Since I still receive e-mails on this subject with some regularity, I figured I would get all of this information out in the open once and for all, now that the one-year release-anniversary is just a few weeks away. (And no, there will be no Anniversary Edition or anything of the sort, it's still As-Is).
Here is a list of the major secrets (mostly artifact/item-related) in the Illuminated Order mod - I've kept them somewhat vague so as not to completely spoil the surprises, but the information in this post should be considered MAJOR spoiler material.
This is likely the only place I'll post this info, but feel free to disseminate it as you wish. For general information on the mod, visit the official Illuminated Order page at the HG Morrowind Gateway. (And if you've never played the mod you shouldn't be reading this post. )
Here's the long and short of the secret items - in general I won't give the locations of these items, but a description of their function. Enjoy.
- The Key to Hell - Doesn't do anything. Just a lark. Intended as a misleading item to get imaginations running - may be used in the future.
- Burned Book - Does nothing (yet) - It's a partial answer to a vague question from some of Eats-Crow's dialogue, but will (hopefully) be foreshadowing for if a sequel is ever done - the Sisters have some interesting backstory.
- Giant Pearl of the Blue Oyster - Reduces luck and adds to personality while it's in the player's inventory - not used for anything else.
- Signal Lantern - The Signal Lantern at the top of the Wererat's Lighthouse grants Night Eye when equipped, but also discreetly adds a Power to your spellbook - a very powerful 'Demoralize Creature' effect called 'Wererat's Cowardice' - you can use it once a day, and it'll make every animal/creature within 10 or 15 feet run away from you. (Note: There's a bug if you go underwater with the Lantern equipped - Like most handheld lightsources, it disappears forever - but you keep the Wererat's Cowardice ability.)
- There's a Dwemer Breather Unit stashed behind the Barataria exterior sphere (in Manky Grotto). In the Barataria Airlock, in a crate, there is a pair of Dwemer Underwater Propulsion Boots. (80 pt Swift Swim, low protection/durability).
- The main Control Panel for the Barataria (in the control room up top) has a bunch of Elder Scrolls cosmology info in dialogue - speaking with it thoroughly will raise your Intelligence by a point.
- The Mini-Spiders in the Barataria Captain's Quarters are actually portable companions - the book on the desk there is a 'manual' of sorts that tells how to use them - one of them is a healer, one of them is a ranged attacker, and the other is a melee unit. Just activating them picks them up and places them in your inventory. Holding a weapon or spell readied and activating them toggles follow/fight mode on & off. They tear apart spellcasters (they can take down a low-level lich almost completely on their own), but are generally very susceptible to melee attack.
- There are Six Daedra Statues hidden throughout Fionnovar - crude miniature versions of the larger Daedra statues from the shrines. A note beneath the stairway to Odhran's WOrkshop in Fionnovar crtypically explains how they work, but they can be a bit complex: 'Pray' to them, and they'll grant bonuses to you so long as you stay within a certain distance of them (useful for boss fights or small dungeons that require that extra edge). Together they can be an extremely powerful tool - but don't ask for their blessing too often or in the wrong way, or they will grow greatly displeased with you.
- The Crystal Array in Fionnovar can grant you a very powerful boon. One of the Sisters mentions it in dialogue...
- The Ghost Animals in Fionnovar's mushroom garden work like the mini-spiders - they're portable companions, and are nearly as strong as their real-life counterparts - they're good as one-time use damage absorbers against the more powerful opponents, but they do not respawn. Still, it's nice to have portable Mini-Kagouti and Mini-Guar.
- Decius Mus can turn you into a vampire of any of the three clans if you figure out how to ask him. All dialogue about the Order states that they shun vampires and will reject you after your transformation, but they generally won't. You will, however, be unable to reach the fourth guildhouse as a vampire (unless you're using a mod that allows you to charm or otherwise communicate w/ NPC's normally).
- All the rumors in the Order's letter to M'aiq the Liar can be followed up on, to a point - Let's just say there's a hint of truth to all of them.
Two quick console-related secrets:
- The Island with the angular shrine can be made to completely disappear/reappear with a single console command:
"set OrdAngularShrineDisable to 1"
Or set it to '0' to make it reappear. It was designed to support some design ideas that were never implemented, but it's still cool to look at, and may be followed up on at some point.
- To test out life as a lich, run this console command:
It's irreversible, and should only be used for testing purposes or in games where you don't have any wish to go through the Illuminated Order quests themselves, as running this script will break them.
That's most of it, though I'm sure I missed one or two things. There are other hidden bits in dialogue, and a lot of case-by-case dialogue for Order members and even some NPC's outside of the Order, but you can find that stuff on your own.
I'm extremely glad that so many people have enjoyed the mod, as I'm sure Cjdevito is.
If anyone has any other burning questions about the mod, feel free to ask here - I'll be lurking around for a week or so and will answer what I can.