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Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion- Dark Brotherhood (Black hand) Quests and Ranking Guide

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion- Dark Brotherhood (Black hand) Quests and Ranking Guide

Cheydinhal Abandoned House

Dark Brotherhood Hideout, a safe haven for the guild. The closest to a Guild hall it has.
Source: UESP Wiki

Hail Sithis!

Who is Sithis, you ask? Sithis is the ‘leader’ of this guild. The Dark Brotherhood. He tells us who to kill and we should abide by his rules. Much of this guild is assassinations, in fact there are few quests that don’t involve a murder. Do not be deterred from this guild if you think it will just be about killing people without being seen, as many of the contracts are designed to test your skills in the art of silence and sneaking. It is (in my own personal view) the thieves guild, but with murder instead of theft. You have a complex path to get to your intended target and you can’t let anyone see you (except the target can as long as they don’t alert people). But wait! There’s more, in fact there is also a bonus attached once you do the first few quests that give you magical weapons and gifts that will help you in the future quests or just in general.

So now that you know the guild isn’t just slicing people up because you’re being paid to, continue reading on for my guide through the ranks, basic murder techniques, tips and hints for things you should do before you start going after each person, how to even get in without incurring a bounty, and much more! Get your ninja pants on, this is going to be a silent, thrilling, bloody, adventure. (If you don’t own ninja pants, it’s okay, I did fine with normal pants on and even shorts.)

The Basics for Murder, an Assassin’s Guide

There are many ways to go about murdering someone, without being seen. While the armor and hood the Dark Brotherhood awards you with after your first quest is helpful, it isn’t available till you complete the first quest. I’m going to list some basics and then go into detail on some others as I think of them.

Poisons- great way to level up alchemy skill if you make them yourself, but it may not do the job without a sneak increase. (Assuming your potion making skill is in the lower quality, better poisons will almost certainly do the trick, especially with sneak boost.) If this gets you an assault charge, just charm a guard real quick to try and yield to him, he may even pay the fine for you.
Magic- Cast a frenzy spell if your target is near people, anyone they attack will help join in on the fight, just make sure they attack you first or let everyone else do it for you.
Poisoned Apples- Right out of a fairy tale, you can buy poisoned apples from M’raaj-Dar once you are in the Dark Brotherhood or take some from the barrel in Fort Farragut. They cost 300 a piece but allow you to kill without getting your hands dirty, just reverse pickpocket them when nobody sees you and they will eat it (though it may take a few days).
Enchanted Items- If you have access to the enchanting table and some soul gems, make an item that has 0 weight (a Mage’s Hood for example) that does damage to self. Name the item with some A’s at the beginning or take any hood items they have in their inventory when you reverse pickpocket them and they should put it on when they wake up. If you talk to them after you put the hood in their inventory they should put it on and then go back to sleep, or you can wait for them to wake up and do it themselves.
Use Others- I mentioned the frenzy spell to get people to attack you, but you can also use companions to do the murder for you and you don’t get the bounty for murder. (You may get an assault charge depending on how you go about it though.)

Murderer Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Murder Rank- How to Join the Dark Brotherhood

Before you go off in search of contracts and start your career as a hired killer, you have to kill someone. Whoa, put that weapon away! Not just anyone will do (technically this is true but I’m going to tell you a few people that don’t get you a bounty). You see, the Dark Brotherhood has to know you will do well murdering people for a living, so you can’t just walk in and ask to join like the Fighters or Mages Guilds (and kinda thieves). As long as they are non-essential you could kill any of them, including quest NPCs, but there are some specifics you can keep an eye out for, or find yourself.

Glenroy- Near the end of the tutorial he becomes non-essential and you don’t get a bounty. He’s the male guard that isn’t left alive at the end a.k.a. Baurus (if you have already played you know who he is).
Agronak gro-Malog- The Grand Champion of the Arena, if you do the Origin of the Gray Prince quest his death counts as a murder and you don’t get a bounty. I have a hub on the Arena rounds, so if you want this route I can advise you a little. Good for beginners as the gold rewards for the Arena aren’t level-dependent.
Alga- She lives in Bruma, and can be found in Olav’s Tap and Tack or Honmund’s House. She also respawns so you don’t have to worry about making any NPC disappear forever, although the previous two die anyway.
Alval Unvani- This guy likes to travel so he can be found along roads, making it so there aren’t any witnesses. He is also part of a later Dark Brotherhood Quest so killing him is like killing two people with one blade swipe. He lives in Leyawiin (Sundas only), but can be found in Bravil on Morndas/Tirdas, Skingrad on Middas/Turdas, and Bruma on Fredas/Loredas. (He may take a bit to get there, always in an Inn so keep an eye out.)
The Skooma Den in Bravil has 4 residents inside with low responsibility so killing them will most likely go unreported and thus, no bounty.
Arena Foes- Just use a fear or demoralize spell that won’t incur a bounty either.
Arnora Auria- After Jorundr tells you to kill her, don’t talk to her and just kill her quickly. You finish the quest, no bounty, and the dark brotherhood will come to you.
Caminalda- When you are doing the Anvil Recommendation quest if you kill her before she attacks you it will count as murder without getting a bounty.
Camonna Tong Thug- Kill one of the two before they attack you, so use a bow from a distance or sneak. They also respawn after a few days. (They are at Walker camp)
Mephala Daedric Quest- It requires you to murder two people and frame them for each other’s death. Mephala is related to the Dark Brotherhood, so this is probably why it initiates the Dark Brotherhood invitation.
Umbra- Normally killed during Clavicus Vile’s quest, you can kill her at any time to complete the main quest and get an invitation to the guild. *Warning that you may not get xbox achievements if you complete the main quest this way*
Glarthir- Kill him behind the church to end his stupid quest and get the bounty free murder. (You might wait till he has you do the murders at the end if you want the gold, he also has some good stuff in his house if you feel like trespassing.)
Respawning Followers- You can get in this way but keep in mind you will most likely be suspended from whatever guild you are using them with.
Non-Hosile Adventurers- They have a low chance of appearing in dungeons, one is Dzonot Cave, on the City Isle, but not always appearing there. Probably not the best option this is, unless you happen to find one when reading this or something.

So you just have to kill someone but keep in mind that some NPCs can’t be killed and some deaths will bug/kill/prevent quests from finishing. Any quest NPC that you know will attack you, but you kill before they become hostile will probably work, although I can’t test every option out there. When it says someone has witnessed your murder, then you will get your invitation the next time you sleep.

Slayer Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Slayer Rank

In order to become a slayer you have to complete three quests, A Knife in the Dark, A Watery Grave, and Accidents happen. They are all fairly simple, and you even get to use that brain of yours to find the best course of death.

A Knife in the Dark is the first Dark Brotherhood quest and my favorite for reasons you may not guess. Basically you have to go inside of the “Inn of Ill Omen” (reason 1: That name is awesome) take a left and go downstairs to find the target. His name is Rufio, and he is sleeping (at least he is for me, apparently not always although I’ve yet to see him awake). If you talk to him and learn of his past you can infer that he was part of an attempted rape that ended up killing the victim (reason 2: that guy deserves to die). WAIT! Reason 3 occurs before you kill him. If he is asleep, you can use this room to level up your sneak (and by level it up, I mean by A LOT). I went from 48 or so all the way up to maybe 59 or 61 without any added skill from armor or items or whatever. It takes awhile to do so, but if you walk reaaaalllly slowly across the room you should get a couple increases per crossing (if you go the long way and go as slow as possible while moving). I usually do this until I get bored or I have to pee, but do it or not its up to you. Swipe at his sleeping body (while in sneak for extra oomph) with your new blade of woe, or another weapon/spell of choice and find a bed to sleep in to have Lucien welcome you to the Family. (You can sleep right there in Rufio’s bed if you want, push him off if you feel weird and he didn’t fall off himself.) Lucien also tells you about the Abandoned house in Cheydinhal and the password for the door, once inside talk to Ocheeva to get your reward.

Next you get your contracts from Vicente (A vampire, ooh). First off you have to kill pirates (awesome!) or at least just the captain, but most ways to go about this quest involve other deaths as well. It’s called A Watery Grave and as I just hinted at, there are many options to go about this quest and you learn of one if you speak to your sisters and brothers. You can hide inside the crate at the end of the dock area thing and make your way to the captain’s cabin, killing a few pirates along the way, OR you can just kill all the pirates you see and probably make the guards attack you and cause a huge scene, OR you can wait until night has arrived and jump onto the balcony and pick the lock to get inside the captain’s cabin directly. You probably can’t kill him with one blow, but make sure he doesn’t alert his fellow pirates, make sure you loot his body and chest and grab the nirnroot in his room. Leave through the back door of the cabin either way and run away or fast travel. Two pirates will come in after you kill him (though you have a warning knock) so if he is asleep you should loot his stuff before killing him to gain some time or you can hide in the shadows near the door where the pirates enter if you don’t want to escape or don’t have time to.

Lastly you have Accidents Happen, which you might guess has to do with making something (a murder) look like an accident. This is the beginning of a glorious set of quests that give you an optional bonus (recommended as they usually help you out later on and they are at least useful to get some money if nothing else). This quest is again given many options, although not so much with how the result is as how you go about doing it. If you choose to do the bonus, making the head fall on the target’s head and leaving his manservant Gromm alive, then you should wait for 8-11 pm although the mid range is best to give you time to get there. Sneak in through the back door in the basement to avoid Gromm seeing you, and use the shadows to sneak upstairs (to the first floor and then the second). Once you go up the stairs to the second floor the room directly to your right is the entrance to the head’s fastenings. Make sure Gromm doesn’t see you (although he saw me for a split second the last time I did it), then open the crawlspace door and loosen the fastenings (you can also wait in there till the time frame if you want to, just close the door first). You should hear Baelin die and Gromm will then be defensive so make double sure he doesn’t see you sneak out the way you came. If you get the bonus you receive Sufferthorn, an Elven Dagger that damages Health and Drains Strength.

Eliminator Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Eliminator Rank

To obtain the rank of Eliminator you must complete two or three quests, Scheduled for Execution, The Assassinated Man, and possibly The Lonely Wanderer if you failed the Assassinated Man. The failure of The Lonely Wanderer doesn’t remove you from the guild, but it does make Vicente quite upset with you. The Assassinated Man is the last quest you get from Vicente Valtieri, and you get the well key, so best complete it without failing.

Scheduled for Execution is a quest I was hoping I would get to do from the very beginning. You see, nobody told me there would be a jerk in the cell across from me that would say snide comments and try to hurt me. After quite a few characters to find a race that I like, he got a tad bit under my skin and I wanted to kill him (please keep in mind I wouldn’t think this in real life, just in video games, I’m not a murderer lady). When I then joined the Dark Brotherhood I was distracted by the other murders that I got to commit and help people with. Then I got this quest, and my eyes watered to the point I thought I would cry tears of joy. You have to sneak into the Sewers and kill the same person that was a jerk in the very beginning moments of the game, Valen Dreth. Getting through the Sewers themselves isn’t all that difficult, there’s a few rats, crabs, and goblins but no people until you reach the area you saw the Emperor get killed. Here, you have to sneak past the guards and stick to the shadows. If you need a visual, this is the video I used my first time. Since the bonus is to go through the entire Sewer system without killing any guards you may want to watch it if you’re having issues. I’ll try to tell you in text here though as a reference. The first room you want to wait for the men to stop talking, a detect life spell or (better) enchanted item (you can buy the eye of sithis from M’raaj-Dar before you leave) will help you out immensely. Once you get past that first mini hallway you are in the room where the last set of Mythic Dawn attacked and killed the Blades except Baurus, go to the far end of the room, avoiding the guard that keeps post in the center line of the room. make sure they are facing away from you (towards where you want to go) and sneak onto the center path, if they are facing you hide behind the pillar until they turn around. Go up and open the door, keep an eye on the guards though and trust your instincts, don’t follow me if you don’t think you can do it. Also a good idea to save once you get past each door or a difficult area so you don’t have to do it again. Again, stick to the shadows, and quickly go along the right side and past the area of light into the shadow corner. If the guard with the torch is already making his way towards you STAY, don’t go into the light. Wait for him to go away from you again and when it’s safe to do so, follow him. If you stuck in the shadowed corner he will see you when he comes back towards you so sneak behind him and go through the path while he’s still walking away from you and hasn’t turned to go back down the hallway (he must be walking towards where you entered in other words). Make your way through the area until you reach a wooden door with another door a little further ahead. If you are worried about the guard finding you, shut the door behind you. After the second door you are now in the room the Emperor and his guards first left you in, the one that the rats attacked you in. No guards so just make your way up and you should know the way back to your old cell from here unless you forgot. Just go through the door and stop just before you enter your cell. You should hear a conversation between a guard and Dreth, wait for it to be over and the guard SHOULD go up the stairs and leave the room, leaving the two of you alone. If he doesn’t just try moving forward a bit, without being seen (this is where some life detect could be useful, watch for his blob to move away and disappear). Once he does leave though, grab the keys from the table at the end of the room if you want to open Dreth’s cell and kill him, warning though he will go running through the sewers and you could end up killing a guard. I would use destruction magic or a bow to kill him without opening the door unless you think you can kill him in one hit, talk to him if you want him to be afraid of the night mother and such. I would, cause he’s a jerk. Once he’s killed you can take the key off the table to leave through the front door and, since its public, you don’t get any bounty or attack from the guards. Or you can return though the sewer and risk killing a guard again. Either way, return to Valtieri for your reward(s). The bonus item is Scales of Pitiless Justice, scales that increase strength, agility, and intelligence but reduce personality (all by 2 points). It only does so when its in your inventory so I usually have mine on display in my house (if I own one by then).

