated with the item. It's possible the pool was once meant for a quest, or that the developers simply forgot about it.
Most of the prisoners found throughout Morrowind's many forts have fairly uninteresting dialogue if you try to talk to them. However, a Khajiit bard named Joshur imprisoned in Hawkmoth Fort in Ebonheart actually has a story to tell you. He claims "Joshur wrote a stupid poem and now Joshur is in bad trouble." If you have the Hawkmoth Prison Cell Key, you can offer to free him, but he will only tell you "No, Joshur is Khajiit. Joshur just get caught again."
One of the attractions in the Telvanni city of Tel Vos is the Imperial Museum and Library. On one of the walls you'll find a note stating "Welcome to the Imperial Museum and Library. Please feel free to peruse the exhibits at your leisure, but please do take care around the prisoner. He has been in a terrible mood since we had to cut down his rations after the escape attempt."

The prisoner they are referring to is an Imperial guard in a nearby cell. Apparently since the Telvanni have very little contact with the Empire, they must have found the guard absolutely fascinating and put him on display.
The Ash Vampire Dagoth Endus (found in Endusal, Kagrenac's study) has some unique dialogue that can only be heard if the player can sneak up on him or cast Calm to speak with him. Dagoth Endus will greet the player warmly and congenially offer them some ancient Dagoth brandy before they fight. If the player inquires about the brandy, Dagoth Endus will respond "It is a rare nectar beyond compare, distilled ages before your ancestor's ancestors. And a fitting toast to our challenge. Would you like to sample it?"

The player can then either accept or reject the offer. If the player accepts, Dagoth Endus will give you a bottle of Ancient Dagoth Brandy, although the player is not actually required to drink it. The brandy itself is actually quite potent and will damage 20 points of Intelligence and Willpower for a minute, so it may even be wiser not to drink it (it can later be sold for 1,500 gold). If the player rejects the offer, Dagoth Endus will state that it's a pity, but also that it's "a pity to waste it on a coward like you."

Following the exchange, Dagoth Endus will offer the player the first strike, stating "You're the challenger, and I am your host. So honor demands that you deliver the first blow."
According to writer/concept-artist Michael Kirkbride, Vivec (and his androgyny) is inspired by the Ardhanarishvara, the androgynous aspect of the Hindu god Shiva.
Contributed by G-Haven
If the player does The Sad Seer quest after finishing the main quest, Oddfrid White-Lip will predict the player's future. She will say, through her friend Geilir the Mumbling, "When the dragon dies, the Empire dies. Where is the lost dragon's blood, the Empire's sire? And from the womb of the void, who shall stem the blood tide?"

This is actually a teaser to the plot of the fourth game in the Elder Scrolls series, Oblivion, which was unreleased at the time. The dragon is a reference to the Septim family line. During Oblivion, the supposed last Septim emperor dies, causing the Gates of Oblivion to open and the empire to fall into chaos. It is up to the player to find the emperor's missing heir, "the lost dragon's blood," and close the "womb of the void".

The remainder of this prophecy was revealed in a series of splash screens at the countdown to the Oblivion launch on the Official Elder Scrolls site:

When the dragon dies, the Empire dies.
Where is the lost dragon's blood, the Empire's sire?
And from the womb of the void, who shall stem the blood tide?
So long as the Blood of the Dragon Prince runs strong in her rulers, the glory of the Empire shall extend in unbroken years.
His heart's blood bleeds in darkness
For once the portals are opened, who shall shut them upon the rising tide?
For Lord Dagon forever reborn in blood and fire from the waters of Oblivion.
Find him... and close shut the marble jaws of Oblivion.

This prophecy expands upon the plot that would eventually be revealed in "Oblivion".
There are three naked Nord barbarians that can be encountered on Vvardenfell that have each had a bad run-in with a witch that they escorted. In each case, the Nords lost all of their possessions, including their clothes, to the witches, and ask the player to help them with their predicament.

Later on in Tribunal, yet another naked Nord named Forstaag the Sweltering can be found in the western end of Mournhold's Plaza Brindisi Dorom. Upon talking to him, however, he will reveal that is he is not paralyzed, nor has he ever escorted a witch in his life. In fact, he claims he is naked merely because he feels hot (ostensibly the source of his nickname, "the Sweltering"). He even gets rather offended, claiming "you people think that every time you see a naked Nord barbarian, he's been tricked by some witch. So narrow minded."

If you continue to interrogate him, he will fiercely defend himself, claiming: "I told you I don't need any help. I'm just trying to cool off a bit. I've never even seen a witch! You people and your stereotypes...."

