[The following documents were prepared by Temple scholars and agents of the Inquisition for Lord Vivec.]
From interrogation of captured Sleepers and other Sixth House cultists, from study of manuscripts written by cultists and victims of dream-induced mania, from interviews with Lord Vivec concerning historical campaigns against Red Mountain, and from broad conjectures and inferences made upon these materials, this is our best estimate of Dagoth Ur's motivations and objectives in this most recent phase of his war upon Morrowind.
Secure Red Mountain against Tribunal intruders. Deny Tribunal access to the Heart, weakening the Temple while securing Red Mountain for the creation of Akulakhan. Keep the construction of Second Numidium a secret.
Create passive servants in ever-widening circles around Red Mountain by broadcasting compulsions couched in dream imagery to susceptible subjects in their sleep. Establish a major operational base at Kogoruhn for further operations in the ash wastes. Establish smaller bases near small port villages and in lower-class waterfront districts in Vivec. Infiltrate and subvert smuggling syndicates. Recruit willing followers from disaffected populations, including the underworld, the poor, and rabid anti-Imperial activists.
Expand from smaller bases to other towns and villages, and recruit and indoctrinate subjects made susceptible by dream sendings. Occupy abandoned towers and ruins, and train corrupted cultists as raiders and irregular troops. Identify, discredit, and decimate possible sources of political resistance.
Use assassination and terror to weaken, distract, and disrupt the Legions and the Imperial bureaucracy, along with their Hlaalu sympathizers. Inspire popular uprisings of the native poor against the foreign rich and powerful. Summon Sleepers and Dreamers to Dagoth Ur to work on Second Numidium.
Dagoth Ur thinks on a large time scale -- for the most part, in the outside-of-time scale of the divine consciousness. He thinks that only obstacles of mythic scale are worth consideration. He believes he is fated to rule Morrowind, to free Morrowind of the Empire, and to become the new hard-loving Father of Morrowind. Given that perspective, the only opposing forces Dagoth Ur worries about are the Tribunal, the Daedra, the Emperor, and the Incarnate.
With the Tribunal's loss of Sunder and Keening, and with the diminishing resources of Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil, Dagoth Ur believes he has permanently gained a decisive strategic advantage. On a mortal timescale, the battle may last for centuries, but the outcome is not in doubt. And Akulakhan may be a device for dramatically reducing the time scale for a decisive victory.
The myth of dynamic invincibility of the Emperor and the Empire has long been an unquantifiable and intimidating threat, but recent rumors of unrest in Cyrodiil, of the Emperor's failing health, and the unsettled question of the succession have diminished the scale of that threat. Nonetheless, the revelation that the Nerevarine is a pawn of Imperial intelligence, hand-picked and sent to Morrowind by the Emperor himself, may cause Dagoth Ur considerable anxiety.
The Daedra represent no coherent obstacle to Dagoth Ur. Nonetheless, their personal abilities and their influence upon their fanatic followers is considerable, their motives and actions obscure, and Dagoth Ur remains concerned about them.
The Incarnate represents Saint Nerevar, a mythic force that has previously defeated Dagoth Ur, and Dagoth Ur is obsessed with this threat. At the same time, Dagoth Ur knew Nerevar personally, knew that he was a mortal man with faults and weaknesses. Dagoth Ur may have some hope of seducing or negotiating with Nerevar's reincarnation. Further, when Nerevar and the Tribunal defeated Dagoth Ur, they were strong and allied; now the Nerevarine and the Tribunal are weak, opposed, and divided. Therefore, though the Nerevarine and the Tribunal represent the most serious threat to Dagoth Ur's plans, he still has good reason to believe that this time he will prevail.
[Much of the following timescale is based on inference from incomplete information.]
before 2E 882: Dagoth Ur and his kin lie dreaming beneath the sills of Red Mountain.
2E 882: Dagoth Ur and his ash vampires awake refreshed and emerge from lower Red Mountain into the Heart Chamber. Dagoth Ur ritually binds himself and his brethren as heartwights in a ritual of his own devising. First stages of construction of Second Numidium [conceived during the Long Sleep] are begun by heartwights and atronach constructs in a chamber near the Heart of Lorkhan. Keeping the Second Numidium project a secret from the Tribunal is a high priority.
2E 882: The Tribunal arrive at Red Mountain for their annual ritual bathing in the heart's power. Dagoth Ur and ash vampires ambush the Tribunal. The Tribunes are driven away, and prevented from restoring themselves with Kagrenac's tools at the Heart of Lorkhan.
2E 882-3E 417: Intermittent Tribunal campaigns assault Red Mountain. The Tribunal and supporting forces seek to force access to the Heart Chamber, but are repeatedly driven back. Dagoth Ur recruits Sleepers and Dreamers through dream sendings. Cultists are recruited through dream compulsion. Weaker cultists become corprus beasts; stronger cultists advance through stages towards the powers of the Ascended Sleepers.
3E 400: Kogoruhn reoccupied by Dagoth Uthol and fortified as an advance base for Sixth House operations. Blight storms more frequent and widespread. Soul sickness spreads in regions close to Red Mountain.
3E 410: Sixth House bases founded near Gnaar Mok and in waterfront areas of Vivec. Sixth House operatives exploit smuggler organizations and communications to spread their influence among victims unbalanced by Dagoth Ur's dream sendings.
3E 415: Small cells of Sixth House cultists in every town in Vvardenfell. Larger Sixth House operations are concealed in remote dungeons where creatures are bred and cultists are trained for the coming struggle.
3E 417: Almalexia and Sotha Sil lose the artifacts Keening and Sunder to Dagoth Odros and Vemyn. Vivec rescues Almalexia and Sotha Sil, but failing to recover Keening and Sunder, the Tribunal retreat from Red Mountain in disorder. Surviving Buoyant Armiger companions know the Tribunal was forced to retreat, but do not know how serious a reversal the Tribunal has suffered. The Three Tribunes return to their respective capitals and continue to perform their ritual functions. The Tribunes continue to grow weaker without access to the Heart, and because of resources required to support the Ghostfence. The inner circle of the Temple priesthood has begun to suspect the Tribunes have suffered seriously from wounds and demoralization in the wake of reverses at Red Mountain, but do not recognize the scale of the problem.
3E 426-427: Campaign of Sixth House assassinations of prominent Imperial citizens and Hlaalu Imperial sympathizers. Sudden increase in number and seriousness of attacks by cultists and victims deranged by soul sickness.