The Assassinated Man involves the staging of an assassination and doesn’t even have a murder to commit, sad. You do get to pretend to kill someone though and you get to kill some zombies of people, if those count. This guy, Francois Motierre, has a debt and are sending someone to kill him so you have to use a special blade to stage the killing of Motierre when the enforcer arrives. So talk to him and then knock, knock, in comes Hides-His-Heat, swipe at Motierre with the special blade to “kill” him and flee Chorrol. Now you have to wait for an entire day to get his body from the Chapel under-croft so wait or do some other quests if you have any nearby. Once the 24 hours are up, go to the under-croft and activate his body to wake him. He then warns you that his family is buried there and they may take his revival as a sign of disrespect. Make sure he stays alive, since this is the only quest in this line you can fail, and slay the three zombies. One way to avoid them is to quickly get to the door after you wake him up, before he talks to you, then you can just leave after the zombies come to live and they shouldn’t follow you. Next you have to go to the Grey Mare Inn so he can buy passage out of Cyrodiil, and return to Vicente. If you completed the quest successfully you recieve Cruelty’s Heart that adds to willpower and strength, advancement, and the well key. If you failed, by killing Hides-His-Heart, Motierre, or you don’t save Mortierre, you don’t get anything except an angry vampire. Down to -71 instead of +80, so bring some charm with you…After this quest he offers the gift of vampirism, and you now go to Ocheeva for contracts.

The Lonely Wanderer you may do when you are already an Eliminator, but you may not so I’m including it here. You basically have to kill a high elf in the Imperial City and there’s a short cut if you already know where and when to go. Bonus is to kill him securely, with no witnesses. The elf’s name is Faelian, and Vicente will tell you that the elves are a tight knit group and one will know where Faelian is. The elf you talk to and get information from will tell you he lives in the Tiber Septim Hotel in the Talos Plaza District. Speak with Augusta Calidia to leave he lost all his money when he got addicted to skooma and his girlfriend Atraena lives in the hotel as well. If you find Faelian inside the hotel he will tell you to meet him later, thinking you’re an addict too. Now you have two methods, if Atraena has a high disposition towards you she will tell you he visits Lorkmir’s house during the day (from 11am to 5pm). It’s abandoned, with the owner’s body downstairs so he probably killed Lorkmir). The other way is to talk to Faelian outside of the hotel, if you have skooma you can give him some or get some from the supplier he tells you about. You can also pickpocket skooma off of him and give it to him (assuming he doesn’t notice you). He then gives you the key for Lorkmir’s house so no picking required. Shortcut: Go to Lormir’s House in the Elven Gardens District between 11am and 5pm, pick the lock, and kill him inside. Return to Ocheeva for your gold and infamy point, and the well key and a promotion if you didn’t get it last time. If you killed him in the secure location, you get the Shadowhunt bow that damages health and magicka.

Assassin Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Assassin Rank

Ah, finally, the chance to be a rank that fits your job in the way I’ve been describing it. To become an official Assassin you have yet another three quests to complete, Bad Medicine, Whodunit?, and Permanent Retirement. Just a heads up, I found all three of these quests a lot easier with an invisibility spell (that I think I got in the sanctuary) and Permanent Retirement was helpful with a chameleon spell to go with it (so I could use the bow without losing my invisibility and such).

Bad Medicine involves taking the medicine of a sick warlord and replacing it with a poison so nobody suspects the Dark Brotherhood. If you talk to your fellow guildmates they will tell you of an entrance nearby that is easier to get through since it isn’t guarded. I went this way so I can’t really tell you how to do the other way from my experience, but I made enough mistakes in the side entrance to advise this. The bonus is to not be detected, so avoid the guards or do one hit kills (they must be one hit without being detected). Sneak mode recommended, though I can’t tell you what to do. There is one guard that will sit at the end of the water tunnels so grab the stuff from the chests and make your way quickly to the little hallway thing on your first left outside of the water. Life detect is helpful here as you may not see the guards, but they will see you. After you wait for that guard to pass into the path you just went into you should see a very dark curve and hear a conversation as you approach the two guards. Once they are done one will go towards you, just push yourself into the wall so they can pass and don’t move. Since it’s so dark they shouldn’t see you, make your way through the shadows to the next hallway and you enter a large room. Again, follow the shadows and avoid the fire, go into the hallway and wait for the guard to pass to the cabinet area, hug the walls along the shadows until you are right near him and the cabinet. When he isn’t facing the cabinet sneak up to it and switch the poison for the medicine and sneak back into the shadows. Make your way back to the hallway that enters into the room with the fire and take a left, sticking to the shadows. Don’t go across the bridge thing, there’s a guard on the other side, instead go to the end of the room where you will see a gate. Follow that wall without going through the gate and there’s a couple doors, one being locked. Unlock it and you should be outside where you can escape back to Chedinhal and Ocheeva. If you got the bonus it is helpful in the next quest, The Deceiver’s Finery is the item. It fortifies your speechcraft and personality (also useful for getting more money selling to the merchants).

Whodunit? is a quest that is one of my favorite party ideas, but in a more twisted way. Instead of one guest being murdered, or fake murdered if its a party and not a real case, you must murder all of the party go-ers without them knowing it was you. That’s actually the bonus, none of them knowing who it was. This is where the invisibility spell is helpful, just go invisible and kill. If you talk to your fellow brother and sisters, they will tell you that the bonus reward from the last quest would be helpful, if they trust you the guests are least likely to suspect you and thus, they won’t attack you. If you make everyone hate you, you still get the bonus as long as you are undetected (the eye is invisible, not glowing) when you kill them. You can also kill them with a bow from a hidden area across the room, or give them poisoned apples, but Nels can’t be killed this way. You can also Frenzy them and they will kill each other, but I just invisibility spelled and killed them that way. Remember any bribes can be recovered from their bodies, and there are many silver objects around that you can sell if you want (they aren’t stolen). Here’s some guests specifics if you can’t get someone alone for some reason or you want a game plan before you start.

Dovesi Dran- Talk to Primo about her and he will say he likes her, then if you go to her with a high enough disposition she will say she likes him to and will then go to his room (and be alone) so you can kill her. If you have already killed someone you can “say nothing” to her (the actual option, not avoiding talking to her) and she will go to the basement, sits on a stool facing the wall, and is an easy target. You can also get to her turn against some people near the end of it.
Matilde Petit- If you talk to her about being an assassin she thinks it is a joke and later will offer to join you to look for the treasure together, goes off to the basement alone, and can be killed there. If only Dovesi is the only other person alive besides her she will attempt to kill Dovesi.
Nels the Naughty- He likes to drink and usually sticks to the same area. If he is the only one left with Dovesi he will try to kill him if there is a weapon nearby (apparently nobody likes Dovesi, sad). Also if Matilde is the only one alive besides him he will try to attack her, but if hes the last alive he goes down to the basement.
Neville- If he’s the last one alive he puts on armor, but he only has one hit point so don’t worry about not being able to kill him. If you do leave him last and you talk to him with a high disposition he will try to axe down the door (he is most weak here) but if his disposition is low he will suspect you and try to kill you. This won’t effect your bonus as long as you are undetected.
Primo Antonius- He sticks to the ground floor most of the time, but if he is the last one left along with Dovesi, Neville, Nels, or Matilde, he will attempt to kill the remaining guest if you have a high enough disposition with him.

Once all the guests are killed return to Ocheeva and get your gold. If you followed the limitations, the bonus is Night Mother’s Blessing, a permanent increase of two to your Marksman, Security, Sneak, Acrobatics, and Blade skills.

Lastly, you have Permanent Retirement, a quest involving a retired guard that needs to be removed from existence. You have a bonus option of retrieving his finger and placing it into the desk of his successor in the Imperial CIty. All of the keys you will need for the bonus is on his body, along with his finger obviously, so go ahead and do this if you want. You also get an arrow that will kill him with one hit, but can’t be used when he is wearing his armor. The location is Leyawiin and there is an area of water in the city that he goes swimming in (no armor of course). He does this every day between 3 and 8 pm, so make sure you are sneak and undetected (this is where i used chameleon as well as invisibility). Kill him with the arrow, one hit or you get a bounty even if undetected. Return now if you don’t want the bonus, 500 gold, or keep reading. Take his finger and all the keys from his body and go to the Prison District of the Imperial City. At around 2:50 am there shouldn’t be any guards in the office (late at night basically), but save just outside the door just in case. Right by the entrance is a desk, pick the lock and put the finger inside manually. The chest on the left of the desk has good treasures inside if you have the time or courage to get them, head outside undetected and return to the sanctuary for your 500 gold bonus and up to 600 leveled gold reward. The bodyguard who was watching Adamus will commit suicide, inside the City Barracks of Leyawiin you will find his body and a suicide note if you want some extra chuckles at your power.

Executioner Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Executioner Rank

Although this is an official rank in the game’s system, you cannot actually achieve it and you skip right to Silencer. Too bad, yet less work? I have no idea, just read the next section.

Silencer Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Silencer Rank

I hope you didn’t get too attached to your fellow sanctuary members (I kinda did, so oops on me) as this next quest will have you kill them all. Yes, that’s right, kill them. Your brothers and sisters, something you aren’t supposed to do in this guild, yet here you are. Anyway, it’s called The Purification and comes from Lucien but good news, you don’t have to kill that cute little rat Schemer. Since you have to kill M’raaj-Dar, I would advise buying items from him before you do this quest, the spells are available later but the items are unavailable. You also can’t become a vampire after you do this quest (at least from Vicente, so don’t fret, you can still get it).

A more specific guide follows this sentence. You get a letter from Lucien as your next contract from Ocheeva (you get a letter from Ocheeva but Lucien wrote it, just to avoid confusion over my odd wordings). Read it and learn that the Black Hand itself has a task for you and you cannot speak to anyone about it in the Sanctuary and head to Fort Farragut near Cheydinhal (this is where you get the poisoned apples for free). The letter warns you of residents in the fort but you can avoid them and enter through the hollowed out tree NW of the fort’s tower, outside of the fort itself. When you find Lucien he tells you that the assassin among assassin you may have heard about is is definitely in the Cheydinhal Sanctuary so you must perform a Purification (a.k.a. killing all the members inside). You aren’t a suspect since you are a new member, and he gives you a list of names to kill (not a literal list, he names them). He gives you some items to help you and you don’t have to kill them all at once. You might want to use some techniques from the Whodunit? quest if you just picked them off one by one, if you are seen attacking a member of the sanctuary you will be attacked by everyone who saw it. Remember that Vicente is a vampire and so he is weak to garlic, put some in his pocket while he is sleeping (there are some in Antoinetta Marie’s chest). Telaendril isn’t in the sanctuary on Loredas and Sundas so you can either follow your marker, get the note from Ocheeva’s corpse, or wait until Middas when she returns. Once everyone is dead though, return to Lucien, who tells you that you will be getting your contracts from letters now called Dead drops. Complete each contract to get the location of the dead drop and there is your reward and next contract. He also gives you his horse, Shadowmere (who is essential so you can’t kill her, yay!).

Speaker Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Speaker Rank

The rank of Speaker requires many a quest, allow me to list them for you. They are: Affairs of a Wizard, Next of Kin, Broken Vows, Final Justice, A Matter of Honor, The Coldest Sleep, A Kiss Before Dying, and Following A Lead for a total of 8 quests. Do not worry as they are all fairly quick quests and won’t even take all that long for me to explain, let alone do yourself.

Affairs of a Wizard is delivered at Hero Hill. You learn about your target, Celedaen. They are a necromancer in Leafrot Cave, inside there will be some leveled undead. Make sure you get the skill book, The Art of War Magic, as it raises destruction skills, then look for Celedaen’s Journal. It tells of his quest to become a Worm Eremite and then tells that you can kill them if you remove their soul container when they are performing their transformation. Luckily, he is in the middle of his transformation so either pickpocket his Soul Container, Sands of Resolve, to kill him instantly, or battle him. The Soul Container looks like an hourglass. Once finished, you should go to Chorrol to complete the quest and get your next one.

Next of Kin involves killing an entire family. You only know the location of the first member, Perennia Draconis, the mother. She lives on a farm called Applewatch, near Bruma. If you talk to her and tell her you are looking for her children she will give you a list of their locations, or if you just kill her you can take it off of her corpse. She is tougher than she looks though, so be weary, and she has a dog to defend her. If you approach when shes sleeping she will go back to sleep after talking to you, making for an easy sneak attack. If she’s sitting in her chair, make sure the dog isn’t looking and sneak attack her, if you killed her in one hit and the dog didn’t see you, he will walk over and howl over her body. From 6am-2pm she is outside, where she can be easily killed without alerting the dog (he stays inside). Matthias Draconis lives in the Imperial City, the Talos Plaza District. You have many options to kill him according to his schedule, in the evening he is in the Bloated Float so you can snipe him from a hidden area if your sneak is high enough. If you go to the basement of Umbacano Manor, he is a guard during the day so you can kill him with one blow sneaking or let him see you and wait for him to attack you, avoiding the bounty. Lastly, you can wait for him to be near a guard and cast a frenzy spell on him and he will attack the guards. Caelia Draconis is the next target, a captain of the guard in Leyawiin. Starting at 7:30 am she is alone in the Three Sisters Inn guarding some rooms, or you can find her patrolling the town and cast a frenzy near other guards. If you tell her you are going to kill her she will alert the guards and you will get a 1000 gold bounty (unless you run to the mages or fighters guild and they kill her). If you have a high enough Alchemy skill to make a couple good damage health poisons, you can wait for no guards to be nearby and tell her “Unfortunately, I need you dead.” Then reduce her health enough that the poison will finish her off, you then get no bounty. To frenzy her, you should wait for her to be sleeping in the barracks as she will attack the guards Andreas Draconis is located in the Drunken Dragon Inn, Northeast of Leyawiin. If you tell him his mother bled like a pig or you want him dead he will attack you and you then can kill him without incurring a bounty. Otherwise you can cast a frenzy spell and he will attack the Imperial Guard, since you aren’t the direct murderer you won’t get a bounty. And finally, Sibylla Draconic is the last member to kill. She lives in Muck Valley Cavern, Southwest of Cheydinhal, that is filled with leveled natural predators. She will most likely be aggressive towards you unless you have a high fame, infamy, and personality. She doesn’t have anything to say except normal rumor speak, so there’s no point in trying to make her like you. If the battle is too tough, leave the cave, her animals won’t follow her so it will be you and Shadowmere against her. She doesn’t eat so poisoned apples won’t work, she can’t sleep either so she won’t wear any enchanted items that drain health. Once all the family members are killed proceed to Skingrad Castle Courtyard for the next target and your reward.