Later on in the game, after the attack on Mournhold, he will continue to defend his stance: "You'll notice I'm not blaming this on any witch. And it's still too hot around here."
The mysterious characters written on all the Dwemer pipes in the game are actually the word "Wormgod" repeated over and over again in Dwemeris Script. "Wormgod" was the nickname of Bethesda developer Gary Noonan on the Elder Scrolls official forums.
After completing the Bloodmoon main quest line, a unique item named "BlueDev's Ring of Viewing" appears in the mouth of the stuffed cliff racer in Skaal Village's Great Hall. The ring allows the player to see all of the cut scenes seen by werewolf players in Bloodmoon. The name BlueDev is yet another reference to Bethesda designer Mark Nelson, who was known by the name BlueDev on the official forums.
Creeper is not the only infamous scamp that can be found in Morrowind. Lustidrike is a scamp that you can find in the daedric ruin of Ald Daedroth, which is visited during Sheogorath's daedric questline. If you talk to him, he will offer you anything to drink for free, "so long as it's sujamma." Upon receiving the drink, however, closer inspection will reveal that it is actually the far less potent "Lustidrike Cocktail."

Lustidrike will continue to offer you free drinks until your intelligence drops below 30, in which he will tell you "Sorry, pal. You've had enough. Go get some exercise or something." He will continue handing out drinks if you return to him later sober. However, if you return later with an intelligence that is still below 30, he will take notice and state "Back again? I dunno, pal. You look like you've had plenty. Or maybe you ALWAYS look that way."
There is an extraordinarily well-hidden sword in the game named Eltonbrand that can be acquired if the player performs a certain set of actions. In order to acquire it, the player must have Goldbrand, the sword obtained by completing Boethiah's daedric quest. The player must then complete the vampire quest Shashev's Key, given by Sirilonwe in the Vivec Guild of Mages. Upon completing the quest, if the player has 11171 gold pieces in their inventory, they will get a unique dialogue option with Sirilonwe that says "Go to Hell, Carolina!" Clicking this option will trigger Goldbrand to be replaced with Eltonbrand, a vastly superior sword.

This Easter egg is a reference to Elton Brand, an NBA basketball player who once played for the Duke Blue Devils. Bethesda Designer Mark Nelson attended Duke college and was a renowned Duke University basketball fan, which was reflected by his username choice "BlueDev". Completing the quest triggers a script called "bluescript" that checks the player's inventory for the gold and Goldbrand, and creates the unique dialogue option if the conditions are met. Additionally, Eltonbrand's object ID is "katana_bluebrand_unique". The unique dialogue option references the North Carolina Tarheels, who are Duke's most hated rivals. The name of the quest itself, "Shashev's Key," is also a reference to the long-time coach of the Blue Devils, Mike Krzyzewski, whose last name is pronounced "shÉ™-SHEF-ski". Lastly, the 11171 gold pieces is a reference to Nelson's date of birth, the 1st of November 1971.
Unused sound clips of two of the voice actors named "Intro1aDDB.mp3" and "Intro1aJon.mp3" can be found in the games voice files. They are recordings of the male Wood Elf and male Argonian reciting the introductory speech to the game. It's possible these were audition recordings for the two roles, and the voice actors were simply asked by the developers to read the intro speech at the casting.
In an ancient shipwreck in the Sheogorad Region, it's possible to find a book titled "Capn's Guide to the Fishy Stick".

This is a reference to a popular tradition started by forum member "Captain Eldrad" in the official forums years before the release of the game. Older members of the forum used to welcome new members by greeting them and posting an image of a pirate holding a fish stick. The Bethesda developers honored this tradition by putting the book into the game.

The book claims to be the definitive reference to fishy sticks throughout Tamriel, but sadly its contents state that "the pages are so smeared with fishy stick sauce it is impossible to read any of them."
During a quest in Tribunal, the player is asked to make a journalist, Trels Varis, stop printing lies about King Helseth. Once the player tracks him down to his printing offices, he will ask the player what they are doing there. One of the dialogue options is "I'm looking for the Eye of Argonia." This was the name of the planned second Elder Scrolls Adventures game. It was designed but never developed because the previous Elder Scrolls Adventures game, Redguard, had not been successful. If the player pick this option, the journalist compliments them on producing such an "original and entertaining excuse."
Inside Ghorak Manor in Caldera there is a non-aggressive Scamp named Creeper. He happens to be one of the two merchants in the game who will buy items off the player for full price (the other being the Mudcrab Merchant). He also has 5,000 gold to barter with. This, combined with his convenient location (compared to the Mudcrab Merchant), makes him an ideal vendor for players looking to offload loot. While he has less gold to trade with, he buys more types of goods than the Mudcrab Merchant, and will also purchase skooma off the player (though not moon sugar).

