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Game Script by Shotgunnova

Updated: 08/19/2014

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   / /         ) )     \ \
  / /       ,-','       \ \    Skyrim Game Script by Shotgunnova (P. Summers)
 / /     (\(  (  /)      \ \   EMAIL: shotgunnova (a+) gmail (d0t) com
/  '._____)\)  \/(______,'  \__________________________________________________
\                           /¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
 \     .-.         ,-.     /  For additions, corrections and additional info
  \   /   \/\   (\/   \   /   on things you'd like to see here, send an email.
   \  \      \   )    /  /    The Legality section at the bottom of the guide
    \  \      ) /   ,'  /     has info on submission requirements.
     \  \    / /   |   /
      \  \   \ \   |  /
       \  )   ) )  | /
        \ |  / /   (/   I. MAIN QUEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MNQS
         \) / /    
           / /  /)  01) Unbound ......................................... MQ01
           \ \_/ )  02) Before the Storm ................................ MQ02
            \   /   03) Bleak Falls Barrow .............................. MQ03
             \_/    04) Dragon Rising ................................... MQ04
                    05) The Way of the Voice ............................ MQ05
       06) The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller ................................ MQ06
       07) A Blade in the Dark .......................................... MQ07
       08) Diplomatic Immunity .......................................... MQ08
       09) A Cornered Rat ............................................... MQ09
       10) Alduin's Wall ................................................ MQ10
       11) The Throat of the World ...................................... MQ11
       12) Elder Knowledge .............................................. MQ12
       13) Alduin's Bane ................................................ MQ13
       14) The Fallen ................................................... MQ14
       15) Season Unending ............................... [OPTIONAL] ... MQ15
       16) Paarthurnax ................................... [OPTIONAL] ... MQ16
       17) The World-Eater's Eyrie ...................................... MQ17
       18) Sovngarde .................................................... MQ18
       19) Dragonslayer ................................................. MQ19

   II. MISCELLANEOUS QUESTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MSCL

       College of Winterhold ............................................ CLLG
       Companions ....................................................... CMPN
       Daedric Quests ................................................... DDRC
       Dark Brotherhood ................................................. DRKB
       Imperial Legion .................................................. MPRL
       Stormcloaks ...................................................... STRM
       Thieves Guild .................................................... THVS

  III. DLC QUESTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DLCQ

       Dawnguard ........................................................ DWNG
       Dragonborn ....................................................... DRGB

   IV. UPDATES & CONTRIBUTIONS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UPDT
    V. LEGALITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LGLT
_________________________________________________________/ MAIN QUEST [MNQS] |_
01) UNBOUND                                                              [MQ01]
 The main character of the game is the Dragonborn. This is learned later on,
 but for clarity's sake, the script will use the appellation immediately. The
 script will also treat Dragonborn as if he was male, although speech will
 change slightly for females (generally he-she, his-her pronoun swapping).

 ¹ - sic (misspelt intentionally; appears in game in same fashion)

 ² - dialogue option only appears in certain circumstances, like doing a
     particular quest beforehand, having enough gold, etc.

 • - possible comment, depending on questlines, race and/or other options.


[Skyrim opens with an Imperial wagon driving four prisoners down a snowy
 mountain pass. All are seated and bound; the one dressed in finery is gagged.]

Ralof: Hey, you. You're finally awake. You were trying to cross the border,
       right? Walked right into that Imperial ambush, same as us, and that
       thief over there.

Lokir: Damn you Stormcloaks. Skyrim was fine until you came along. Empire was
       nice and lazy. If they hadn't been looking for you, I could've stolen
       that horse and been half way to Hammerfell. You there. You and me -- we
       should be here. It's these Stormcloaks the Empire wants.

Ralof: We're all brothers and sisters in binds now, thief.

Imperial Soldier: Shut up back there!

[Lokir looks at the gagged man.]

Lokir: And what's wrong with him?

Ralof: Watch your tongue! You're speaking to Ulfric Stormcloak, the true High

Lokir: Ulfric? The Jarl of Windhelm? You're the leader of the rebellion. But if
       they captured you... Oh gods, where are they taking us?

Ralof: I don't know where we're going, but Sovngarde awaits.

Lokir: No, this can't be happening. This isn't happening.

Ralof: Hey, what village are you from, horse thief?

Lokir: Why do you care?

Ralof: A Nord's last thoughts should be of home.

Lokir: Rorikstead. I'm...I'm from Rorikstead.

[They approach the village of Helgen. A soldier calls out to the lead wagon.]