Broken Vows tells you to kill J’Ghasta, a skilled boxer in Bruma. It tells you that he is expecting you and he has bribed the guards to ignore the fight if it goes into the street. He can be found in the secret training room in his basement, there’s a hatch hidden near some rolls of cloth. If you have trouble finding it, switch to your local map in your menu. When you find him he will tell you to leave, any of the three responses he gives you will make him aggressive so be ready for a fight. Remember that I mentioned he is a boxer, so his unarmed attacks will deal some damage to your health and fatigue. You may want to wait for him to sleep between midnight and 5am, as that would be the only time you could sneak attack him. Before you leave, pick up the Black hand robe and hood from a locked keg on the lower floor and the two hand to hand skill books on a desk in the basement. They are called, Ahzirr Traajijazeri and Immortal Blood, and are located on the bottom shelf of the bookshelf on the upper floor. After you do those you should head to the Old Bridge, South of the Imperial City, where you will find your next drop below it and your payment.

Final Justice is possibly going to be difficult for you as the target is carrying a powerful enchanted sword. Her name is Shaleez, and she is a psychopathic killer so she is used to killing people and will attack on sight. She is in the Flooded Mine North of Bravil, although it is flooded you won’t need a water breathing ability as there are plenty of air pockets but get it if you feel the need. She has one non-enchanted shortsword, an enchanted shortsword, and an enchanted longsword (unless you do the quest at level 1 or 2 then she doesn’t have the enchanted weapons). It is also underwater fighting, which is more difficult than normal fighting. Once you kill her you should head to Fort Redman, North of Leyawiin, and get your contract from the coffin just outside the ruins.

A Matter of Honor involves killing a Dunmer merchant, by the name of Alval Uvani. You may recognize this name from my list of targets to join the guild, but most likely you haven’t killed him yet so let me explain what to do. He is in Bravil, at the Lonely Suitor Lodge on Morndas to Tirdas, Skingrad at the West Weald Inn from Middas to Turdas, Bruma at Olav’s Tap and Tack on Fredas to Loredas, and his house in Leyawiin on Sundas. You can also find him on the roads between the towns between the days listed. If you want to kill him in one of the Inns or his house, put some mead in front of him, he’s allergic to honey. Replace all the vendor’s food with mead or his own food with it for the same effect. He is also in the wilderness a lot and so he may have been killed by a wild animal or something, the quest will automatically update and you will be told to go to the next spot. The next dead drop is in the Market District, in a hollowed-out tree stump behind Stonewall Shields.

The Coldest Sleep involves traveling to Knoll Mountain, near Bruma. There you must kill Havilstein Hoar-Blood, and his wolf companion. If you go from the East Gate of Brumae you take the left path when you get to the crossroads, then the first right when you get to Dragonclaw Rock, there is a bandit camp, and the Mountain is just past the camp across a bridge. He is well equipped with leveled light armor, a leveled battleaxe that is usually enchanted, and his wolf companion to help him. He doesn’t eat so you can’t use poisoned apples, but he sleeps so you can sneak attack him. If you’re still having trouble try to use the steep mountains to your advantage and have him fall to his death. Once he’s dead you should head to Nornal, ruins filled with rats, crab,s and marauders. Head down the stairs and take a right dive under the water and swim towards the door. You can pick the lock, water walk across the iron bars, or jump out of the water and over the gate if you don’t have the key. (Located in Chest in Nornal Ageasel, Chest in Leyawiin Mages Guild 2nd Floor West.)

A Kiss Before Dying if your ready for the second to last drop quest then read on. You have to kill a Wood Elf named Ungolim in Bravil. You may have seen him looking at the statue of the Lucky Lady every night between 5pm and 1am. He bribed the guards so they won’t help either of you if the fight is outside. He is in his house during the day but you can only go in with a key that you would have to pickpocket off of him before you start this quest. Otherwise, if you go outside in Bravil during the night he will attack you on sight with his bow. Although the guards won’t attack, if you sidestep behind one of them when he shoots an arrow they will attack him if it hits. If you are worried about a bounty, since he attacks you first then you shouldn’t get one. Don’t do it on a rooftop though or anywhere else where you can’t easily walk to you as Lucien will come to talk to you after you kill Ungolim.

Following A Lead starts off with a furious Lucien saying you betrayed the guild and you must die for it. If you noticed, the last few letters have been in a different handwriting and this is what he’s talking about. He tells you that you have been killing other members of t he black hand as a part of the plot of the real traitor. He tells you to go to Anvil, at the sight of the next dead drop to find out who they are. Wait in sneak mode behind the barrel until Enilroth puts the Dead Drop orders in the barrel and you get a journal entry. Confront him and he swears he isn’t the traitor and he was just paid to put the drops there. He tells you that the traitor is staying in the lighthouse under mysterious circumstances. He has the 500 gold reward on him so kill or steal it from him. Get the key from the lighthouse keeper from whatever means you feel necessary and then head to the cellar door. Once down in the cellar you find various dead animals and people strewn about, even a severed head called “mother’s head”.Find the locked door, on the other side is a Crazed Dog that you can kill or sneak around to find the Traitor’s Diary. They are a member of the Brotherhood since childhood waiting for the moment to strike against the group after Lucien killed his mother. The diary also mentioned killing the crew of the Serpent’s Wake, a side quest in Anvil involves killing the spirits on that ship. Now you have to go back to Applewatch Farm to meet with Lucien but you find that they murdered him, believing he was the traitor. Arquen will approach you and tell you that the traitor has been dealth with, that you are now the speaker in Lucien’s place, and that you should speak with him again between midnight and 3am to leave for the sanctuary (ask about the night mother).

Listener Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Listener Rank

This rank, called Listener in case you missed it, only requires one quest to do. Unlike the last rank which may have had you a little frustrated if you had no idea when it would end, and it is called Honor Thy Mother (the Night Mother, perhaps?). I will also explain the quest you receive after this as I don’t think it should require its own section, its name is Whispers of Death.

Honor Thy Mother starts as soon as you talk to Arquen and he transports you to Bravil. Bring as little as you can physically hold while still fight effectively before you enter the sanctuary probably before you even start this quest. You enter the hidden sanctuary of the Night Mother that is entered through the Lucky Old Lady statue. Once they summon the Night Mother, the traitor reveals himself and kill Belisarius and Banus, then try to attack the Night Mother herself. You are then free to help Arquen kill Mathiew Bellamont, the traitor. The Night Mother then tells you that she knew all about what happened and that he was the traitor, and you become to the new listener for the guild. You now must take orders from the Night Mother and relay them to the speakers. (I say have to but you don’t really have to, there is no consequence for not doing it.) She then powers up your Blade of Woe to finally become an enchanted weapon, and allows you to retrieve anything in her tomb. Take all that you want as you won’t be able to come back again after you leave. You can also drop everything in front of the night mother, pick it all up and then talk to her, she will transport you to the sanctuary and you can drop it there. IF you save before you enter the trapdoor you can try for better loot. There also is a rare alchemy ingredient, lichor, in front of the large sarcophagus. You are now finished with the Dark Brotherhood quests, but there is one you can do every week for 200 gold.

Whispers of Death is a pretty simple quest, just go to the Lucky Old Lady statue as if you were getting her blessing and the Night Mother will tell you information to tell your speaker. You will get one of the people and a location but none are in Cyrodiil so you can’t do it yourself, so instead go to Arquen in the Cheydinhal Sanctuary and it will be taken care of and you get your earnings for the previous week. This quest is never completed so don’t expect it to ever get an update.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion- Mages Guild Ranks and Quests

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion- Mage's Guild Ranks and Quests

So You Want To Cast Spells.

If your character is more inclined to cast spells than wave around a weapon, or you need to complete the questline so you get achievements on xbox, this guide will help you rank up through the Mages Guild. Be warned that there are many enemies to fight against, even though this isn’t for fighting, like the fighters guild. This questline is a bit of a puzzle compared to the fighters guild (in my opinion) and requires a bit of hand waving as you cast spells and beat things with your staff (once you make it, that is).

Specialties for the Mages Guild

Here are the specialties for the guilds in case you want to get a spell to level up a certain skill or you are looking for an upgraded version and can’t find it in any of the stores you’ve tried.

Anvil Mages Guild- Restoration
Bravil Mages Guild- Illusion
Bruma Mages Guild- No specialty
Cheydinhal Mages Guild- Alteration
Chorrol Mages Guild- Conjuration
Leyawiin Mages Guild- Mysticism
Skingrad Mages Guild- Destruction

Associate Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Associate Rank

This is by far the easiest rank to obtain as it really only involves talking to a guild leader and choosing to join the guild. Once you join the guild though, you won’t rank up without doing quite a bit of work. The leader you join from tells you that you have to get a recommendation from the leader of every major guild hall. Minus the Imperial City and Kvatch, there are seven total quests. But that’s in the next section.

Apprentice Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Apprentice Rank

Just to be easier on you, and me, I’m going to list each city in alphabetical order. You can do them in any order you wish, I recommend starting with whatever town you are currently in though. Once you complete that one you can go in an order, make your way town by town, or do them as you go to towns for other quests (other guild quests, main quest, you want a house somewhere, etc.). But let’s get started on what to do in each town, they aren’t very long but there are seven of them.

Anvil: Speak with the leader of the Anvil Guild Hall, Carahil, to start a quest and get your recommendation. She tells you about a Rogue Mage that is killing merchants along the Gold Road. She tells you to go to the Brina Cross Inn and speak with Arielle Jurard when you get there. If you talk to her again before you leave for the Inn she gives you three frost shell scrolls, that you can sell or use to protect yourself from the Mage. Arielle tells you it isn’t safe to talk and says to rent a room as a merchant, to lure out the mage. Do so and Caminalda will most likely approach you asking if you are a merchant, make sure you say yes. Go off to your room and wait for Arielle, it shouldn’t take too long unless she gets stuck against a wall, she tells you to sleep for the night (an hour is enough though). Once you wake up, leave the inn and travel East along the Gold Road until the Mage makes themselves known and attacks you. Make sure you wait for them to talk to you or it will be a murder/assault, defeat them and take their key as the room they have in the inn has some gold in the chest it opens. Return to Carahil in Anvil and tell her the Rogue Mage has been defeated and you are finished.

Bravil: This quest is delivered to you via Kud-Ei to retrieve a stolen staff, but sh, it’s not exactly legal or some guild rule nonsense. You have to find and talk to Varon Vamori and get him to give back the stolen staff, which is difficult if you aren’t in the thieves guild but easier if you use the scrolls Kud-Ei gave you. The special number is 65, get his disposition to that and he’ll spill the beans about stealing the staff, even how he sold it to Soris in the Imperial City. Back to Kud-Ei and you get another set of charm scrolls. Once in the Talos District and Soris’ house, you have a few options. Buy the staff for 200 gold (requires disposition of 70), talk to Soris’ Wife who tells you that the staff is in a chest (really they are drawers) in the basement and the key is in the desk upstairs, or you can skip those steps and just steal it yourself. The wife needs a high disposition though, without the scrolls I couldn’t get her high enough without paying her. You could always buy Beguiling Touch from Delphine Jend in the Bravil Mages Guild if you want an actual spell for charming, which is useful for merchants and quests like this. If you don’t buy the staff, come back when they are both asleep, and pick the locks or steal the key from the upstairs room and return to Kud-Ei with the staff to get the spell, Captivate (not as effective as Beguiling Touch though), and the recommendation letter.

Bruma: Here’s a quest that is one of the sillier of the oblivion quests I’ve found over the years. Speak with Jeanne Frasoric about a recommendation and she’ll tell you she can’t find a guild member, J’skar. There are two ways to go about this one but I’m going to start with the one I prefer. Pranking. If you talk to Volanaro with a disposition of 70 he will tell you he will help you find J’skar if you help with a little prank. Steal Jeanne’s Manual of Spellcraft from her desk and he will show you where he is, he teaches you a spell to open an easy lock, and you can then steal or continue with option two. Return with the book around 10pm downstairs and Volanaro will show you J’skar when you talk to him. The other way is to use Detect Life and Dispel to find J’skar on your own. You may have bumped into an invisible barrier while walking around the Guild hall or if you have detect life on your items you may have seen life somewhere and noticed it says J’skar. Use dispel on him and he will tell you that you aren’t any fun and the quest is complete once you speak to Jeanne. The apprentice level Dispel is available in Leyawiin, and Volanaro sells a journeyman level one. Other options are a staff and a scroll, which you can find randomly from loot or possibly buy from the Mystic Emporium in the Market District.