Creeper is actually based on a friend of designer Mark Nelson who was an unemployed drummer during some part of Morrowind's development. Despite being a lesser Daedra in a house full of Orcs, Creeper usually states he wants nothing more than to play his Guarskin Drum (which he can actually be found amongst his wares). When greeted, Creeper will also sometimes say "Don't want to work. Just want to bang on my drum." This is a reference to the song "Bang The Drum All Day" by Todd Rundgren.
There is an area in the Grazelands just west of the Nerano Ancestral Tomb where creatures spawn at twice their normal size. Whether this was done on purpose or by accident remains unclear.
There are three unused sound files named "moan2.mp3," "roar2.mp3," and "scrm2.mp3" that can be found in the Morrowind data files. These are placeholder sound clips of kittens that the developers used for the Kagouti while the game was still in development. The clips were obviously replaced with more appropriate noises for the Kagouti, but the files themselves were not removed.
Inside of the Sixth House base Hassour (south of Balmora) is a musical instrument called a "fat lute". This is a play on the term "phat lewt", which is Internet slang meaning powerful loot, typically used in MMORPGS.
North of Vivec City is the Gro-Bagrat Plantation, where an Orc named Gakkenfeld has the only muffin in the game. Sadly, the muffin has no unique effects and has the same properties as bread.
It is possible to talk to Ash Slaves like normal NPCs if the player manages to interact with them without being detected first. When not trying to kill the Nerevarine, the Ash Slaves appear to be quite preoccupied with the arrangement of their furniture. In fact, their dialogue seems to imply that the furniture is talking to them and that they simply want it to be quiet. This explains why the furniture in Sixth House bases is always arranged in bizarre ways.
There is a mounted head of an Argonian called "The Head of Scourge" in the basement storeroom of the Lizard's Head cornerclub in Vivec. This is a reference to Scourge, the character Bethesda developer Steve Meister (AKA MrSmileyFaceDude) used to test the game. Scourge was also the character Meister used to role-play on the Official Forums.

According to an interview, he discovered the head while testing the game and exploring Vivec. Since his character shared the same head model, he asked one of the developers to change the item name to match his character's.
Morrowind's data files contain a number of test rooms that can be accessed using the game console. The rooms include "Character Stuff Wonderland", "Clutter Warehouse - Everything Must Go!", "Draugr Test" (in BloodMoon), "ken's test hole", "Mark's Script Testing Cell" (in BloodMoon), "Mark's Vampire Test Cell", "Redoran Test", "Redoran Test 2", and "ToddTest".

Many of these rooms have self-explanatory purposes, although a few have noteworthy attractions in them. The "Clutter Warehouse - Everything Must Go!" room has two strange NPCs in it: Lord Cluttermonkey, who is an Argonian in Daedric armor who has a mace called Clutterbane, and the Used Clutter Salesman, a Bosmer dressed in exquisite clothes who has a Daedric warhammer.
Southwest of the Skaal Village and south-east of Castle Karstaag on Solstheim is Bjorn cave. Inside is a skeleton hanging by its feet from the ceiling with a sword stuck in the ice below it. This is a reference to Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, in which Luke Skywalker is knocked out and captured by a wampa on Hoth. When he awakens several hours later, he finds himself hanging by his feet from the ceiling with his lightsaber in the snow below him.
In Jobasha's Rare Books, located in the Lower Waistworks of the Foreign Quarter in Vivec, there is a potted plant that has actually been named "Charles the Plant". The plant also holds an alchemy ingredient called Meteor Slime. This is a reference to two plants from Maniac Mansion, the first being "Chuck the Plant" who also appears in various other LucasArts games, and the second being the man-eating plant that the player can feed a meteor to.
Contributed by G-Haven
In the in-game book called "No-h's Picture Book of Wood", it states that the last page of the book has the words "Boat Ack" scrawled about the margin in a vandalistic manner. This is a reference to the late Kurt Cobain, as in his teen years he enraged a neighbor by vandalizing a boat by painting the words "Boat Ack" on the side of it. The in-game book itself is rare and is found in only two locations, with one of them being on a boat called "Falvillo's Endeavor", which is docked near Vos.
Contributed by G-Haven
A large number of names for the Ashlander NPCs, Egg Mines, caves/tombs and Daedric shrines in Morrowind are inspired by real-world ancient Assyrian and Babylonian names.

Ahhe (used for the Asha-Ahhe Eggmine, the Ashlander NPC Ashu-Ahhe, the caves of Dun-Ahhe and Tin-Ahhe, etc) is a component of the names of Assyrian and Babylonian kings, such as Ashur-nadin-ahhe and Marduk-nadin-ahhe.

Ashur-Dan (used for the Ashlander NPC Ashur-Dan, the fire-river Foyada Ashur-Dan and the cave Ashir-Dan) is the name for three Assyrian Kings.

-ipal (used for some Daedric shrines like Assurdirapal and Zergonipal, and Ashlander NPCs such as Dunsalipal Dun-Ahhe and Shipal Zansatanit, etc) is a component for the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal.