Imperial Soldier: General Tullius, sir! The headsman is waiting!

General Tullius: Good. Let's get this over with.

Lokir: Shor, Mara, Dibella, Kynareth, Akatosh. Divines, please help me.

Ralof: Look at him, General Tullius the Military Governor. And it looks like
       the Thalmor are with him. Damn elves. I bet they had something to do
       with this.

       This is Helgen. I used to be sweet on a girl from here. Wonder if Vilod
       is still making that mead with juniper berries mixed in. Funny...when I
       was a boy, Imperial walls and towers used to make me feel so safe.

[A man and son watch the prisoners pull into town.]

Haming: Who are they, daddy? Where are they going?

Torolf: You need to go inside, little cub.

Haming: Why? I want to watch the soldiers.

Torolf: Inside the house. Now.

[The wagon stops near the chopping block.]

Imperial Soldier: Whoa.

Lokir: Why are they stopping?

Ralof: Why do you think? End of the line. Let's go. Shouldn't keep the gods
       waiting for us.

Lokir: No! Wait! We're not rebels!

Ralof: Face your death with some courage, thief.

[Under the Imperials' watchful eye, the prisoners start jumping out.]

Lokir: You've got to tell them! We weren't with you! This is a mistake!

Imperial Captain: Step toward the block when we call your name. One at a time!

Ralof: Empire loves their damn lists.

Hadvar: Ulfric Stormcloak. Jarl of Windhelm.

Ralof: It has been an honor, Jarl Ulfric!

Hadvar: Ralof of Riverwood. Lokir of Rorikstead.

Lokir: No, I'm not a rebel! You can't do this!

[He makes a break for it.]

Imperial Captain: Halt!

Lokir: You're not going to kill me!

Imperial Captain: Archers!

[Lokir is downed with one bowshot.]

Imperial Captain: Anyone else feel like running?

Hadvar: Wait, you there. Step forward. Who are you?

[The player picks his/her character, prompting a race-related remark.]

Hadvar: • You picked a bad time to come home to Skyrim, kinsman.
        • Not many wood elves would choose to come alone to Skyrim.
        • You from Daggerfall, Breton? Fleeing from some court intrigue?
        • You from one of the strongholds, Orc? How did you end up here?
        • Are you a relative of one of the Riften dock workers, Argonian?
        • Another refugee? Gods really have abandoned your people, dark elf.
        • You're a long way from the Imperial City. What're you doing in
        • What are you doing here, Redguard? You a sellsword? A sailor from
          Stros M'kai?
        • You with one of the trade caravans, Khajiit? Your kind always seems
          to find trouble.
        • You're not with the Thalmor Embassy, are you, high elf? No, that
          can't be right...

        Captain, what should we do? He's not on the list.

Imperial Captain: Forget the list. He goes to the block.

Hadvar: By your orders, captain.

        • I'm sorry. At least you'll die here, in your homeland.
        • I'm sorry. We'll make sure your remains are returned to Elsweyr.
        • I'm sorry. We'll make sure your remains are returned to Cyrodiil.
        • I'm sorry. We'll make sure your remains are returned to Orsinium.
        • I'm sorry. We'll make sure your remains are returned to High Rock.
        • I'm sorry. We'll make sure your remains are returned to Morrowind.
        • I'm sorry. We'll make sure your remains are returned to Valenwood.
        • I'm sorry. We'll make sure your remains are returned to Hammerfell.
        • I'm sorry. We'll make sure your remains are returned to Black Marsh.
        • I'm sorry. We'll make sure your remains are returned to the Summerset

        Follow the Captain, prisoner.

[The player goes to stand with the other waiting prisoners by the block.]

Tullius: Ulfric Stormcloak. Some here in Helgen call you a hero, but a hero
         doesn't use a power like the Voice to murder his king and usurp his

Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak: (grunting protest)

Tullius: You started this war, plunged Skyrim into chaos and now the Empire is
         going to put you down, and restore the peace.

[A distant noise rings down the mountainside.]

Hadvar: What was that?

Tullius: It's nothing. Carry on.

Imperial Captain: Yes, General Tullius. Give them their last rites.

Priestess of Arkay: As we commend your souls to Aetherius, blessings of the
                    Eight Divines upon you, for you are the salt and earth of
                    Nirn, our beloved--

[One of the prisoners from the lead wagon walks forward.]

Stormcloak Soldier: For the love of Talos, shut up and lets get this over with.

Priestess of Arkay: As you wish...

