There are all sorts of factions and Guilds in Morrowind, but unlike the Great Houses, you're free to join as many Guilds and factions as you like.
To advance in a Guild or faction, you must have first completed enough quests to earn your new position, and then have the skills that that faction favours at a high enough level. Each faction caters to a more specific occupation than what would be found in the Houses.
There are three guilds that you can join in Vvardenfell, the Fighters Guild, the Mages Guild, and the Thieves Guild. Each guild caters to different playing styles and skill preferences. In addition to the Guilds, there are several factions, the Morag Tong (an assembly of assassins), the Imperial Legion (like the fighter's guild, but more about doing good deeds), the Imperial Cult (dedicated to the Imperial theology), the Tribunal Temple (dedicated to the living gods of Morrowind), and the Blades (the Empire's secret service). But wait, there's more! Not only are there a whole hoard of miscellaneous one off quests, but there are also three different Vampire Clans than you can 'join' if you desire. There are also a few factions such as the Ashlander Clans, and the Cammona Tong that you can't have direct involvement in, so we won't touch on them here.
The Fighters Guild was originally chartered by the Empire to regulate the hiring, training and operating of mercenaries. When you join, you'll get discounted rates on training and supplies as well as access to the Guild Stewards who can find you work. As you advance, you'll get wind of some turmoil inside the Guild.
Favoured Skills: Armourer, Axe, Block, Blunt Weapon, Heavy Armour, and Long Blade.
|Eydis Fire-Eyes||- Fighters Guild, Balmora|
|Lorbumol Gro-Aglakh||- Fighters Guild, Foreign Quarter Plaza, Vivec|
|Hrundi||- Fighters Guild, Wolverine Hall, Sadrith Mora|
|Percius Mercius||- Fighters Guild, Ald'ruhn|
|Sjoring Hard-Heart||- Fighters Guild, Foreign Quarter Plaza, Vivec|
As with the Fighters Guild, the Mages Guild was chartered by the Empire to help keep magicians in order (a single rogue magician might not be too much hassle to deal with, but when everybody's got godly powers and different ideas about the way the world should be run, the results can't be cleaned up with a squeegie mop). When you join, you'll get discounted rates on training and supplies as well as access to the Guild Stewards who can find you work. Much like the Fighters Guild again, the Mages Guild has some strange things happening up top which you'll become more involved with as you advance. Also, to advance past certian ranks, you'll need to perform a task or retrieve an item or outlay some cash, so be prepared.
Favoured Skills: Alchemy, Alteration, Destruction, Enchant, Illusion, and Mysticism.
|Ajira||- Mages Guild, Balmora|
|Edwinna Elbert||- Mages Guild, Ald'ruhn|
|Skink-in-Tree's-Shade||- Mages Guild, Wolverine Hall, Sadrith Mora|
|Ranis Athry||- Mages Guild, Balmora|
|Trebonius Artiorius||- Mages Guild, Ald'ruhn|
Ahh, the Thieves Guild. There are many different ways in which you can view the Thieves Guild. In some respects, they're like the Fighters Guild, mercenaries for hire, in others, they're more like the Mages Guild, safer and more coherant in an organised group. In all respects, the Thieves Guild is all about doing things the sneaky way without being caught. One nice perk of being in the Thieves Guild is that if you do commit a crime, there are people you can contact who can remove a price from your head at a discount rate. Quite often you'll find that you are favouring nasty characters as your targets, and as you advance you'll get the opportunity to help revive the legend of the Bal Molagmer, a 'Robin Hood' type character who righted wrongs and protected the poor.
Favoured Skills: Acrobatics, Light Armour, Marksman, Security, Short Blade, Sneak.
|Sugar-Lips Habasi||- South Wall Corner Club, Balmora|
|Aengoth The Jeweler||- The Rat In The Pot, Ald'ruhn|
|Big Helende||- Dirty Muriel's Cornerclub, Sadrith Mora|
|Gentleman Jim Stacey||- Simine Fralinie: Bookseller, Foreign Quarter Underworks, Vivec|
|Phane Rielle||- South Wall Corner Club, Balmora|
|Tongue-Toad||- The Rat In The Pot, Ald'ruhn|
|Rissinia||- Dirty Muriel's Cornerclub, Sadrith Mora|
|Crazy-Legs Arantamo||- Simine Fralinie: Bookseller, Foreign Quarter Underworks, Vivec|
The Morag Tong, whose headquarters is hidden in Vivec's Arena Canton (see Where To Go, Who To See for the location, as you'll need to find it before you can join and as such is a spoiler), are a secretive group of assassins sanctioned by the empire to try and tone down random murder and organise House Warfare. The Morag Tong have high standards, and thier missions often require skill. Thankfully, you can avoid becoming a fugitive when you're supplied with a legal writ of execution which guards and ordinators will ask for before they start beating you over the head. Unlike other Guilds, each quest (or writ) is not given by a specific quest giver, but available from any quest giver at any location (they must send out internal memos or something), so no matter where you are, as long as there's a Morag Tong operative around you can get some work. Once you hit the top rank in the Morag Tong, you'll have the opportunity to perform some extra writs. You don't have to do these, and though the money's good, most people choose not to, as you'll be asked to assassinate some of the most honourable, and interesting characters in the game.