Ashur/Assur (forementioned in previous examples and more) is the Akkadian name for the Assyrian Empire and it's capital, Ashur/Asser. It's worth mentioning "Ashur" has a resemblence to "Ashlander."

eriba- (Used loosely for the Erabenimsun Tribe) is a root for some Assyrian/Babylonian names (Eriba-Marduk, Sin-ahhe-eriba, etc)

-nammu and -nummu (used for various caves/tombs and a few NPCs) is based off of a Babylonian King named Ur-Nammu.

Sargon (used for the cave named Sargon) is the name of the founder of the Assyrian Empire (Sharru-kin, also known as "Sargon of Akkad.")

Other Ashlander names draw from other real-life cultures/people, such as Mamaea/Maesa who were family of the Roman emperor Elagabalus in the 3rd century (Julia Maesa was his maternal aunt and Julia Avita Mamaea was her daughter.)
Contributed by G-Haven
North from Seyda Neen, there is an unique encounter in which a Bosmer wizard named Tarhiel will fall from the sky and crash in front of the player, dying from the impact. He holds three Scrolls of Icarian Flight, which temporarily boost the Acrobatics skill by 1000 points, for just 7 seconds. His journal, which mentions him testing them out as an experiment, lies next to his body.

"Icarian" refers to the greek mythological figure Icarus, who shared a similar fate. Whereas Icarus flew too close to the sun and fell as a result, Tarhiel forgot to take the landing from great heights into account. It is, however, possible to save him by casting a large-area Slowfall spell, but his only dialogue is "I don't want to talk about it", suggesting he is too embarrassed by his failure.

The name "Tarhiel" is also a reference, to the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, and his game id (agronian guy) refers to North Carolina's top Agronomy program.
Contributed by G-Haven
In a cavern called Mudan Grotto there's a skeleton with the name "Peke Utchoo", which sounds quite similar to the Pokémon Pikachu. Whoever put the skeleton in also included a note that reads, "If anyone shall ever find me, I hope I am able to bring them to laughter." The note was probably put in to make sure that the player realizes that the skeleton is meant to be a joke.
Contributed by Tarhiel
There are three unique ashes in Morrowind:
Ashes of G. Lyngas, located in Ravel Ancestral Tomb.
Ashes of Lord Brinne, located in Samarys Ancestral Tomb.
Ashes of D. Bryant, located in Falas Ancestral Tomb.
These three are all dedicated to former regulars at The Elder Scrolls Forums, all of whom passed away during production.
Contributed by Tarhiel
The in-game book "The Egg of Time" depicts a Dwarven figure in an image inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.
Contributed by Tarhiel
On Azura's Coast, you can find a dead Redguard NPC called "Arlowe." On his body is a unique weapon called the "BanHammer." This is a reference to Richard "Lowtax" Kyanka, site creator of Something Awful, who was sometimes referred to as "R-Low" on the forums. The "BanHammer" was a common euphemism for someone getting banned from the forums.

The reference goes further in the Tribunal expansion. If you have the Mace of Slurring and go to Mournholds Museum of Artifacts, ask curator about the artifact and she will tell you, "It was crafted near the end of the Second Age by Kyanka, a slightly deranged Altmer weaponsmith and enchanter. He had a rather warped sense of humor, and apparently delighted at the thought of reducing opponents to a gibbering mess before crushing them to death."
Contributed by G-Haven
Three locations visited during the main quest line have sections named after different Pokemon. The Illunibi Caverns have "Marowak's Spine", Arkngthand has "Weepingbell Hall", and the Urshilaku Burial Chambers have "Kakuna Burial".
Contributed by OtakuSoze
The body of Indiana Jones can be found in a dungeon called Omalen Ancestral Tomb. Apparently a rock fell on his leg, dooming him to a slow death. There's a scroll that records his last thoughts, signed "Indie". It also mentions that his father made jokes about his childhood pet. In the movie The Last Crusade, Indiana's father exclaims at the mention of Indiana's name: "We named the dog Indiana!" This would be the childhood pet the scroll mentions.
Contributed by Tarhiel
You can find a room called 'Kefka's Burial' in the dungeon Urshilaku Burial Caverns. This is a reference to Kefka Palazzo, the main antagonist in Final Fantasy VI.
Contributed by Outofmind23
M'Aiq the Liar is a Khajiit rogue who can be found on a small island southeast of Dagon Fel in the Sheogorad Region. He is an Easter egg, and much of his dialogue refers to many requested or anticipated features of Morrowind which were not included in the final release of the game. He also mentions another easter egg, the Mudcrab Merchant. He is encountered again in Oblivion and Skyrim with similarly-themed dialogue.
Contributed by FUS RO DAH
The game contains a secret talking mudcrab tucked away on a small island just to the east of Mzahnch in the Azura's Coast region, who's also the richest trader in the game.
Contributed by thescottishgamer