Stormcloak Soldier: Come on, I haven't got all morning. My ancestors are
                    smiling at me, Imperials. Can you say the same?

[They behead the Stormcloak, eliciting responses from the onlookers.]

Stormcloak Soldier 2: You Imperial bastards!

Vilod: Justice!

Ingrid: Death to the Stormcloaks!

Ralof: As fearless in death as he was in life.

Imperial Captain: • Next, the cat!
                  • Next, the Orc!
                  • Next, the lizard!
                  • Next, the Breton!
                  • Next, the Redguard!
                  • Next, the dark elf!
                  • Next, the high elf!
                  • Next, the wood elf!
                  • Next, the Nord in the rags!
                  • Next, the renegade from Cyrodiil!

[Another cry rings out on the mountainside, this time much closer.]

Hadvar: There it is again. Did you hear that?

Imperial Captain: I said, next prisoner!

Hadvar: To the block, prisoner. Nice and easy.

[The player is brought to the chopping block. A large creature swoops over
 the southern peaks, barreling toward Helgen.]

Tullius: What in Oblivion is that?

Imperial Captain: Sentries! What do you see?

Imperial Soldier: It's in the clouds!

[The creature, know seen as a dragon, lands on a tower, surprising everyone.]

Stormcloak Soldier: Dragon!

[The dragon uses its voice on the crowd, killing the headsman.]

Headsman: Nngh!

Tullius: Don't just stand there, kill that thing! Guards, get the townspeople
         to safety!

Ralof: • Hey, Argonian. Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!
       • Hey, Breton. Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!
       • Hey, dark elf. Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!
       • Hey, high elf. Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!
       • Hey, you! Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!
       • Hey, Khajiit! Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!
       • Hey, kinsman. Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!
       • Hey, Orc! Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!
       • Hey, Redguard! Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!
       • Hey, wood elf! Get up! Come on, the gods won't give us another chance!

       This way!

[Ralof leads the player to a tower where the other prisoners are hiding.]

Ralof: Jarl Ulfric! What is that thing? Could the legends be true?

Ulfric: Legends don't burn down villages. We need to move, now!

Ralof: Up through the tower. Let's go! This way, friend! Move!

Stormcloak Soldier: We just need to move some of these rocks to clear the way!

[The dragon, Alduin, breaks in through the wall, blasting fire everywhere.]

Ralof: Get back!

Alduin: Toor shul! {"Inferno Sun"}

[They survey the damage when the dragon leaves.]

Ralof: See the inn on the other side? Jump through the roof and keep going! Go!
       We'll follow you when we can!

[The player proceeds alone, encountering the list-giver with some refugees.]

Hadvar: Haming, you need to get over here now! Thataboy. You're doing great!
        Torolf! Gods...everyone get back!

[They survive a blast of fire breath.]

Hadvar: Still alive, prisoner? Keep close to me if you want to stay that way.
        Gunnar, take care of the boy. I have to find General Tullius and join
        the defense.

Gunnar: Gods guide you, Hadvar.

Hadvar: Stay close to the wall!

[They take cover as a dragon perches right above.]

Alduin: Vol toor shul! {"Horror Inferno Sun"}

Hadvar: Quickly, follow me!

[They reach the main gate's carnage. Soldiers are firing arrows in vain.]

Vilod: Tell my family I fought bravely!

Tullius: Hadvar! Into the keep, soldier, we're leaving!

Hadvar: It's you and me, prisoner, stay close!

Imperial Soldier: Die, dragon!

Imperial Soldier: How in Oblivion do we kill this thing? Just...die!

[Near the keep, Ralof is seen.]

Hadvar: Ralof! You damned traitor, out of my way!

Ralof: We're escaping, Hadvar! You're not stopping us this time.

Hadvar: Fine. I hope that dragon takes you all to Sovngarde.

Ralof: You, come on! Into the keep!

Hadvar: With me, prisoner! Let's go! Come on! We need to get inside!

[The player can pick who to follow from this point on, which determines the
 enemies to the chapter's end.]

####################### IF YOU PICK HADVAR AS THE GUIDE ######################

Hadvar: Looks like we're the only ones who made it. Was that really a dragon?
        The bringers of the End Times? We should keep moving. Come here. Let me
        see if I can get those bindings off. There you go. Take a look around,
        there should be plenty of gear to choose from. I'm going to see if I
        can find something for these burns. You better get that armor on. Give
        sword a few swings, too. Let's keep moving. That thing is still out
        there. Come on, this way.