Cheydinhal: And now, my favorite of the recommendation quests. Falcar asks you to find his lost ring, and even warns you about how heavy it is so make sure you sell any unneeded items and store in safe containers if you’re still carrying a lot of weight (You need at least 150 free weight to pick up the ring without being over-encumbered). Speak with Deetsan to get the well key and tells you to speak with her only when Falcar isn’t in the room. Once that happens you learn you aren’t the only one to get this quest, foreshadowing to how you find a tiny ring in a well, and then she gives you the key and a Buoyancy spell to help you. Save before you enter the well in cause of any glitch and enter the well. Use the spell Deetsan gave you, or just a feather spell if you can already breathe underwater, a trickier option is grabbing Vidkun or the ring and dragging it where you can reach the exit, pick up the ring, exit, and drop it outside. Pick up the nirnroot in the well and exit, return to the guild hall, and speak with Deetsan since Falcar seemed to have disappeared. She tells you that the ring can be dropped anywhere so do so and pick up any items you may have left in Vidkun now before you forget. Deetsan also says to look in Falcar’s room to see if he wrote you a letter of recommendation (most likely, no, as he tried to kill you). You find two Black Soul Gems instead, a sign of necromancy, return them to Deetsan and she will write the letter instead.

Chorrol: Enter the Chorrol Mages Guild and speak to Teekeeus to earn your recommendation for the town of Chorrol. He tells you that someone named Earana is hanging around town and wants you to find out why. Usually she is right outside, talking to random people who hover around the oak tree, so talk to her and she says she wants your help getting a book. Talk to Teekeeus again and he tells you to get the book before she does, so run off to Cloud Top and retrieve it. Just follow the road that goes up the mountain and take a left at all forks until you find the charred remains with the book inside. Now you have two options, one gives you more fame than the other, but both end up with a recommendation in your name. You can give the book to Earana and get only one fame point, but you learn a spell (requires a Welkynd Stone). If you speak to Teekeeus, he asks you to steal it back, which you can without waiting the 24 hours she wants to study it, and then get the recommendation even though Teekeeus isn’t pleased. Option two requires you to give the book to Teekeeus and get two fame points, which ends the quest even if it doesn’t seem like it does. If you speak to Earana she is angry that you gave it to Teekeeus and asks that you steal it back from him. If you do so you can learn the spell, but it requires more magika than a similar custom spell that you could create in the guild yourself. This is the optional part two of Fingers of the Mountain quest, to learn the spell and is activated when you give the book to Earana. She wants you to let her study the book for a day, 25 hours is better than 24 to prevent bugs, and then she gives you a note (after that time span). If you do this you do need a Welkynd Stone, which can be found in an Ayleid Ruin or the Skingrad Mages Guild Hall. Return to Cloud Top and cast a shock spell at the pedestal, touch or range spell. It will try to shock you back so be prepared or use a range spell and try to hide behind a pillar to avoid the damage. If you want this spell though, best to do it before level 5 unless you have quite a lot of magika, I’d rather make my own spell though. The Welkynd Stone doesn’t even get used by this quest so if you are worried about that, then don’t.

Leyawiin: Speak with Dagail, who tells you that her amulet is missing and she wants you to help her find it. Her next advice is to speak with Agata about the Seer’s Stone, which helps Dagail with some visions she has. Agata tells you to speak with the other members of the guild to see if any of them know where the Amulet is, and Kalthar is the only one who seems to know anything. Agata agrees to keep an eye on Kalthar while you speak to Dagail, who tells you to find the fort where her father was stationed and take his amulet. When you reach the fort, Fort Blueblood, you will find it full of marauders to kill. Make your way through the fort until you find the main camp and the leader, take the key from his dead body and open the door nearby (make sure you get all you can from the three bodies though, move the items to bodies earlier in the fort if you have to as those three will disappear after you get the amulet). Inside is a coffin with the amulet Dagail is looking for, but before you can get too far Kalthar appears. He demands you give him the Amulet and tells you that he took the first one to get Dagail removed from her position as he doesn’t want to work under someone kept sane by a magical trinket. Kill him as he will then attack you, but not before or he just goes unconscious, and get the key from his body to leave the fort. Return the Amulet to Dagail, as well as the news of Kalthar’s treachery/death, and you will receive your recommendation.

Skingrad: The last recommendation quest on my list is for Skingrad. Here you have to speak with Adrienne Berene about a fellow guildmate named Erthor to find where he went missing. She is my least liked guild leader because of this quest so ignore any comments I may make about her awfulness. Speak with the other members of the guild to lean that Adrienne told Erthor to practice in a nearby cave (Bleak Flats Cave), Druja tells you where it is on your map if you don’t already know. Inside are 7 leveled zombies that you have to kill before Erthor will follow you out of the cave and back to Skingrad. If you choose to have him find his own way back, he does make it safely you just may have to open the rock wall for him by pulling the lever. Erthor has to talk to Adrienne before you get your recommendation and then Erthor is sent back to the cave to practice his magic away from everyone else.

Congratulations! You just completed a ton of quests, just to rank up ONE time! Aren’t you proud of yourself?

Journeyman Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Journeyman Rank

This is where the guild gets deadly. All of your quests will be given out from the Imperial city from now on so get used to climbing up the stairs with the purplish magic fire if you continue with this quest-line. You only have to complete one quest for the Journeyman Rank, and it isn’t even a very long one either. You just have to go to a little island/cave just outside of the Imperial City to get a Mage’s Staff for yourself. Enter the cave so you can speak with one of the mages that will help you, but wait, what’s with the dead body and the necromancer? Kill any and all necromancer’s you find, make sure you take the Wellspring Key from Zahrasha’s body in the first area though or you’ll have to backtrack. Once you fight your way to the Door that requires the key you find yourself on an island, and a necromancer kills the other guild member and turns her hatred towards you. Speak with her about her necromancy nonsense and then kill Noveni Othran (the necromancer I just mentioned) and her two buddies. If you have trouble, try entering the cave one will follow you and you can pick them off that way, or you can jump off the cliff into the water (don’t die yourself) and they will follow, but then you have to go back through the cave if you didn’t get your staff before you jumped. Of course there are other ways, but those two should be good enough if you can’t just fight them yourself. Search Eletta’s body (the other mage guild member you came to speak with) and retrieve your staff from the chest in the middle of the island and return to Raminus to tell him what happened.

He tells you to speak with Delmar in the Chironasium to make your staff with the magical powers that will match your skills. Use the dialogue to pick the kind of staff you want and then wait 24 hours for him to make it. (I choose charm since I use swords to kill my enemies, and charm is always useful, although not as good as the spells but I store my staff anyway).

If you choose destruction there are three options, fire, frost, or shock, frost being least useful and shock being most useful. If you want Illusion you can choose between charm, paralyze, or silence, charm is the least useful the other two are good choices, silence is good against necromancers you will face later on. Mysticism choices are soul trap, telekinesis, and dispel, none are really all that useful, but telekinesis is good for stealing things and decorating your house.

Return to Raminus with your staff to rank up and get your next quest.

Evoker Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Evoker Rank

This time Raminus Polis tells you to get a book from the Count and if that isn’t suspicious enough for you look at the quest name, Ulterior Motives. Of course the Count doesn’t regularly accept visitors so speak with Mercator Hosidus when you arrive at Skingrad Castle. The Count doesn’t want to meet with you but says to check back in a day to see if he changed his mind. Good News! He wants to meet with you but, suspicious activity ahead, won’t meet with you in the castle. He says to go near Cursed Mine at 2am to meet with him, follow your quest compass to find the location, and wait till he shows up. There’s even a little sheep for company once the shepherd puts him in his pen. Anywho… It’s a trap and Mercator tricked you, the count doesn’t even know you are here, and he brought a couple necromancers to get rid of you. They attack and you should defeat them, but the count shows up to fight with you so don’t hit him on accident. If you have trouble, run towards the road and the guards will help you. Once defeated the count calls you some words and says you should thank him for saving you, and then you talk about how he suspected Mercator was working with the necromancers and there is no book. The mages guild thought the Count was working with the necromancers and you were supposed to spy on him, return to Raminus with the counts words and he will apologize for lying to you. You will now be able to rank up and receive Spelldrinker Amulet.

Conjurer Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Conjurer Rank

To get the Conjurer rank you must help out a research team at an Alyeid Ruin named Vahtacen. I would take a quick pit-stop at the Spell store in the Imperial City to get a frost spell if you don’t already have one, as you will need it. You learn from Irlav Jarol (yes, the guy who writes a bunch of magic books you find everywhere, no autographs though) that there is a research team in need of some checking in on. Go there and talk to Skaleel to learn there is a blocked passage, and she says you should enter to see if you can solve the problem with a warning to use basic spells. Speak with Denel when you reach him to learn that they quit trying to open the pillar after being shocked a few times. He then asks you to get a book from Skaleel to see about translating some markings found in each corner of them room. Once you get the book I recommend either doing them one at a time and writing down what each corner means, but I’ll tell you here if you can figure it out without doing it yourself. There are three of the four spells in the chest by Denel, only frost is missing which is why I mentioned getting it beforehand. Now, facing the Pillar from the room Denel is in you want to use a fire spell in the corner on your left, a frost spell on the corner the upper left, a damage magika spell on the upper right corner, and a fortify magika spell on the lower right corner. Distance or Touch, it doesn’t matter, but if you use scrolls you may want to save beforehand so you don’t have to find another one or wait 4-5 days for the chest to get a new copy. Use them in the order I mentioned as a mistake can kill you since the pillar will zap you. Once it opens speak with either Denel or Skaleel, I choose Denel as he is right there, and they suggest you go down and explore the rest of the ruins. There are spirits down there so bring along a silver weapon or spells that can harm them. There are also traps so watch for those swinging axe things. Eventually you reach a large room with a lot of hanging cages, go to the far end and find the push block after going up the stairs. It raises the stairs on the sides of the middle platform and upon reaching the top a lot of undead will be released in the room. Kill them before or after you push the last push block on the platform and grab the ancient helm. You can also use the walls of the chamber before pushing the first push block and walk along them until you find a lower cage that you can use to jump onto the middle platform with a high enough acrobatics. This way the undead can’t reach you until you jump down yourself, but you still have to kill them. Return to the original area and talk to Skaleel about the ancient helm, who tells you to give it to Irlav Jarol. Now return to Raminus and rank up, getting a conjurer robe as well.

Magician Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Magician Rank

Becoming a Magician requires completing the quest, Necromancer’s Moon. In this quest you have to find out about Black Soul Gems and how they fit into the whole Necromancy cult. Raminus tells you to speak with Tar-Meena about them and at first she seems a bit grumpy since everyone expects a ton of information and nobody is specific enough to get any help. She tells you about a book that Falcar borrowed and may not have returned, fortunately it is in the Library on a small table and you don’t have to run around to find it. Return to Tar-Meena with the book and she tells you about an event called “Shade of the Revenant” before you have to return once again to Raminus. He doesn’t know what it is but guesses it is a celestial event and sends you off to Bothiel, since she knows all about that sort of thing. She doesn’t know much on the Shade of the Revenant but remembers Falcar asked about the same thing, and even dropped one of his notes on his way out, which you must return to Raminus.

He tells you to visit one of the places listed on the note, Fissure Cave, at the next Shade of the Revenant event. This cave is South of Cheydinhal and when you finally reach it, there’s an altar set up outside. Once a week a purple light shines down on the altar and the ritual can be performed, if you want to know the date without waiting and waiting and waiting it usually occurs every 8 days passed on your stats page (so 1st, 9th, 17th, etc.). If you choose to wait for it, don’t be too close to the altar as you may not see the purple light as clearly as when you stand a little far away and can see the altar and the sky. I believe I did it sitting on top of the cave, gazing down at the altar, but it’s been awhile. You can also steal the note from the Worm Anchorite who is inside the cave on the left, kill or pickpocket him and take the handwritten note. I prefer to watch the ritual though, but I’m also a bit weird. Your last option is to do it yourself by putting a Grand Soul Gem (empty one) onto the altar and casting a soul trap spell on it when it is the Shade of the Revenant night, but if you do that you might as well just watch the other necromancers do it. When you return to Raminus after witnessing the event and getting the handwritten note, he tells you that you can get advancement (or choose the option yourself) and that Arch-Mage Traven is giving you duties from now on. Make sure you do get promoted or it could cause a bug/glitch.

Warlock rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Warlock Rank

Arch-Mage Traven now has quests for you and the first one lets you rank up to Warlock upon Completion. Make sure you are a Magician before you take this quest though, or it could cause some issues and a missing achievement on xbox. Now that you have settled that problem, listen to Traven ramble about your promise and then get the scoop on your next quest, Liberation or Apprehension. Apparently the guild has set up a spy in the necromancers and we have reason to believe this spy is in danger so you have to go save him. He also believes that a group of Battlemages sent to find him will possibly attack him, thinking he is an actual member of the necromancers. He sends you to the Nenyound Twyll Ayleid ruin to try and prevent harm to the spy (Muscianus). Once you enter it you find the lone survivor of the Battlemages, Fithragaer, and he says the Battlemages were ambushed, obviously not good news for our Muscianus friend. The last Battlemage is eager to fight and tells you to follow him, he runs off and BAM, steps onto a platform that impales him into the ceiling spikes. You can possibly keep him from dying, but there is no reward for it and it could mess up the quest update and your compass marker. You can trigger the trap before he gets there, just avoid letting it take your life, or drain his speed with a spell, or attack him and yield without talking to him again till the quest is finished, but he doesn’t have much health so you might as well let him die.

Avoid the death trap yourself and make your way through the ruin until you reach a necromancer named Mariette Rielle. She won’t attack you so you can talk to her if you want to and learn about the spy’s fate, or you can attack her and just get it over with. Once she’s dead, hit the switch on the wall to open the door that is holding Mucianus inside. Attempt to talk to him but you can’t, he’s a zombie. So kill him if you want to and head back to the Arcane University unless you want to get a couple Varla Stones. In the main chamber of Nenyound Twyll Riellesel, there are two varla cages that can be activated by pushing buttons on the two sets of stairs leading to the water. Grab the stones and then return to the Arcane University, speaking to Raminus to rank up to Warlock and get access to the Council Chamber.

