The Camonna Tong is the native crime syndicate in the province of Morrowind. They are the parallel to the Thieves' Guild, however they tend to lack the loose code of values their Imperial twin possesses, and often are involved in more ambitious projects, such as influencing or outright controlling politics. In this way, the Camonna Tong functions similarly to a Mafia, especially compared to the Thieves' Guild, who are for the most part a simple black market-like organization of thieves and other assorted criminals who look out for and trade privately with one another. In a small way, the Camonna Tong of Morrowind share a similar relationship to the Thieves' Guild as the Thieves' Guild does to another group called the "Wharf Rats" who are a rather smaller, rather simpler group of less ambitious, less competent petty-crooks and vandals. As stated above, the Camonna Tong lacks the Thieves' Guild's loose code of morality, involving themselves significantly in drugs, slavery, prostitution, extortion and many varieties of gruesome murder. The Thieves have no part in such things-indeed, they punish those among their ranks found guilty of them.
Relations with other groups
The Camonna Tong is extremely xenophobic, and thus are opposed to all Imperial people and institutions, such as the Mages' Guild and Imperial Legion, and hold a strong dislike for non-Dunmer and outlanders. Due to this, the Camonna Tong has declared war on the Imperial Thieves' Guild, for the twofold offences of being outlanders and intruding on their turf. They are so intent on destroying the Thieves' Guild that they have taken control of the Fighters' Guild through Sjoring Hard-heart, their leader. The Camonna Tong is very nationalistic, though, and so supports, or at least doesn't actively oppose, native Morrowind organizations such as the Tribunal Temple. The Camonna Tong's relationships with the Great Houses of Vvardenfell are varied: House Hlaalu is at least partially controlled by them, House Redoran is opposed to them, and House Telvanni treats them with the disdain and detachment they exhibit in all of their dealings. As for the assassins' guild, the Morag Tong, both are opposed to each other on practical grounds but for the most part do not make aggression. Since the Morag Tong will not accept work from the criminals of the Camonna Tong, they are much more inclined to turn to the Dark Brotherhood for "professional-grade" assassination when their own manpower will not suffice, while certainly enjoying the added benefit of the Brotherhood's infamous and terror-inspiring ways. Despite this, the Camonna Tong does not trust the Brotherhood on the grounds that it regularly associates with outlanders, and the Morag Tong occasionally uses Camonna Tong members as informants and agents in their endless attempts to wipe the Brotherhood out of Morrowind.
The Camonna Tong in the game
In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, players will often come across Camonna Tong operations: several of their operatives work in various caves scattered across Vvardenfell, and they are an obstacle to certain objectives players must achieve. Players cannot join the faction: even Dunmer characters are outlanders (player-character Dunmer are not native to Morrowind) and therefore opponents of the Camonna Tong. Their effects are felt nevertheless, though: later Thieves' Guild and Fighters' Guild missions involve the war between the crime factions, and on occasion Camonna Tong members will give players missions to accomplish, though completing these does not affect one's influence on the syndicate. Additionally, at one point in the game, players who ask around for rumors may be told that an old general is looking to meet them. Speaking with him provides players with a mission to kill several Camonna Tong members in the Balmora council club. There is also a small camp on the eastern end of Cyrodiil in Oblivion (Walker Camp) that has two Camonna Tong operatives occupying it, despite the fact that they operate almost entirely in Morrowind. These operatives are in fact part of a skooma smuggling operation, and do not attack, unless if aggravated, otherwise being friendly. Apparently, the Camonna Tong agents in Oblivion are more generally an easter egg found in the game.
The head of the Camonna Tong during the time in which Morrowind takes place is Orvas Dren, who is the brother of the Duke of Vvardenfell, Vedam Dren. Through the Camonna Tong he controls part of House Hlaalu, including two councillors, and some magistrates in Balmora, House Hlaalu’s capital on Vvardenfell. In a note to some of his lackeys, Orvas Dren reveals that his brother is getting in the way of some of the Camonna Tong’s operations and that he wishes him to be assassinated. Orvas Dren ultimately becomes an obstacle in Morrowind, as his influence of House Hlaalu prevents the Nerevarine from being declared Hortator of Hlaalu and he must be killed, bribed, or blackmailed to neutralize this problem. This leads to a glitch in some versions of the game, as non-Hlaalu players may use a dialogue about Orvas Drem to join House Hlaalu and elevate themselves directly to the highest rank-even if the player had already joined House Redoran or Telvanni. This allows one to hold the highest rank in two Great Houses, and possibly build both strongholds.
|Organizations of The Elder Scrolls|
|Military/Mercenary:||Blades | Buoyant Armigers | Fighters' Guild | Imperial Legion | Ordinators|
|Religious/Mystical:||Mages' Guild | Tribunal Temple|
|Covert:||Camonna Tong | Dark Brotherhood | Morag Tong | Thieves' Guild|
|Political:||Houses of Morrowind|