Stormcloak Soldier: We need to get moving! That dragon is tearing up the whole

Stormcloak Soldier 2: Just give me a minute...I'm out of breath...

Hadvar: Hear that? Stormcloaks. Maybe we can reason with them. Hold on now, we
        only want to...

[They draw their weapons.]

Hadvar: If you want to die, so be it.

[They kill the Stormcloaks.]

Hadvar: That's the end of that. Let's see if I can get that door open.

[They go downstairs, just in time for a collapsing roof.]

Hadvar: Look out! Damn, that dragon doesn't give up easy.

Stormcloak: What are you doing? We need to get out of Helgen now!

Stormcloak 2: The Imperials have potions in here. We're going to need them.

Hadvar: An old storeroom. See if you can find some potions. Might come in

Hadvar: Done then? This way!

[Downstairs is a torture room where the workers are fighting Stormcloaks.]

Hadvar: A torture room. Gods, I wish we didn't need these...

Torturer: You fellows happened along just in time. These boys seemed quite
          upset at how I'd been entertaining their comrades.

Hadvar: Don't you even know what's going on? A dragon is attacking Helgen!

Torturer: A dragon? Please. Don't make up nonsense...although, come to think
          of it, I did hear some odd noises coming from over there.

Hadvar: Come with us. We need to get out of here.

Torturer: You have no authority over me, boy.

Hadvar: Didn't you hear me? I said the keep is under attack!

Torturer's Assistant: Forget the old man. I'll come with you.

Hadvar: Wait a second, looks like there's something in this cage.

Torturer: Don't bother with that. Lost the key ages ago. Poor fellow
          screamed for weeks.

Hadvar: See if you can get it open with some picks. We'll need everything we
        can get.

Torturer: Sure, take all my things. Please.

Hadvar: Grab what you can and let's go.

Torturer: There's no way out that way, you know...

[The player and his guide go further downstairs.]

Hadvar: Alright, let's see if we can find a way out. Let's see where this goes.

[They open a bridge into the tunnels, passing over before a rock breaks it.] 

Hadvar: Damn it. No going back that way. I guess we're lucky that didn't come
        down on top of us. We better push on. I'm sure the others will find
        another way out.

[Following the stream leads to a dead end.]

Hadvar: Hmm, that doesn't go anywhere. I guess we'd better try this way.

[They kill a den of spiders nearby.]

Hadvar: What next, giant snakes?


Hadvar: Hold up. There's a bear just ahead. See her? I'd rather not tangle with
        her right now. We might be able to sneak by. Just take it nice and
        slow, and watch where you step. Or if you're feeling lucky, you can
        take this bow. Might take her by surprise. Go ahead. I'll follow your
        lead and watch your back.

[At the exit...]

Hadvar: This looks like the way out! I was starting to wonder if we'd ever make

[The player finally makes it out into fresh air.]

Hadvar: Wait!

[Alduin flies away overhead.]

Hadvar: Looks like he's gone for good this time. But I don't think we should
        stick around to see if he comes back. Closest town from here is
        Riverwood. My uncle's the blacksmith there. I'm sure he could help you
        out. It's probably best if we split up. Good luck. I wouldn't have made
        it without your help today. Listen, you should go to Solitude and join
        up with the Imperial Legion. We could really use someone like you. And
        if the rebels have themselves a dragon, General Tullius is the only one
        who can stop them.

[The two escapees set off down the road.]

####################### IF YOU PICK RALOF AS YOUR GUIDE ######################

[Upon entering the keep, Ralof goes to check on a fallen comrade.]

Ralof: We'll meet again in Sovngarde, brother. Looks like we're the only ones
       who made it. That thing was a dragon. No doubt. Just like the children's
       stories and the legends. The harbingers of the End Times. We better get
       moving. Come here, let me see if I can get those bindings off. There you
       go. May as well take Gunjar's gear...he won't be needing it anymore.
       Alright, get that armor on and give that axe a few swings. I'm going to
       see if I can find some way out of here. This one's locked. Let's see
       about that gate. Damn. No way to open this from our side.

Imperial Captain: Come on, soldier! Keep moving!

Ralof: It's the Imperials! Take cover!

Imperial Captain: Get this gate open.

Ralof: Imperial dogs!

[The captain and her associate are ambushed and killed.]

Ralof: Maybe one of these Imperials had the key. Let's see here... Here we
       are, found a key. Let's see if it opens that door. That's it! Come on,
       let's get out of here before the dragon brings the whole tower down on
       our heads.

[They go downstairs, almost getting trapped under the collapsing ceiling.]