Wizard rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Wizard Rank

(Check the note at the end of this section before you start the quest in case you wish to obtain some things that aren’t available after you start this quest.) Wizard rank is obtained after completing the quest, A Plot Revealed, wonder if we reveal a plot? Well, let’s find out if we do or not. Apparently the Bruma Mages Guild hasn’t been communicating with the University for a few days, so go there and see why. (Caution: This part is sad for me since it’s my favorite group of guildmates.) You discover that the guild hall is in ruins, lit up in flames, destroyed, whatever you wish to call it. Inside are a few undead so bring along tools to attack them, but if you can’t you might be able to get the Bruma guards to attack them or the fighters guild next door. There is one necromancer upstairs that you have to kill, Camilla Lollia, she’s still looking for someone and if you remember the Bruma Recommendation quest you might be able to guess who it is. J’skar approaches you after you defeat her and tells you that even though he was invisible he saw everything including the arrival of Mannimarco. J’skar says that Mannimarco killed everyone, drained their souls, and mentioned something about Echo Cave before destroying the Mages guild. He also mentions that the King of Worms (Mannimarco) may have seen J’skar as he looked him in the eye and grinned at him, possibly letting him live so he could tell the council of mages what happened there.

Return to the Arcane University to tell Traven what happened and he tells you he needs a few days to process the news and decide what to do now. Speak with Raminus afterwards to rank up and learn the spell Wizard’s Fury.

*NOTE* Before starting this quest you should read/pickup a book found in the SW Basement of the Bruma guild hall, as it wont’ be available anymore once you start this quest. It’s called The Wolf Queen, v3 and is an illusion skill book. Also before you start this quest you should buy Summon Dremora Lord from Volanaro as he is no longer available after the quest and is the only one who sells it. Lastly, if you want to invest in every store of the game you should invest with Selena Orania beforehand as she is no longer available afterwards either.

Master-Wizard Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Master-Wizard Rank

To become Master-Wizard, you have two quests to complete, The Bloodworm Helm, and The Necromancer’s Amulet. So let’s get closer to destroying the Necromancers once and for all, shall we? These can be done in either order so I’ll just start with the Bloodworm Helm quest.

Arch-Mage Traven will tell you about the council of mages being divided on how to deal with Mannimarco, because of this two artifacts were taken from the Imperial City. Caranya took the Necromancer’s Amulet (that’s the other quest so look below if you want to recover that one first) and Irlav Jarol has the Bloodworm Helm. You must travel to Fort Teleman (NW of Leyawiin), where you find many necromancers. Assuming that this means Irlav isn’t in good health, kill any necromancers you find until you reach the Order of the Black Rose area. Once there you find some necromancers fighting Daedra, stay hidden and they fight themselves but if they see you they will all try to fight you. This is a good time to try out that Wizard’s Fury spell you were taught at the end of the last quest. At the end of this area you find Irlav’s body, with the Helm still in his possession. (Darn, I never got that autograph on my spell book.) Return to Traven to either advance or start the other half of these quests.

Next (or first, depending on your choices) you will have to travel to Fort Ontus, SW of Chorrol, to convince Caranya to return the Necromancer’s Amulet. (Avoid doing this quest while Misdirection is active as it will incur a Blood Price with the thieves guild.) Once you are inside some mages assume you are joining their ranks and will guide you to Caranya’s location. There you learn she is secretly a necromancer (Shocker!) and she wants you to join her. You two aren’t going to budge in your positions so she attacks you, though she shouldn’t be much of a challenge to defeat. I do recommend using Resist Magic and/or Silence spells to prevent her from dealing massive damage with her spells or hide behind the gate as that will deflect some of her spells. After you kill her you can take the Amulet from her body and defeat all the mages that are now revealed to be necromancers on your way out. Make sure you don’t find any in groups or they can deal quite a bit of damage. Return the Amulet to Traven and either do the other part of this quest or rank up to Master-Wizard.

One more rank and you will become Arch Mage, I wish you luck. (But I also deliver guidance, so hopefully it is an obtainable rank for you or else I’m a horrible helper.)

Arch-Mage Rank
Source: UESP Wiki

Arch-Mage Rank

This quest is the last of the Mages Guild quests, so of course completing it will give you the Arch-Mage rank. Or does it? You see, you don’t have to complete the quest to become the Arch-Mage, start the quest yourself if you don’t believe me. To get the xbox achievement you do have to complete the quest (though it may take a little bit after you talk to Raminus to actually get it so don’t fret little one.) Thinking back on what you have done, you should guess that you have to kill Mannimarco to prevent the necromancers from gaining power (after all the only way to kill a cult is to kill its leader, or any group of wrong-doers). To do so you have to soul trap Traven into the Colossal Black Soul Gem, as that is what Mannimarco wants, and will make you immune to Mannimarco’s ability to make you into a Worm Thrall. Traven tells you to take the soul gem with you when you go to kill Mannimarco, kills himself, and traps his soul into the gem. (So kinda, you don’t have to do it like I just said you did, but you still have to carry it with you inside to prevent Worm Thrall.)

Take the soul gem from Traven’s body and head to Echo Cave, far north of the Imperial City, near Bruma. Inside a Dunmer named Bolor Savel will greet you with a threat of sorts, you have to kill him to get the key he mentions having. Follow your compass and kill all the necromancers you encounter, until you reach Mannimarco inside the Necromancer’s Chamber. Mannimarco will then paralyze you, and tell you all about his fascination with the souls of people of power and his grief that Traven didn’t come himself. He will try to turn you into a Worm Thrall, but with the Soul Gem it won’t happen. It doesn’t work and you will have to defeat him, somewhat easier than you would think a powerful mage would be as he uses his dagger more than his magic (maybe he’s suicidal or doesn’t want to live anymore?). He can conjure some powerful undead to aid him in battle so you might want to summon your own if you have the ability. He is essentially immune to normal attacks though or the attacks of summoned creatures, but vulnerable to magic attacks so it must be a magical duel. If you have trouble, jump into the water where he can’t reach you and you should have some time to recover and develop a new strategy. Once he is dead return to speak with Raminus Polus with the news to officially become the Guild’s Arch-Mage. Congratulations!

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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion- House and Decoration Guide

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion- House and Decoration Guide
Source: UESPWiki

Oblivion Houses, Why Buy?

Even if you keep adding to your strength stat and keep adding to the amount of weight you can carry, you will find a time when you want to pick something up but it weighs too much. If you store extra items in a house of yours not only do you lessen the chance of not being able to pick up that last item in a dungeon, but you also have all that weight from the items you stored. Buying a house may not be the first thing you do, but it should be a goal to buy one as soon as you can.

There is a house for sale in every major city (excluding Kvatch since it’s burned down and all) so you can buy a house in your favorite city and call it home. Storage containers are available outside of purchased homes, even some that don’t respawn so you can store items in there without worry, but the benefit of having multiple containers and the ability to organize those containers is better than using some barrel by the street.

Houses also have beds you can sleep in, of course if you are in Mage or Fighting guild you have one as well but you don’t have people noisily walking around like you do in the guild halls. Fast traveling can occur from inside your purchased houses as well, except Anvil, so if you became a vampire you don’t have to wait until night to fast travel anymore.

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Benirus Manor, Anvil

Source: UESPWiki

Benirus Manor, Anvil House Info and Upgrades

This house when you first enter is broken down and tattered inside. It seems like a haunted house from a movie, which if you sleep in the bed is actually quite true of the house. In order for this house to become a house with storage availability you have to complete a quest and restore the Manor to it’s former glory (DON’T STORE BEFORE DOING THE QUEST).

The house quest is called ‘Where Spirits have Lease’ and indeed is filled with spirits, so complete the quest and get rid of them to show them who’s boss. The house price is 5,000 and you buy the house from Velwyn Benirus. He runs off and leaves you to deal with the cursed house on your own but you will get him to come back and help break the curse so don’t flip out if he goes missing.

Once you complete the quest and the house is all pretty again, you can use it for storage and anything else your little heart desires. The ghost remains do leave so don’t get mad when they are still on the floor after you restore the building. No upgrades are bought for this house so it is a perfect beginner house and quite cheap if you are willing to do the quest and have the ability to kill ghosts (Magic spells or silver weapons).

Bravil House

Source: UESPWiki

Bravil House Info and Upgrades

The house in Bravil isn’t exactly a large home but it has it’s perks as well as it’s flaws. For instance if you are in the Thieve’s Guild there is a fence right above you and has twice the floor space as the Imperial City Shack. You may see the red trespassing icon when you go to enter the house, just ignore it you won’t be arrested or anything.

This house is purchased from Count Regulus Terentius (must have disposition of 50 or more) for a price of 4,000. You can buy the upgrades from Nilawen for 650 each and a total of 3,900 gold. There are six upgrades for this little home to make it more homey but what does each upgrade give you?

Dining Area gives you 2 chairs, 1 rug, and assorted pottery.

Kitchen Area gives 1 food cupboard, 1 small table, 1 chair, and more assorted pottery.

Racks Assortment gives just that, 2 wine racks, 2 wall mount weapon racks, and 1 free standing weapon rack.

Reading Area gives you 2 bookshelves, 1 rug, 1 chair, and 1 candelabra.

Storage Area is probably your first choice and gives you 2 dressers, 1 chair, 1 chest (really 2), 1 rug, and 1 candelabra.

Wall Hangings gives you 4 assorted paintings and 1 tapestry.

Once you buy all the upgrades you will find the house is less of an eye sore and more beautiful, or you won’t and you will just use it for storing things.

Bruma House

Source: UESPWiki

Bruma House Info and Upgrades

The Bruma house is a medium home with a cellar and is in good condition. It is also across the street from the Olav’s Tap and Tack in which a fence for the Thieve’s Guild likes to drink so this is another good place to keep stolen goods before you sell them. It is quite dark inside even after you buy all the upgrades and is the only house without a fireplace, even though it’s in the coldest area in the game.

To buy this house you should go see Countess Narina Carvain and get that disposition to at least 60. It will take 10,000 gold out of your pocket to purchase and when you buy all the upgrades from Suurootan at 1,100 a pop it will take another 9,900 gold, making it quite expensive for new players. There are 9 upgrades for this house and you get quite a good assortment of goodies from them.

Bedroom Area gives you 2 wall-mounted candle sconces, 1 clothing cupboard, 1 dresser, 1 chest, 1 rug, 1 candle holder, and an assortment of pottery and potted flowers.

Dining Area gives 3 chairs, 1 rug, 1 set of shelves, assorted pottery and utensils, and more potted flowers.

Kitchen Area delivers 1 cupboard, 1 wine rack, 1 chest, 1 fireplace rack, 1 candle holder, 1 rug, and some more assorted bottles and pottery.

Lower Storage area brings with it 2 barrels, 1 chest, 1 set of shelves, 1 small table, 1 bench, 1 chair, 1 rug, and another bunch of assorted pottery.

Lower Wall Hangings has 3 paintings, 3 tapestries, and 4 wall mounted candle sconces.

Study Area has 2 bookshelves, 1 desk, 1 chair, 1 candelabra, and assorted candles.

Upper Sitting Area gives you 2 tables, 1 bench, 1 chair, 1 rug, 1 candle holder, and some potted flowers.

Upper Storage Area has 2 chests, 1 set of shelves, 1 small table, 1 candelabra, assorted pottery, and a painting that it doesn’t mention in the note.

Upper Wall Hangings has 5 paintings (only 4 appear in your house), 1 tapestry, and 2 candle holders.

So this house seems to like the pottery and potted plants. You might need to use starlight or some other lighting method inside your home if it’s a bit dark since there is no fireplace, just candles, but it is a cozy little home with a fence nearby.

Cheydinhal House

Source: UESPWiki

Cheydinhal House, Info and Upgrades

If you have a bit of extra money you want to spend on a great home, this is a good one to get. There are 13 containers on the second floor that are laid out quite well for someone who wants to empty their inventory or someone who forgets where they place things. It looks a bit like a castle too for those of you who see yourself as king or queen of the game.

Count Andel Indarys will sell you this home for 15,000 gold if you have a disposition of at least 60 with him. The upgrades cost another 15,000 from Borba gra-Uzgash, ten of them costing 1,500 a piece. This is a great home to keep all the important items in like quest reward weapons the enemies drop or any item you have sentimental value for.

Bedroom Area has 1 bed upgrade, 1 dresser, 1 chest, 1 table, 1 rug, and some assorted candles and pottery.

Dining Area includes 2 chairs, 1 set of shelves, 1 rug, 1 thatched basket, and some assorted pottery and utensils.

Dressing Area gives you 1 clothing cupboard, 1 dresser, 1 set of shelves, 1 chair, 1 rug, and more assorted candles and pottery.

Kitchen Area has 2 cupboards (1 food and 1 drink), 1 table, 1 rug, and even mroe assorted pottery and utensils.

Lower Wall Hangings is simply 5 paintings and 2 tapestries.

Sitting Area has 2 chairs, 2 small tables, 1 bench, 1 rug, 1 barrel, and assorted pottery.

Storage Area has 3 barrels, 2 wood crates, 2 chests, and some assorted candles.

Study Area includes 1 desk, 1 stool, 1 bookshelf, 1 rug, 1 thatched basket, and some assorted desk accessories.

Upper Hall Area delivers to you 2 wall mounted candle sconces, 2 sets of shelves, 2 candle holders, 1 bench, and assorted pottery.

Upper Wall Hangings has 3 tapestries and 3 paintings.

Arborwatch, Chorrol House

Source: UESPWiki

Arborwatch, Chorrol House Info and Upgrades

This house has three floors and even has a servant quarters upgrade although no servant can be hired here. The house itself is quite a good size and should be worth the money in the long run.

To purchase this house make sure you have at least 12 fame points and a disposition of at least 70 with the Countess Arriana or she won’t sell it to you. The house is 20,000 gold and upgrades are totaled at 19,400 although you can slash the prices down with Seed-Neeus if you do the quest ‘A Shadow over Hackdirt’. Most are 1,800 with Middle Wall Hangings and Upper Wall Hangings costing 1,500 and the Suite Area costing 2,000 instead.

