Welcome to Tamriel. Specifically, welcome to the second installment of The Elder Scrolls and the Daggerfall province of the Iliac Bay. Your mission, should you choose to accept it (and you dont have to), is to involve yourself in the political affairs of the region, make a few friends, make a few enemies, kill a few people, recover a purloined letter, lay a ghost to rest, and decide who shall receive the Magical Dingus of Ultimate Power (sometimes called "The Totem of Tiber Septim). Along the way you have to figure out how to keep yourself alive and kicking long enough to get the job done. Your character will probably get filthy rich, but thats not the object of the game (who says this game is just like real life?).
Daggerfall is not a traditional Computer Role-Playing Game in that there is no true linear quest line for you to follow. You are free to develop your character along whatever lines you would like. Feel like devoting yourself to a life of crime, slaughter and general mayhem? Go for it. Want to be the Knight In Shining Armor, rescue damsels in distress, slay the monsters and make the world safe for Truth, Justice and the Tamrielian Way? Go for it. Both paths (and everything in between) are open to you. The main quest does not have to be followed, though youll miss out on a good story and a lot of interesting characters if you dont. When and if you start the main quest and in what order you complete it is almost entirely up to you.
This information contained herein is the result of several thousand hours of playing time. I do not have access to the programming team at Bethesda, I did not peek at the source code (though I did peruse a few of the text-based game files) and I did not have a copy of a hint book until a few months ago. What follows is personal observation enhanced by comments made by fellow players with a few items from the good folks at Bethesda. There are undoubtedly errors in these pages. I have tried to make this information as accurate as possible, but remind the reader that the vast majority of it is my own impressions and does not have the blessings of Bethesda Softworks, nor the stamp of approval of Forces for Good in the Community.