Ralof: Look out! Damn, that dragon doesn't give up easy.

Imperial Soldier: Grab everything important and let's move! The dragon is
                  burning everything to the ground.

Imperial Soldier 2: Just need to gather some more potions.

[Ralof and his cohort kill the next guards.]

Ralof: A storeroom. See if you can find any potions. We'll need them. Done?
       Let's get moving.

[They go downstairs to the torture room, where Stormcloaks are fighting.]

Ralof: Troll's blood! It's a torture room. Hear that?

[They kill the torturers.]

Ralof: Is Jarl Ulfric with you?

Stormcloak Soldier: No, I haven't seen him since the dragon showed up.

Ralof: Wait a second. Looks like there's something in this cage. It's locked.
       See if you can get it open with some picks. We might need that gold once
       we get out. Grab anything useful and let's go.

[Downstairs are more soldiers.]

Imperial Soldier: The orders are to wait until General Tullius arrives.

Imperial Soldier 2: I'm not waiting to be killed by a dragon!


Ralof: Let's go on ahead. See if the way is clear. Let's see where this goes.

[They cross a bridge, narrowly avoiding a falling rock.]

Ralof: No going back that way, now. We'd better push on. The rest of them will
       have to find another way out.

[They follow a stream to a dead end.]

Ralof: Hmm, that doesn't go anywhere. I guess we'd better try this way.

[They dispatch some frostbite spiders.]

Ralof: I hate those damn things. Too many eyes, you know?

[They come upon a sleeping bear.]

Ralof: Hold up. There's a bear just ahead. See her? I'd rather no tangle with
       her right now. Let's try to sneak by. Just take it nice and slow, and
       watch where you step. Or if you're feeling lucky, you can take this bow.
       Might take her by surprise. Go ahead. I'll follow your lead and watch
       your back.

[They finally reach the exit.]

Ralof: That looks like the way out! I knew we'd make it!

[They watch as Alduin flies overhead and away.]

Ralof: Wait! There he goes. Looks like he's gone for good this time. No way to
       know if anyone else made it out alive. But this place is going to be
       swarming with Imperials soon enough. We'd better clear out of here. My
       sister Gerdur runs the mill in Riverwood, just up the road. I'm sure
       she'd help you out. It's probably best if we split up. Good luck. I
       wouldn't have made it without your help today. You know, you should go
       to Windhelm and join the fight for free Skyrim. You've seen the true
       face of the Empire here today. If anyone will know what the coming of
       the dragon means, it's Ulfric.

[The escapees flee Helgen, heading to the river.]

02) BEFORE THE STORM                                                     [MQ02]

[If the player follows Ralof/Hadvar, they'll make conversation en route, even
 stopping at the Standing Stones along the path.]

####################### IF YOU PICK RALOF AS YOUR GUIDE ######################

Ralof: See that ruin up there? Bleak Falls Barrow. I never understood how my
       sister could stand living in the shadow of that place. I guess you get
       used to it.

       These are the Guardian Stones, three of the thirteen ancient standing
       stones that dot Skyrim's landscape. Go ahead, see for yourself.

       • Mage, eh? Well, to each his own. It's not for me to judge.
       • Warrior, good! Those stars will guide you to honor and glory.
       • Thief, eh? It's never too late to take charge of your own fate, you

       Remember, this isn't Stormcloak territory. If we're ahead of the news
       from Helgen, we should be fine as long as we don't do anything stupid.
       If we run into any Imperials, just let me do the talking, alright? I'm
       glad you decided to come with me. We're almost to Riverwood.

[They enter the sleepy village of Riverwood.]

Ralof: Looks like nobody here knows what happened yet. Come on. Gerdur's
       probably working in her lumber mill.

[They find the sister nearby.]

Ralof: Gerdur!

Gerdur: Brother! Mara's mercy, it's good to see you! 

Ralof: Gerdur...

Gerdur: But is it safe for you to be here? We heard that Ulfric had been

Ralof: Gerdur, I'm fine. At least now I am.

Gerdur: Are you hurt? What's happened? And who's this? One of your comrades?

Ralof: Not a comrade yet, but a friend. I owe him my life, in fact. Is there
       somewhere we can talk? There's no telling when the news from Helgen will
       reach the Imperials...

Gerdur: Helgen? Has something happened...? You're right. Follow me. Hod! Come
        here a minute. I need your help with something.

Hod: What is it, woman? Sven drunk on the job again?

Gerdur: Hod, just come here.

Hod: Ralof! What are you doing here? Ahh...I'll be right down.