Bedroom Area has 3 chairs, 1 bed upgrade, 1 set of shelves, 1 dresser, 1 clothing cupboard, 1 chest, 1 chandelier, 1 desk, and 1 rug included.

Dining Area gives you 4 chairs, 1 rug, 1 chandelier, 1 wine rack, silver place settings, and silver utensils.

Dining Upgrade gives you 3 tables, 2 sets of shelves, and assorted pottery.

Kitchen Area has 1 cupboard, 1 barrel, 1 table, 1 stool, 1 candle holder, and assorted pottery.

Lower Wall Hangings gives you 7 paintings, 5 tapestries, and 2 wall mounted lanterns.

Middle Wall Hangings includes 3 paintings, 3 tapestries, and 1 wall mounted lantern.

Servants Quarters has 1 bed, 1 clothing cupboard, 1 table, 1 rug, 1 chandelier, and assorted pottery but no servant.

Sitting Area delivers to you 3 tables, 2 benches, 2 chairs, 1 small table, 1 cupboard, 1 large rug, and assorted pottery.

Study Area has 2 bookcases, 2 small bookcases, 1 chair, 1 desk, 1 rug, assorted desk accessories, and assorted candles.

Suite Area has 4 chairs, 2 tables, 1 large bed, 1 large rug, 1 rug, 1 dresser, 1 clothing cupboard, 1 chandelier, and assorted pottery.

Upper Wall Hangings simply delivers 4 tapestries and 3 paintings into your home.

Imperial City House, Shack

Source: UESPWiki

Imperial City House, Shack Info and Upgrades

The Imperial City Shack is probably the best beginner home for young adventurers to buy. It is the cheapest home and is located near the capital so you know you will be near it more often than the rest of the homes during your journey.

Speak to Vinicia Melissaeia with a disposition of at least 50 to buy the house for only 2,000 gold. The upgrades are purchased for another 2,000 at 400 each from Sergius Verus, but don’t get too excited about the low cost. It is called a shack for a reason, the house is tiny and barely the size of a single inn room.

Dining Area has 1 set of shelves, 1 rug, and some assorted pottery, utensils, and candles.

Kitchen Area has 1 cupboard, 1 rug, 1 thatched basket, and assorted pottery.

Sitting Aera has 2 chairs and 1 small table.

Storage Area has 2 dressers, 1 chest, and assorted candles.

Wall Hangings has 3 tapestries and 1 painting to brighten up the place.

Overall this is a small house that you should really only buy if you want to have a house that is somewhat well placed since it is in the capital city. Remember that the box outside the shack isn’t safe to store things in and is a good place if you have bounties on your head. Fast travel to Dzonot Cave (might want to locate it first, it’s just west of temple district) and swim to your house to avoid guards. Then you can meet with Doyen to remove bounties that you have.

Leyawiin House

Source: UESPWiki

Leyawiin House, Info and Upgrades

This house is quite ugly, not going to be nice to it or anything, it is a rundown house and looks like it might rot and fall apart on you. It seems a bit expensive but if you want a house in Leyawiin there you go.

Count Marius Caro will sell it to you for 7,000 when you have a disposition of 60 or more and the upgrades are another 7,000 from Gundalas. Each upgrade is 1,000 so there are 7 of them to buy for your pitiful little shack.

Bedroom Area has 1 dresser, 1 privacy screen, 1 rug, 1 set of shelves, and assorted candles.

Dining Area has 3 chairs, 1 rug, 1 candle, and assorted pottery.

Kitchen Area has 1 cupboard, 1 large table, and assorted baskets.

Reading Area has 3 bookshelves, 2 candles on holders, 1 chair, 1 small table, 1 rub, and 1 large privacy screen.

Storage Area has 2 barrels, 1 chest, 1 basket, 1 rug, and 1 broom.

Study Area has 1 Desk, 1 chair, 1 bookshelf, and 1 candelabra.

Wall Hangings has 5 paintings and 2 tapestries.

Rosethorn Hall, Skingrad House

Source: UESPWiki

Rosethorn Hall, Skingrad House Info and Upgrades

Finally a fancy house with lavish upgrades and a real servant to hire. There are a ton of upgrades for this house so get adventuring and collect some coin before you buy them all, unless you don’t need to because you are filthy stinkin’ rich.

Make sure you have a fame of at least 15, a disposition of at least 70 with Shum gro-Yarug, and 25,000 gold before you waltz in to buy this home. Once you do buy it, Gunder will gladly sell the upgrades for around 1,600 each and a total of 23,200 gold.

Balcony Area has 2 stools, 2 rugs, 1 chair, 1 chest, 1 small table, and assorted candles.

Balcony Upgrade has 2 large shelves, assorted candles, and assorted pottery.

Bedroom Area has 2 clothing cupboards, 1 bed upgrade, 1 set of shelves, 1 chest, 1 dresser, 1 rug, and 1 stool.

Den Area has 2 dressers, 1 desk, 1 chair, 1 rug, assorted wall mounted candle sconces, and assorted pottery.

Dining Area has 3 chairs, 1 set of shelves, 1 chandelier, 1 large rug, 1 candle holder, silver place settings and utensils, and assorted pottery.

Display Case Upgrade has 3 large display cases, 4 small display cases, and assorted candles.

Kitchen Area has 2 cupboards (1 food, 1 drink), 1 table, 1 barrel, 1 set of scales, and assorted pottery.

Lower Wall Hangings has 10 paintings and 5 tapestries to decorate your abode.

House Servants Quarters has 2 stools, 1 privacy screen, 1 bed, 1 clothing cupboard, 1 table, 1 chest, assorted candles, and assorted pottery.

Sitting Area has 2 stools, 2 rugs, 1 bench, 1 set of shelves, 1 table, and assorted pottery.

Storage Area has 4 crates, 4 barrels, 3 chests, 2 wine racks, 1 set of shelves, and assorted candle holders.

Study Area has 2 bookshelves, 1 executive desk, 1 chair, 1 chest, and decorative mini-tapestries.

Upper hall Area has 2 chests, 2 chairs, 1 set of shelves, 1 small table, 1 rug, assorted candles, and assorted pottery.

Upper Sitting Area has 2 stools, 2 chairs, 1 table, 1 chandelier, and assorted pottery.

Upper Wall Hangings has 6 tapestries and 5 paintings.

Get some other help- More of my Guides for Oblivion

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion- Fighters Guild Ranks
if your character is more inclined to fight than cast spells the fighter’s guild would be a good choice. This guide will help you rank up in the guild and even gives some tips on money and secret options that i know about.
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion- Thieves Guild Quests and Ranks
The thieves guild’s quests to help you rank up to master thief. May not have all the quests but it has the ones that you rank with as well as some basic help with stealing items and where the fences are.

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion- Thieves Guild Quests and Ranks

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion- Thieves Guild Quests and Ranks

How to Join the Thieves Guild

The Scene of the Joining Ceremony.

Introduction To Independent Thievery.

If you listen to my guide, you don’t even have to spend gold talking to beggars, so spread the word to friends if I’m more helpful than they are.

In order to complete the thieves guild questline and progress through the ranks you have to know how to steal items without getting caught (thus losing them when you are sent to jail or pay your fine). There are many ways to do this and I have found a few little places that are good enough to get your first few quests without going into too many houses.

The art of theft is simple once you get over any fears of getting a bounty (saving before you steal could help settle nerves). First get into sneak mode, the crouch with the icon changing to an eyeball. It tells you if anyone sees you which is good when doing illegal things, like stealing. When the eye is not lit up and is clear you should be able to take items without worry, but remember people can turn and see you pick up things that weigh a lot so its best to do it in a room with nobody else inside. Once you have picked up a few items of value and either don’t want to pick up more or you can’t find anything else you should go to a fence to sell your hot items for cold coin. I’ll list the fences and doyens on the side of this section for reference.

If you have the blackhand armor or any armor/items with sneak or chameleon attributes you should probably wear those when stealing and/or when doing the special missions as they help you stay hidden more than your usual self. Practice Sneak skill in a room with one person in it by walking behind them in sneak mode, or in a room like a guild hall when everyone is asleep as that raises it faster since they don’t ever see you. The first blackhand quest in the Illomen inn I just sneak ran in circles before I killed him for a good half hour or more and raised it 20 points (although it was low to begin with so don’t expect good results, also walking is better than running for leveling).

Remember the people you may have killed so far in your adventure, for example if you do the quest in the Imperial City about the Copious Coinpurse store selling items at low prices you have a house to take from without getting caught (as he is no longer is alive). Any place like that where you can get in and not have anyone home would be ideal as you can take your time and find all the items worth of value.

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Fences and Doyens

Fences are people you sell stolen items to since merchants won’t deal in them and it helps you unlock the actual thieves guild quests. Doyens are who you get the quests from once you fence enough loot and they are who to go to if you have any bounties.


Armand Christophe- Imperial City Waterfront: he’s who you first go to and does the beginner quests with the guild. Buy the Shack nearby in case of bounty as you can wait inside and avoid the guards.
S’Krivva- Bravil: A Kajiit that will deal with the quests after you do the first couple with Armand, she is either in her house or at the Lonely Suitor Lodge (although I haven’t seen her there myself yet). Buy the Bravil house if you want to have easy access to both the lodge and the fence as the fence lives above you and the lodge is only a few houses down.


Ongar the World-Weary- Bruma, has 600 gold, mercantile of 60, and requires pickpocket rank
Dar Jee- Leyawiin, has 800 gold, mercantile of 70, and requires bandit rank
Luciana Galena- Bravil, has 1000 gold, mercantile of 80, and requires cat burglar rank
Orrin- Bruma, has 1200 gold, mercantile of 90, and requires shadowfoot rank
Fathis Ules- Imperial City/Chorrol, has 1500 gold, mercantile of 100, and requires Master Thief Rank

Source: UESP Wiki

Pickpocket Rank

To become a pickpocket and join the thieves guild you first have to be initiated. This involves completing the May The Best Thief Win quest and possibly some quick reaction on your part. (No matter how fast I run that chick always beats me to the target’s house, but more on that in a second.)

First of all you have to know where to go and how you know where to go. You get this quest from Armand at the waterfront district of the Imperial City at midnight, but you can’t just waltz in there like you own the place and get the quest. You have to know about the guild first. If you noticed odd posters on the walls of the city you should read one, that’s the basic step to getting this quest available and all you really need to do. If you want to actually know where and when to go you should talk to some people about rumors, but really once the “Gray Fox” shows up on the list of available topics in conversation you can get the quest. The three ways to get the existence known though are as follows:

If you get taken into prison and wait your sentence you may be approached by a member of the guild telling you where to go. (Doesn’t work if you are in shivering isles)
Read the poster, it brings up the topic, talk to people and eventually you’ll learn about the waterfront district meeting.
Talk to City-Swimmer the Argonian in Bravil about Bravil and answer her “Gosh. Thieves Guild? What’s That?” Then say the Gray Fox and learn about the meeting. (If you do the main quest-line she may or may not say this option and will talk about the gate, not sure if closing it has any effect on her talking topics though)

There, you know about the existance but that isn’t the quest I talked about to become a Pickpocket. That’s the setup for the quest. Go to the meeting and then raise Armands disposition up as high as you can without bribing him, test and see if you can join, if not bribe him until you can. Then he explains what to do and what the test is.

Before you do this though I recommend looking through the Temple District (the one the waterfront district is connected to) for Amantius Aleectus’ House as that is your target location. Add a map marker if you want to make sure you know where to go as the quest trackers lead you to the beggars not the location. (this is true for a lot of the quests, but talking to the beggars may not be necessary) Once you find his house you should run there as fast as you can and on the wall on the far right of you is a desk, inside is the diary. Pick it up before Methredhel does and go back to Armand to complete the quest. If you don’t get it back first there are two options, take it from Methredhel or do the backup initiation quest.

Recovering the Diary: Methredhel places the diary in her house, in a locked chest while she sleeps (because apparently she doesn’t really want to join the guild that badly or something). You have 12-36 hours to go into her house and steal the diary from the chest before she gives it to Armand. There may be people awake inside her shack which makes it difficult but if you go inside after 6pm Methredhel is away so it should be a bit easier then. Well done, welcome to the guild! (if not in the guild because she turned it in, keep reading).

A second fighting chance: If you didn’t get the diary turned in and couldn’t steal it back before Methredhel turned it in then no worries, you get a second chance to prove your worth. This time you have to steal a sword from the store, A Fighting Chance. No competition this time around but that doesn’t mean it is easy. You see, you have to steal the sword from the second floor private quarters of Rohssan, but she has a dog. Dogs are supposed to guard things, right? So you have to be careful, using sneak or illusion can help you get by the dog undetected, killing the dog and taking the sword is an option although not one I personally like, or you can calm/command creature the dog after you take the sword so it doesn’t freak out. If you are doing this at night and Rohssan is asleep in the bed, sneaking or sneak attacking is your best option as any barking will wake her. During the day just make sure nobody sees you picking the lock and nobody will know you went in there (assuming you didn’t alert the dog).

Blood Price: Killing Amantius Allectus or Rohssan during this quest’s active state will require a blood price to be paid, 1000 gold so don’t do it.