Favoured Skills: Acrobatics, Illusion, Light Armour, Marksman, Short Blade, and Sneak.
|Eno Hlaalu||- Morag Tong Headquarters, Arena Canton, Vivec|
|Ethasi Rilvayn||- Morag Tong Guildhall, Balmora|
|Goren Andarys||- Morag Tong Guildhall, Mannor District, Ald'ruhn|
|Dunsalipal Dun-Ahhe||- Morag Tong Guildhall, Sadrith Mora|
Each faction has its own quirks, but by far the biggest turn-off for most people is the Imperial Legion's insistance that you wear their uniform. This means that when you first join, no member of the Legion will talk to you unless you are wearing the Imperial Chain Cuirass you are issued with. This isn't too much of a problem early on in your adventures, but after a while, you'll get used to wearing very strong and expensive equiment, and by comparison, the ICC is like wearing a paper bag. But don't dispair, because as you advance, you'll be issued with bigger and better equipment, and right at the top are two unique artifacts that make it all worthwhile. To join, you'll need to head to Fort Darius in Gnisis. From there, you'll be transferred all around Vvardenfell (Join the Legion! See the world!). Each Fort is located slightly away from a nearby town and some can be easy to miss, but ask around and you'll get some directions, and you shouldn't have any troubles.
Favoured Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Long Blade, Security, Spear, and Sneak.
|General Darius||- Fort Darius, Gnisis|
|Imsin The Dreamer||- Buckmoth Fort, Ald'ruhn|
|Radd Hard-Heart||- Moonmoth Fort, Balmora|
|Frald The White||- Hawkmoth Fort, Ebonheart|
|Varus Vantinius||- Grand Council Chambers, Ebonheart|
The Imperial Cult is essentially a missionary organisation, spreading the word and the Empires beliefs into Tamriel's many provinces. In the Cult, you'll find yourself collecting ingredients and donations, excising spirits and doing generic good deeds. To join, you'll need to speak (and give 50 gold) to Ygfa, Syloria Siruliulus, Somutis Vunnis, Ruccia Concian, or Lalatia Varian, each of whom are located in and around the various Imperial Forts.
Favoured Skills: Blunt Weapon, Conjuration, Mysticism, Restoration, Security, Speechcraft, and Unarmoured.
|Synnolian Tunfus||- Imperial Chapels, Ebonheart|
|Iulus Truptor||- Imperial Chapels, Ebonheart|
|Kaye||- Imperial Chapels, Ebonheart|
|Lalatia Varian||- Imperial Chapels, Ebonheart|
The Tribunal Temple is the Imperial Cult's 'competition' in Vvardenfell. You'll find yourself doing all sorts of demeaning things in the name of the Tribunal like vows of silence and lots of pilgrimages, but it's all in good fun. You'll also get to do a few item retrieval and kill-that-bad-guy quests, so it's not all about trudging.
Favoured Skills: Alchemy, Blunt Weapon, Conjuration, Mysticism, Restoration, and Unarmoured.
|Feldrelo Sadri||- Balmora Temple|
|Endryn Llethan||- High Fane, Vivec|
|Tholer Saryoni||- High Fane, Vivec|
|Tuls Valen||- Ald'ruhn Temple, Ald'ruhn|
|Tharer Rothelot||- Molag Mar Temple, Molag Mar|
|Uvoo Llaren||- Ghostgate Temple, Ghostgate|
The Blades Operatives are the Empire's equivalent of a seceret service. You'll be inducted by Caius Cosades after you deliver the package, and this will start the main quest. As you progress through the main quest, you'll advance in the Blades, and you'll also end up joining some Aslander Clans. There are a few other Blades Operatives that you'll meet in Vvardenfell, but Caius is the only one who will give you quests.
Favoured Skills: Light Armour, Long Blade, Marksman, Restoration, Sneak, and Speechcraft.
|Caius Cosades||- Caius Cosades House, Balmora|