[They go sit by the river.]

Frodnar: Uncle Ralof! Can I see your axe? How many Imperials have you killed?
         Do you really know Ulfric Stormcloak?

Gerdur: Hush, Frodnar. This is no time for your games. Go and watch the south
        road. Come find us if you see any Imperial soldiers coming.

Frodnar: Aw, mama, I wanna stay and talk with Uncle Ralof!

Ralof: Look at you, almost a grown man! Won't be very long before you'll be
       joining the fight yourself.

Frodnar: That's right! Don't worry, Uncle Ralof, I won't let those soldiers
         sneak up on you.

[Frodnar walks off.]

Hod: Now, Ralof, what's going on? You two look pretty well done in.

Ralof: I can't remember when I last slept... Where to start? Well, the news you
       heard about Ulfric was true. The Imperials ambushed us outside Darkwater
       Crossing. Like they knew exactly where we'd be...that was two days ago,
       now. We stopped in Helgen this morning, and I thought it was all over.
       Had us lined up to the headsman's block and ready to start chopping.

Gerdur: The cowards!

Ralof: They wouldn't dare give Ulfric a fair trial. Treason, for fighting for
       your own people! All of Skyrim would've seen the truth then. But then,
       out of nowhere...a dragon attacked!

Gerdur: You don't mean a real, live...

Ralof: I can hardly believe it myself, and I was there. As strange as it
       sounds, we'd be dead if not for that dragon. In the confusion, we
       managed to slip away. Are we really the first to make it to Riverwood?

Gerdur: Nobody else has come up the south road today, as far as I know.

Ralof: Good. Maybe we can lay up for a while. I hate to put your family in
       danger, Gerdur, but...

Gerdur: Nonsense. You and your friend are welcome to stay here as long as you
        need to. Let me worry about the Imperials. Any friend of Ralof's is a
        friend of mine. Here's a key to the house. Stay as long as you like.
        If there's anything else you need, just let me know.

        There's something you can do for me. For all of us here. The Jarl needs
        to know if there's a dragon on the loose. Riverwood is defenseless...
        We need to get word to Jarl Balgruuf in Whiterun to send whatever
        soldiers he can. If you'll do that for me, I'll be in your debt.

Ralof: Thanks, sister. I knew I could count on you.

Gerdur: I ought to get back to work before I'm missed, but...did anyone else
        escape? Did Ulfric...

Ralof: Don't worry, I'm sure he made it out. It would take more than a dragon
       to stop Ulfric Stormcloak.

Hod: I'll let them into the house, and, you know, show them where everything

Gerdur: Hmph, help them drink up our mead, you mean... Good luck, brother. I'll
        see you later.

Ralof: Don't worry about me. I know how to lay low.

[The sister and her husband walk off.

Ralof: I told you my sister would help us out. I hope to see you in Windhelm.
       Good luck. May the gods watch over your battles, friend.

####################### IF YOU PICK HADVAR AS THE GUIDE ######################

Hadvar: See that ruin up there? Bleak Falls Barrow. When I was a boy, that
        place always used to give me nightmares. Draugr creeping down the
        mountain to climb through my window at night, that kind of thing. I
        admit, I still don't much like the look of it.

        These are the Guardian Stones, three of the thirteen ancient standing
        stones that dot Skyrim's landscape. Go ahead, see for yourself.

        • Mage, eh? Well, to each his own. It's not for me to judge.
        • Thief, eh? It's never too late to take charge of your own fate, you
        • Warrior, good! I knew you shouldn't have been in that cart the minute
          I laid eyes on you.

        Listen, as far as I'm concerned, you've already earned your pardon. But
        until we get that confirmed by General Tullius, just stay clear of
        other Imperial soldiers and avoid any complications, all right? I'm
        glad you decided to come with me. We're almost to Riverwood.

[Riverwood is finally reached.]

Hadvar: Things look quiet enough here. Come on, there's my uncle. Uncle Alvor!

Alvor: Hadvar? What are you doing here? Are you on leave from... Shor's bones,
       what happened to you, boy? Are you in some kind of trouble?

Hadvar: Shh, uncle. Keep your voice down. I'm fine, but we should go inside to

Alvor: What's going on? And who's this?

Hadvar: He's a friend. Saved my life in fact. Come on, I'll explain everything,
        but we need to go inside.

Alvor: Okay, okay. Come inside, then. Sigrid will get you something to eat and
       you can tell me all about it.

[They go inside.]

Alvor: Sigrid! We have company!