Source: UESP Wiki

Footpad Rank

Fence 50 gold before wondering when the next quest is. Oh wait, you fenced 50 gold? Then talk to Armand and get the quest, Untaxing the Poor. (heads up, this quest got me enough stolen stuff to get me all the way to cat burglar although it took a few tries before I didn’t get caught)

Remember that Hieronymus Lex character everyone complains about going after the Gray Fox like his life depends on it? No? Oh, well, he is the captain of the Imperial Guard and he taxed the poor citizens of the waterfront district (he got a whole 53 gold, wow). You need to steal the tax records back from his chambers, requiring you to go into trespassing territory filled with guards. No worries, if you go at 9-11 am or pm the guards will be asleep or on duty. The nighttime option is a bit more daring and could lead to riches as you can pickpocket Lex’s Claymore and some extra gold out of his pockets if you feel sneaky enough (save beforehand just in case though). Basically, you enter the guard tower and make sure it is the appropriate times, although going at 10 is better as it makes sure nobody is in or everyone is asleep. Go up the first ladder, then turn left go up the next, left up the next, left unlock and up, bam you made it. To your right is his locked desk with the gold and tax records, if you take the gold you get to keep it and the tax records are needed (won’t be taken if you are caught after you pick it up either). If you didn’t get followed, save, and if you want to get some loot for your fencing steal some of his stuff. (I took some armor and a couple shields from the floor below him and got a good 300-400 gold from them). Save before you try anything unless people aren’t in the room as picking up items can wake them and you will be arrested on the spot. Make your way back down the ladders and deliver the records to Armand at the usual spot to get your promotion.

Blood Price: None that can be activated so I guess, kill away, if you dare. I’d recommend not though as it will most likely get you killed.

Source: UESP Wiki

Bandit Rank

To become a bandit you must fence another 50 gold for a total of 100. (it doesn’t reset just so you know, it is the same amount so you can do a ton at once and just do the quests back to back, that’s what I did). You must do a bit of a sneaky sneaky and detective work for this quest but it was a nice challenge for me compared to some of the other quests, it’s called The Elven Maiden and no, you don’t kidnap a woman.

There’s a bust you have to steal from the chapel undercroft of Cheydinhal’s chapel. That’s the part Armand won’t tell you, the where. Go into the chapel and unlock the undercroft, I’d recommend the right side when going down the stairs or left if facing up the stairs. There is a guard that walks around in a pattern, just go into sneak and go from shadow to shadow when the guard is walking away from the left passage in the undercroft. In other words, when the guard is walking into the right side of the undercroft, sneak to the next shadow. Pass through the little hall and you should see a bust, staying in the shadows sneak over and take it, then wait for the guard to be walking away from you and sneak back into the hall and out the door you came in through and return to Armand. (Also don’t look in the coffin as a ghost will appear and the guard will be alerted, so you automatically either die or get a blood price.)

Once you get to the waterfront there seems to be an issue, Guards are everywhere and they want Armand! Oh no! Methredhel is looking for you, either someone will tell you or (like in my case) she will come running up to you and tell you what to do next. You have to sneak into a traitor’s house and plant the bust in her cupboard to turn the tables on her traitor-ing ways. Ha, take that! Next talk to Lex, who should be outside somewhere nearby and get his disposition at least to 71 and tell him to check her cupboard. Follow him and he finds the bust, tells her she is under arrest, everyone goes away (guard-wise) and Armand comes back so you can turn in the quest at the usual time. Sadly, this is the last quest you get from him, although that means no more waiting for late night pickups and turn-ins. From now on you go to Bravil (until you get to the next quest hander-outer). You also unlocked a new fence in Leyawiin in case you want to do some stealing there. Make sure he tells you to go to Bravil or you have to wait for him again at that place just to learn about S’krivva (the new Doyen).

Blood Price: Do NOT kill any of the following people while this quest is active, Errandil, Chapel Guard Gruiand Garrana, Hil the Tall, Ohtesse, Esbern, Inius Colus, Kinther. It will result in a blood price and a loss of 1000 gold for each murder.

Source: UESP Wiki

Prowler Rank

To become a prowler you must fence another 100 gold, a total of 200 gold. If you took my advice and took some armor and then got your fence’s disposition up and the sale price as high as you can you should have gotten a decent sum of money. If not then find some stuff to steal and make your way to Bravil after you get the 200 for you quest, Ahdarji’s Heirloom.

Make your way to Leyawiin and either find Ahdarji’s house on your own using some detective work (a.k.a. looking at all the doors unless you already know) or ask the beggars. I’d prefer to find it on my own but she lives near the entrance to the castle if you know where that is, or you can find her at the Three Sisters’ Inn or the Five Claws Lodge possibly. Anywho, once you find her ask her about the ring and find out that some freelance thief (which is frowned upon in this society) stole it and she wants you to kill him. Guild frowns upon that as well so she settles with harming him and making him suffer, blahblah revenge story. The beggars will tell you that Amusei (the freelance thief who stole the ring) was arrested for trying to sell the ring to its owner, Countess Alessia Caro. They also say the guards accept bribes and with a 20 gold bribe you can get into the dungeon area and talk to Amusei about the ring. There’s also the option of breaking in (lock is level dependent) or stealing the key and getting in that way. Give the lizard a lockpick and he tells you that it is the countess’ ring and he got caught trying to ransom it back. Now if you tell Ahdarji what he said you get double the gold reward to steal it back.

Talking to a beggar reveals that the countess’ handmaiden Hlidara Mothril can tell you what you need to know as well as revealing something about a torture chamber for Argonians. Talking to the count or countess will give you some advice on where to go, the count telling you about Hlidara without money exchange like the beggars (and me). With a disposition of 70 you can learn about both the schedule for the countess and when she wears the ring. Including that she is asleep at 11 pm with her ring in the jewelry box by her bed. Now, follow the Castle Leyawiin Basement until you reach the private quarters for the countess, it is filled with hidden levers to pull though so don’t fret if there’s a dead end. At the last door there is a guard patrolling on the other side (and if you aren’t careful you’ll get caught like I did, expecting more to travel through). Watch out for him and go left until you see the bed with the count and countess sleeping. The jewelry box has the ring inside and some other jewelry you can take to fence but I only took the ring and the letter Divining the Elder Scrolls since it seemed interesting and I just wanted to get out before I got caught. Save! You don’t want to get caught and have to start over again. Make your way past the guard and return through the passageway and when you get out, return the ring for the 200 gold reward or 100 if you didn’t go talk to her. Return to S’Krivva for another 200 gold and the rank advancement.

Blood Price: Yet again, don’t think about killing these people or a blood price of 1000 gold each will be on your head: Caelia Draconis, Count Marius Caro, Countess Alessia Caro, Hlidara Mothril, Janonia Aurunceia, Januarius Aurunceia, Matthia Draconis, Leyawiin Guard, Leyawiin Jailor, On-Staya Sundew, Sibylla Draconis, Tsavi. (These people need less unique names. I never think I spell them right.)

Source: UESP Wiki

Cat Burglar Rank

To become a Cat Burglar you must complete the quest, Misdirection which is unlocked after you fence 300 gold worth of stolen property. To get some extra fenced gold it is a good idea to keep an eye out for goods of value while on a quest and alone in a room.

This quest is the one that you should watch for if you are in the Mage’s guild as you have to steal from the Archmage himself, breaking one of the guild rules for the mages. Join after this quest unless you don’t mind doing an extra quest to get back into the Mage’s Guild. S’Krivva tells you that Hieronymus Lex has been causing more trouble for the waterfront, this time setting up a large amount of guards to try and find the Gray Fox. You have to find Methredhel and help her get Lex’s guards out of the waterfront so the guild can work again. If you talk to a beggar they will tell you Methredrel is staying in the Talos District in Dynari Amnis’ House. Find that house to avoid spending gold on a beggar and she will tell you that she wants you to break into Archmage’s room and steal his Icestaff and place a note in the bedside table.

Now, I had some trouble with this quest so save before you go into the second level of the University tower. (The Archmage’s Lobby, only room you can go in without being in the guild or trespassing.) There aren’t any guards since they are all on the waterfront, but the archmage makes this quest a tad difficult. (at least he did for me) The Archmage supposedly sleeps in his room from 1am to 7am but he was still in the council chamber for me that entire time. If you aren’t a member of the guild you have to sneak around him or else he will tell you to get out (assuming he doesn’t go to bed like he didn’t with me). If you are in the guild AND you have access to the Council Chamber then you can just go into his chamber and hopefully he doesn’t follow you.

Take the staff and put the note in his bedside table (take the nirnroot if you are collecting those). Quickly return, avoiding any people in the council chambers if needed, to give the staff to Methredhel. She asks you to spy on Lex, and if you move near him you should be locked and unable to move, witness a Dremora give him a note saying he has to return his guards, and (optional) chuckle at your plan. Take the note and return once again to Methredhel to inform her that the guards have been removed, now you have to return the staff but not to the same spot as you will get caught. In the Talos District lives Ontus Vanin, and there you must put the staff inside a chest on the second floor of his house. Return to S’Krivva and get your 300 gold reward, promotion, and a new fence Luciana Galena in Bravil.

Blood Price: Do NOT Kill these people (note that some of them are related to other quests and you have to kill them in that so be careful) Bothiel, Caranya, Mage Apprentice, Mage Scholar, Hannibal Traven, Imperial Legion Battlemage, Irlav Jarol, Ontus Vanin, and Raminus Polis. Yes, some of them can’t be killed but they are still activate the blood price, 1000 gold per murder as usual.

Source: UESP Wiki

Shadowfoot Rank

In order to become a shadowfoot you have to take care of the guard problem otherwise known as Lex. The quest is so cleverly named “Taking Care of Lex” and that is what you have to do, take care of him so he doesn’t cause the guild more problems. But remember, the thieves aren’t murderers so you have to take care of him another way, right? You do need to fence 500 gold before you have access to this quest but it shouldn’t be too hard to find some loot now that you are sorta used to it and not as new to the world of stealing as you may have been before.

First off you learn that the Anvil guard needs a new leader of the guard to protect the countess and Lex needs to be removed to somewhere else before he causes damage to the guild. Apparently the Gray Fox is protecting the countess for some unknown reason and feel free to come up with some random ideas like I do (what an imagination I have, too). You are told there is a recommendation letter that you have to steal and forge to make Lex the top candidate while making the others less so. So off to Anvil, here you can find the recommendation letter in Dairihill’s Desk (she’s a handmaiden for the countess, which you learn if you speak to a beggar but that costs money and I’m free). Orrin (the fence you unlock at the end of this quest) shows you a secret passage that leads to the secret chambers you need to go to in order to steal the letter, just make sure its late or she will be in the room and scare you like she did to me. The exact time is after 1 am but if you think you’re sneaky do it whenever you want, I can’t stop you.

Now that you have the letter you need to have it forged, so beggars will tell you to go to someone known only as “Stranger” (this guy I found and I wasn’t expecting him and he scared me before I even knew about the thieves guild). If you want to ask the beggar for the location then go ahead but he’s in the run down abandoned house in Anvil, just talk to him and ask him to forge it (you get your money back and you have to wait 24 hours so you might as well do other quests nearby if you have any). Next you go to the Imperial City to seal the letter.

This part was a bit tricky for me as I didn’t know what the seal looked like, but its on his desk and you just activate it like it was a lever or door or what have you. But before you get there you have to sneak in which is tricky as the Prison district has a lot of guards around. I went in through the outside, making sure nobody saw me with the sneak eye and squeezing against the door as hard as I could, but there are a couple other ways that I haven’t tried. There’s the basement you can go to from the dining hall, or the dining hall itself I believe. So once you get in use the seal and look for loot as there’s good stuff in there you can keep or sell for your fencing goals.

Once its sealed, it’s official. Take the letter to the countess back in Anvil and get a slightly odd welcome as he handmaiden usually does the delivery. She gives you the orders for Lex to deliver and so you must. You can also collect your tip from Dairihill but she wasn’t there when I delivered the letter and I decided 20 gold and an angry woman wasn’t worth it. Take it if you want but then travel to the Imperial City to get an amazing sight, Lex grumpy at you. Hand him the orders, and he rants about how he knows the Gray Fox did this (and how you look familiar). You can then find him in Anvil with his new fancy uniform and a new watch captain replaces Lex in the Imperial City, one that doesn’t believe in the Gray Fox at all (phew).

When you return to S’Krivva she gives you your reward, tells you Orrin is your new fence (the Anvil Blacksmith guy you may have gone to earlier), and that she doesn’t have anymore quests for you but the Gray Fox himself may contact you soon. (Heads up, he’s kinda a jerk.)

Blood Price: Once again a list of the people you shouldn’t kill while this quest is active, doing so will cause you to be kicked out of the guild until you pay 1000 gold per murder. Anvil Guard, Anvil Jailor, Baeralorn, Beatrice Gene, Colin Stedrine, Dairihill, Gratus Vonius, Imperial City Prison Guard, Imperial City Prison Jailor, and Orrin.

Source: UESP Wiki

Master Thief Rank

In order to get to the Master Thief rank you must fence 700 gold total and then wait for Amusei to find you in the Imperial City again. (Amusei won’t find you in Chorrol so don’t hang out there to waste time, as well as the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary.) Of course you also have to complete “Turning A Blind Eye” which will eventually have a hub so keep waiting till there’s a link off to the side here. If you already completed it and Amusei found you, you have to go to Malintus Ancrus’ house in Chorrol to find the Gray Fox and meet with him. Once there he tells you to steal the Arrow of Extrication from the Court Wizard in Bravil, so make your way there.

When you get to Bravil you can pay the beggars to learn that Fathis (the wizard) keeps his most treasured goodies in a ruined tower that is outside of Bravil and that there may be a secret passage from the castle to the tower. In the Castle you should make your way to the North Wing to find Fathis’ room, but do it around 7:30 am when the guards change shifts so you can pick the lock and get inside. There are two chests on your left to check for the Arrow, but they do not contain it unfortunately. Then a message pops up telling you to look for a secret passage, look at the two pillars across from the entrance to find a lever.

Once pulled, it opens up into the Bravil Wizard’s Grotto (DO NOT STEAL anything in this room if you are in the Mage’s Guild as it will get you kicked out). There are Conjurers, Dremora, and maybe a handful of Daedric creatures inside the Grotto and Lair, so prepare your weapon or spells of choice to kill or evade them.

