About this mod

Emergent Gameplay and Visual Storytelling oriented overhaul of Balmora, improving upon the content from the best Balmora mods.

Permissions and credits
From the gorgeous mansions of Hlaalu nobles from High Town and welcoming shops of Commercial District to the croocked streets of Labour Town and dirty sewer pipes below it, that local papeurs call their home - this is Balmora. Capital of House Hlaalu on Vvardenfell and its second biggest city. The city of commerce and crime where the trade happens in the shady alleys as well as shops. Of opulence and misery, where the rich and the poor are separated by the forces much stronger than the waters of river Odai. The City of Contrasts.


This is a comprehensive overhaul of Balmora based on the best level design mods, such as Beautiful Cities of Morrowind, Dallara Balmora and Balmora Waterworks.

My main priority was Visual Storytelling and Emergent Gameplay. I wanted to, first of all, create interesting places with their own stories and inner logic with further possibilities for quests and interactive elements:

  • Shady alleys and dead ends, serving as sewer drains, are the places where Thieves Guild and Camonna Tong members can do their trade and are hidden from the plain sight.
  • The walls are circling the city and the gates are monitored by the guards. Those who are not on the best terms with the law may need to find some other way in.
  • High Town got it own walls and gates and only important people are let through the main entrance. 
  • Sewers got multiple new places of interest compared to the version from Balmora Waterworks.

The second priority, was to highlight the distinction between the districts of the city. Labour Town, Commercial District and High Town have their own personalities and stand in contrast to each other:

  • High Town is the place for the wealthiest of citizens. This district is separated from the others by a moat and a separate wall with its own gates so that simple commoners didn't bother the important people: Hlaalu nobles and rich traders who own mansions there. Ragged paupers are send away immediately, while more presentable looking citizens may have an opportunity to persuade the gate guard. There are multiple other ways to get inside, however. Be it through the servant door or through the sewers.
  • Commercial District is the face of the city shown to the guests. It's welcoming and well maintained. Market Square is bustling with food stands trading in local and imported goods. The district is a home for middle and upper-middle class citizens. Most houses have two stores owned by the same person, usually a merchant, hosting a shop on the ground level. 
  • Labour Town is a place for less wealthy, simple labourers, low-middle class citizens. Housing here is more affordable. It's build in hight density, and different floors of a building are usually owned by different people. Its streets are crooked and occasionally dirty, with moderately slums aesthetics, which becomes more and more noticeable the furter you go from the river. Housing blocks are intertwined with roofs and staircases of one house leading to the entrance of the other creating a true sense of
  • verticality.

The third, was to make Balmora look like a big city it's supposed to be but without overextending its borders. It was achieved by adding new buildings in Labor Town, where the density could and, in my opinion, should be much higher. Some of the existent buildings got new stores. Some interiors were replanned making two one-floor interiors from one two-floor one. As a result the number of interiors in Labor town was increased more than twofold compared to the original.

The last, but not the least priority was not to change too much and preserve inner consistency. If something doesn't achieve one of the previous goals, I do not include it. If something can be achieved either by a small change or a bigger one, I prefer the smaller. I retracted some of the changes from BCoM which I found questionable and ensured that interiors better fit the exterior of the building in some places where it was disturbed.

Random Encounters and Quests

As the city became bigger, I'm adding new gameplay content, fitting its layout. Shady alleys of Commercial District became a more interesting and dangerous place as you may meet Camonna Tong members there, either selling drugs or eager to spill some outlander blood. Labor Town's shady alley is under Thieves Guild's control. There you may meet smugglers to trade illicit goods with, and paupers who may reward your generosity with a helpful advice. But be mindful of pickpockets.

Some of the vanilla game quests got indirectly affected, mainly those which require to enter High Town as it's made harder. But also, Redoran Founder Helm, Code Book and I'm Not A Necromancer got alternative ways to complete them.

There are also four new quests:
  • A repeatable quest which introduces to the random events mechanics - can be occasionally picked in the moat between Hight Town and Commercial District
  • A quest related to paupers in the sewers below Labor Town. Can be picked there.
  • A quest given by a priest in the sewers below Temple.
  • A quest given by Shulk egg miner.

There going to be even more quests and gameplay elements in the future versions.


Since 1.5.1all changes to Lucky Lockup and Eight Plates were retracted, so now the City of Contrasts is naturally compatible with mods affecting them, I recommend using these:

Even Seedier Eight Plates
OAAB Livelier Lucky Lockup

You may also find patched esp-files of several popular mods in optional files
Compatibility with Beautiful Cities of Morrowind and Balmora Temple Redone is achieved through TES3cmd scripts. Run the one you need. And in case you want to use all three mods together you may just run the Multipatch.

Feel free to ask for patches to more mods!