Sigrid: Hadvar! We've been so worried about you! Come, you two must be hungry.
        Sit down and I'll get you something to eat.

Alvor: Now, then, boy. What's the big mystery? What were you doing, looking
       like you lost an argument with a cave bear?

Hadvar: I don't know where to start. I was assigned to General Tullius's guard.
        We were stopped in Helgen when we were attacked...by a dragon.

Alvor: A dragon? That's...ridiculous. You aren't drunk, are you, boy?

Sigrid: Husband, let him tell his story.

Hadvar: Not much more to tell. This dragon flew over and just wrecked the whole
        place. Mass confusion. I don't know if anyone else got out alive. I
        doubt I'd have made it out if not for my friend here. I need to get
        back to Solitude and let them know what's happened. I thought you could
        help us out. Food, supplies, a place to stay.

Alvor: Of course! Any friend of Hadvar's is a friend of mine. I'm glad to help
       in any way I can. Like I said, I'm glad to help. But I need your help.
       We need your help. The Jarl needs to know there's a dragon on the loose.
       Riverwood is defenseless... We need to get word to Jarl Balgruuf in
       Whiterun to send whatever soldiers he can. If you'll do that for me,
       I'll be in your debt. 

Dorthe: Hadvar, did you really see a dragon? What did it look like? Did it have
        big teeth?

Sigrid: Hush, child. Don't pester your cousin.

Alvor: Well, I better get back to work. You two can make yourselves at home.

Hadvar: It's nice to be back in a friendly spot, huh? Listen, I'm going to lay
        up here for awhile. You can make your own way to Solitude from here. I
        recommend heading to Whiterun, just down the road from here. From there
        you can take a carriage to Solitude.

#################### RALOF/HADVAR SPLIT PATHS REUNITE HERE ###################

[The prisoner reaches Whiterun's gates.]

Guard: Halt! City's closed with dragons about. Official business only.

       Riverwood calls for the Jarl's aid.²
        Riverwood's in danger, too? You better go on in. You'll find the Jarl
        at Dragonsreach, atop the hill.

       I have news from Helgen about the dragon attack. (Persuade)
        Fine, but we'll be keeping an eye on you.

       Will this change your mind? (### gold)
        Welcome to Whiterun, friend. Go right in.

       Stand aside, or else. (Intimidate)
        Or else what? You think you can stand against the entire Whiterun city
        guard? The gate's closed.

       I'll come back later.
        Safe travels.

[At the Dragonsreach castle, the prisoner approaches Balgruuf, already talking
 with his advisors.]

Proventus Avenicci: I only council caution. We cannot afford to act rashly in
                     times like these.

Jarl Balgruuf the Greater: What would you have me do, then? Nothing?

Proventius: My lord, please. This is no time for rash action. I just think we
            need more action before we act. I just...

Jarl Balgruuf: Who's this, then?

[His housecarl approaches.]

Irileth: What's the meaning of this interruption? Jarl Balgruuf is not
         receiving any visitors.

         I have news from Helgen. About the dragon attack.
          Well, that explains why the guards let you in. Come on then, the
          Jarl will want to speak to you personally.

         Alvor sent me. Riverwood is in danger.²
         Gerdur sent me. Riverwood is in danger.²
          As Housecarl, my job is to deal with all dangers that Jarl or his
          people. So, you have my attention. Now, explain yourself.

           A dragon has destroyed Helgen.
            You know about Helgen? The Jarl will want to speak with you
            personally. Approach.

           I was told to give the message directly to the Jarl.²
            Whatever you have to say to the Jarl, you can say to me. I'm
            starting to think...

            Balgruuf: It's all right, Irileth. I want to hear what he has to

[The player approaches the throne. The line changes slightly, depending on
 if one talks about Riverwood and refuses to tell Irileth about it.]

Balgruuf: What's this about Riverwood being in danger?

          A dragon destroyed Helgen. Gerdur/Alvor is afraid Riverwood is next.²
           • Alvor? The smith, isn't he? Reliable, solid fellow.
           • Gerdur? Owns the lumber mill, if I'm not mistaken... Pillar of the

          Not prone to flights of fancy...

Balgruuf: • So, you were at Helgen? You saw this dragon with your own eyes?
          • And you're sure Helgen was destroyed by a dragon? This wasn't some
            Stormcloak raid gone wrong?