In the Tower you have to take the arrowhead and Fathis’ Key from his chest, which is unowned so it isn’t stealing. Make sure you don’t take anything from his owned chests though since he will be angry, and DO NOT let him see you. Unless the Disposition is 95 or higher he will attack you and Mages Guild members will be kicked out if they are caught. The higher you are in the Guild though, the better your chances are that he has a high disposition with you so maybe looking at it before you go exploring could be helpful although I’m not sure where to find him specifically. If you kill him at this point there is no Blood Price but you will be kicked out of the Mages Guild if you are in it.

Once you get out of the tower with the arrow and his key, return to the Gray Fox to receive your 500 gold reward and promotion. You now have access to Fathis Ules as a fence, the best fence, but if you chose to return the blade in “Sins of the Father” quest he won’t talk to you and won’t be available as a fence. So if you did that, make sure you fence at least 1000 gold worth of items before you turn this in so you can at least complete the guild questline, even if you can’t fence anything else.

Blood Price: Killing these NPCs will result in a 1000 gold blood price, so don’t do it, blahblah. Bravil Guard, Drels Theran, Dro’Nahrahe, Fathis Aren (Remember you can at the point I mentioned earlier), Gellius Terentius, Hans Black-Nail, Count Regulus Terentius, and/or Viera Lerus.

Source: UESP Wiki

Gray Fox Rank

Ah, The last Thieves Guild quest, what joy that you are ranking up so nicely. Fence 1000 gold to get contact to start the last mission, The Ultimate Heist. As the name implies this is quite a difficult mission, but what do you expect to become the Gray Fox himself (or herself…?). This time the Gray Fox is in the Imperial City, in Othrelos’ House, so make your way there and hopefully you are prepared enough to complete this. You learn that you were preparing to do this Heist in the last three quests, and you will be stealing one of the famous, Elder Scrolls. Amusei won’t find you in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary or the Elven Gardens District so avoid those two if you want to get the quest fast.

You, of course, enter the Imperial Library by traversing sewers and he gives you a key to get in with. Once inside you will have to impersonate Celia Camoran to intercept the scroll and then leave with it. Seems simple, but don’t think it will be as often the simple is the most dangerous. You also get the Arrow of Extrication, the Boots of Springheel Jak, and the knowledge that there is no Blood Price. So let’s get into the sewers and begin shall we?

First you have to sneak into the Palace Basement and activate the “Glass of Time” but this may be avoided if you don’t want to do it and try to get in the Old Way (sewer entrance) without it. Make sure you have everything you need before going into the sewer, including a bow to fire the arrow (seems trivial but I always forget either the bow or the arrow when I go to work on my marksman skill), lockpicks a plenty, and courage. In Beneath the Bloodworks are some undead creatures that you should avoid and enter the Palace Sewers. Continue through the two Old Way zones and into Lost Catacombs, which has a stairway at the end of the path, with a large gap unfortunately, but wait! Use the Boots of Springheel Jak to jump over the gap and enter the upper level.

Now, there will be a push block immediately on your right that would best not be pushed as it activates the Dark Welkynd Stone. Those shoot at you, so activate the push block on the other side of the room instead and go through the opened gate to enter the next zone, “Hall of Epochs”. Once you find a giant statue with two smaller ones on its sides you get a journal entry saying this is where you use the Arrow of Extrication. It hints that you have to use it somewhere with a clear view of the pillar and if you keep walking around another update will tell you when you’re close to the right spot. The correct location is blocked by walls so find the hidden push block and go through the path it opens to find a push block at the end of a zone also called Hall of Epochs. Return and the walls should be open and some undead are there, if you didn’t bring a bow one of them should have one so look for it when you kill them.

Once the pressure plate is accessible practice a few shots into the keyhole (while standing on the pressure plate) with regular arrows since you only have one shot with the real arrow and its a long shot. If you see a poof of dust, you hit the statue and know how far off your aim is. If you only have the Arrow of Extrication, save before you shoot and just keep loading until you hit it (unless you want to look for the arrow which is highly not recommended). The right spot sounds like metal hitting metal, even with a regular arrow so you will know when you hit it. When the Arrow of Extrication hits the right spot the statue lifts off the ground and reveals a door and when you go near it the two statues on the side come to life and must be defeated. Recommended save time before you fight them in case of death, or at least after the arrow hits the spot so you don’t have to shoot again.

When the Ayleid Guardians (the statues) are defeated, or sneak past them, go down the stairs and open the door. Make sure they don’t see you though as they will follow you and alert the guards in the palace, which is a bad thing. Make sure you aren’t caught at this point as you won’t be able to get back in the palace, best time is 1am so wait till then and then enter the door under the statue. There are two doors to sneak through, one is locked, then go up a level to reach the Elder Scrolls Library where you have a guard to sneak past to enter the main Library. Follow the right corridor (not correct, but direction right) and you’ll come up behind a blind moth priest. If you’re sneaking he won’t turn, so make sure you are. Pull the level next to him and go back the way you came, this time going through the left corridor. You should still be sneaking, and will find yourself in front of the Moth Priest, go inside the Library and sit in the Reading Chair. They will think you are Celia Camoran and bring you the Elder Scroll, now to escape.

Make sure you are unobserved when you take the scroll, and there are two 50% chameleon scrolls, Shadow, that you may want to take just in case. Since you can’t go back the way you came, you have to go up the nearby stairs and through the Moth Priest’s Quarters to the Imperial Battlemage’s Chambers. There is a guard, Evangeline Beanique, to sneak past or kill but if she alerts guards you will get a suspension from the Mages Guild if you are a member.

There’s a fireplace with a chute leading somewhere, this is going to probably kill you so listen carefully (or read since it’s written down). You can use the Boots of Springheel Jak to jump safely but they will be destroyed by it as a scripted effect, so if you want them keep reading, if not just jump. If you have enough Health of Acrobatics skill you can survive (40 acrobatics and 180 health is sufficient, although you can fortify either or both and make it easier to survive). Don’t put the boots back on until you finish the quest as they could be destroyed, and there is a sloped ledge a few feet below the grate that can slow your fall and save a few health points if you are worried. If you don’t want to jump at all then get arrested AFTER you attempt to open the trap door in the Guard Barracks that should give you the same update as jumping the chute. Then get arrested. Whichever way you choose you end up at the Old Way entrance so make your way back through the sewers and return to the Gray Fox with your prize.

But wait, there’s more. You have to deliver the Gray Fox’s Ring so go to Anvil and do so, telling her it’s from a stranger if she asks who it’s from. It has to be given when she’s in the Great Hall and she recognizes it as her husband’s wedding ring (Oh my goodness, but he’s been missing/gone for 10 years). A stranger approaches the throne and says Emer Dareloth stole the Cowl of the Nocturnal and that he is the Gray Fox as well as her husband. He explains some stuff I’ll keep a secret and you get the cowl and Gray Fox title. When you go to the Imperial City, you get another update saying the Gray Fox is now the Count of Anvil again and the Thieves Guild Hall is restored from Dareloth’s home. You have the third floor as your home as its the Guildmaster’s Quarters. Don’t use containers in the rest of the hall though as they aren’t safe. There’s a locked room with a handful of lockpicks and a security skill book but nothing else. Congratulations, you’re now the leader of the Thieves Guild.

Blood Price: There aren’t any, kill anyone you want to!!! 😀 (Beware of quest failure in other ways if you get caught in certain areas without getting far enough in the quest though.)

The End of Mass Effect

The End of Mass Effect

By now, anybody reading this has heard about the controversy surrounding Bioware’s recently released Mass Effect 3 video game and how it ended. I happen to be one of the people who take issue with it, and I feel the need to explain my position.

First, let me say I understand that the Mass Effect games are property of Bioware, and they have the right to do whatever they feel like with the games. And yes, I did spend more than $100 of my hard earned money to buy the collector’s edition, and then spent about 30 hours of my life playing ME3 through to its conclusion. ME3 is, in my opinion, the best game of the trilogy, and warrants a spot on the list of greatest games of all time. But don’t mistake this for a review of the game, because it isn’t.

Secondly, for those of you who don’t play video games, or have simply never played a Mass Effect game before, let me give a brief overview of what the game is all about. The Mass Effect games are role-playing games set in a science-fiction universe, about 150 years in the future. Humanity discovered advanced alien technology on Mars that allowed us to begin to explore the stars. There, we encountered a number of alien races spread across the galaxy, united under a single governing body known as the Citadel Council, loosely analagous to the United Nations. You play as Commander Shepherd, a human being considered for a position with the enforcer arm of the council, known as SPECTREs. During your evaluation, you come to learn that an advanced machine race, known as Reapers, have repeatedly wiped the galaxy of all technologically advanced sentient life. And they’re coming back. The three games consist of you attempting to delay the return of the reapers and seek out a way to defeat them when the arrive.

*SPOILERS* if you haven’t beaten ME3 yet, I will be revealing certain things about the end. If you don’t want to know, stop reading now.

Right, so, ME3. The reapers have arrived, and it’s up to you to unite the various species of the galaxy to defeat the reapers, and save Earth. Except you don’t. Hold on, let me back up a minute. Most all criticisms I’ve found have to do with the fact that the games’ end leaves a lot of questions hanging in the air. Also, it seems a lot of people aren’t happy that Shepherd doesn’t live happily ever after with your chosen paramour. And most importantly, that the end presents the player with three choices, A, B, and C, that are only marginally different from each other, and don’t reflect in any way the hundred hours or so I or any other fan will have put into the trilogy since the first Mass Effect was released in late 2007.

And while these things do bother me, I could live with them. I could create my own answers to the questions Bioware leaves open (arguably more fun than letting them answer for me). I could even live with Shepherd dying on the Citadel and leaving Ashley (my paramour) all alone. None of this would bother me as long as I knew I had saved Earth. But as I said, you don’t. Allow me to explain, and please forgive me for going nerd.

At the end, you meet the Catalyst, a synthetic being created long ago to maintain order in the galaxy. It explains that organics introduce chaos by creating synthetic life (think C-3PO from Star Wars or Data from Star Trek), and that created will ALWAYS rise against creator. Pause for a moment.

In the Mass Effect universe, this has already happened. 300 years earlier, a race called the Quarians created a synthetic race they called Geth. When the geth achieved sentience, the quarians tried to destroy them. In the resulting war, the quarians were driven from their homeworld and forced into a nomadic life aboard a massive fleet of starships. In ME3, the quarians have seized an opportunity to attempt to retake their homeworld, and you end up aiding them in order to secure their aid against the reapers. However, over the course of my playthrough, I learned that the geth only resorted to self defense in the face of quarian aggression. The quarians, for their part, were understandably afraid of what they had created. But the geth still desired to aid their creators. In the end, I managed to secure a truce between quarian and geth, with the geth cooperating with both the quarians in rebuilding their homeworld, and the galaxy at large against the reapers.

I realize not everyone will have accomplished this during their playthrough, but even the possiblity invalidates the argument the catalyst is making. Now, you could argue that jsut because they’re cooperating now, conflict come to be in the future. This is true, but hardly proper justification the murder of trillions of sentient beings (if such justification can be said to exist at all).

And more importantly to me is the result of whatever ending you choose. Regardless of ending A, B, or C, an energy wave is released and transmitted across the galaxy via the Mass Relays (a system of devices used to send ships across vast distances almost instantaneously). This results in the destruction of every Mass Relay in the galaxy. Well, Shepherd has already destroyed a Mass Relay, in The Arrival DLC pack, the last DLC released for ME2. In the DLC, we learn that the energy release involved in the destruction of a Mass Relay is roughly equivalent to that of a star going supernova, which would result in the total destruction of any star system in which that occured. The end result of The Arrival is that Shepherd destroys a Mass Relay in an inhabited system, delaying the reapers but also killing 300,000 Batarian (an alien race) colonists who had made a home in that system.

Right, back to the end of ME3. So every mass relay is destroyed. This means that every system containing a mass relay suffers a supernova level event, and is destroyed. Well, only a minute fraction of all systems in the galaxy actually have a mass relay, so whats the big deal? If you pay attention to the galaxy map, you see that many important systems have a mass relay. The star systems containing Tuchanka, the Krogan homeworld, Rannoch, the quarian homeworld, Thessia, the Asari homeworld, Palaven, the Turian homeworld. And Earth. Sol System has a mass relay. Every one of those worlds is destroyed, along with any things else in the system, when the mass relays explode.

Call me crazy, but that doesn’t soundlike winning to me. It’s like having Victor and Ilsa’s plane blow up at the end of the runway at the end of Casablanca. Or, if you prefer something more modern, it’s like having Katniss eat the poisonous berries at the end of The Hunger Games.

The female version of Commander Shepherd, or FemShep as she is affectionatly known to the fanbase. The Mass Effect games allow players to choose their characters gender and customize their appearance based on player preference.
Source: Bioware Mass Effect Website

I brought this point up to a friend of mine, and he argued that maybe the destruction of the mass relays was modulated in some way so as to not result in total destruction. Now, you’ll have to consult your friendly neighborhood physicist on this, but I would think that downgrading the strength of the explosion would mean the signal you sent (whatever ending you chose) wouldn’t have the ability to reach every corner of the galaxy, which could conceivably leave a few reapers out there.

I’ve heard fan speculation that the end is actually Shepherd being indoctrinated ( a form of reaper mind control), thus rendering the last 30 minutes a gameplay a ‘dream sequence’ of sorts. To me, that just feels cheap. Why do all of that, instead of just giving us a real ending?

I’m also aware the Bioware has announced they plan to answer fans complaints, and rework the ending or something. I’m not getting my hopes up. All I expect to see is an addition to the existing ending video in order to better explain what happens following the players choice.

So here’s to Bioware and Mass Effect. One of the best games created to date, with the crappiest ending of them all.

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