          Yes. I had a great view while the Imperials were trying to cut off
          my head. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
           Really? You're certainly...forthright about your criminal past. But
           it's none of my concern who the Imperials want to execute.
           Especially now. What I want to know is what exactly happened at

          The Imperials were about to execute Ulfric Stormcloak. Then the
          dragon attacked. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
           I should have guessed Ulfric would be mixed up in this.

          The dragon destroyed Helgen. And last I saw it was heading this way.
           By Ysmir, Irileth was right!

          What do you say now, Proventus? Shall we continue to trust in the
          strength of our walls? Against a dragon?

Irileth: My lord, we should send troops to Riverwood at once. It's in the most
         immediate danger. If that dragon is lurking in the mountains...

Proventus: The Jarl of Falkreath will view that as a provocation! He'll assume
           we're preparing to join Ulfric's side and attack him! We should

Balgruuf: Enough! I'll not stand idly by while a dragon burns my hold and
          slaughters my people! Irileth, send a detachment to Riverwood at

Irileth: Yes, my Jarl.

Proventus: If you'll excuse me, I'll return to my duties.

Balgruuf: That would be best.

[His advisors leave.]

Balgruuf: Well done. You sought me out, on your own initiative. You've done
          Whiterun a service, and I won't forget it. Here, take this as a small
          token of my esteem. There is another thing you could do for me.
          Suitable for someone of your particular talents, perhaps. Come, let's
          go find Farengar, my court wizard. He's been looking into a matter
          related to these dragons and...rumors of dragons.

03) BLEAK FALLS BARROW                                                   [MQ03]
[Balgruuf leads the player to the Farengar Secret-Fire's office.]

Balgruuf: Farengar, I think I've found someone who can help you with your
          dragon project. Go ahead and fill him in with all the details.

Farengar: So the Jarl thinks you can be of use to me? Oh yes, he must be
          referring to my research into the dragons. Yes, I could use someone
          to fetch something for me. Well, when I say fetch, I really mean
          delve into a dangerous ruin in search of an ancient stone tablet that
          may or may not actually be there.

          All right. Where am I going and what am I fetching?
           Straight to the point, eh? No need for tedious hows and whys. I
           like that. Leave those details to your betters, am I right?

          What does this have to do with dragons?
           Ah, no mere brute mercenary, but a thinker -- perhaps even a
           scholar? You see, when the stories of dragons began to circulate,
           many dismissed them as mere fantasties, rumors. Impossibilities.
           One sure mark of a fool is to dismiss anything that falls outside
           his experience as being impossible. But I began to search for
           information about dragons -- where had they gone all those years
           ago? And where were they coming from?

           So what do you need me to do?
            {skip to "I, ah, learned..."}

          Just tell me what you need me to do.
           You are eager to begin your adventure. Excellent. The sooner begun,
           the sooner done, eh?

          I, ah, learned of a certain stone tablet said to be housed in Bleak
          Falls Barrow -- a "Dragonstone," said to contain a map of dragon
          burial sites. Go to Bleak Falls Barrow, find this tablet -- no doubt
          in the main chamber -- and bring it to me. Simplicity itself.

          Oh, you mean this old stone? (Give Dragonstone to Farengar)²
           Ah! The Dragonstone of Bleak Falls Barrow! You already found it! You
           are cut from a different cloth than the usual brutes the Jarl foists
           on me. (skip to "So what about my reward" turn-in options)

          • Off to Bleak Falls Barrow with you. The Jarl is not a patient man.
            Neither am I, come to think of it.

[The player can inquire further.]

Dragonborn: What can you tell me about Bleak Falls Barrow?

Farengar: An old tomb, built by the ancient Nords, perhaps dating back to the
          Dragon War itself. Ah. Maybe you just want to know how to get there.
          It's near Riverwood, a miserable little village a few miles south of
          here. I'm sure some of the locals can point you in the right
          direction once you get there.

Dragonborn: How do you know this stone tablet is in Bleak Falls Barrow?

Farengar: Well. Must preserve some professional secrets, mustn't we? I have my
          sources...reliable sources.

Dragonborn: Tell me more about the Dragon War.

Farengar: I'm not surprised you've never heard of it. Even I used to think it
          was just a myth. But not anymore. The Dragon War was a real event,
          although only the barest glimmer of the actual events has come down
          to us. Far back in the Mythic Era, the dragons were worshipped as
          gods in Skyrim. Many of the monumental ruins that still dot the
          landscape were, in fact, built as temples to the dragons. The details
          are lost, but at some point the Nords rebelled. After a long and
          terrible war, the Nords overthrew their dragon overlords.

Dragonborn: So, were all the dragons killed in the Dragon War?

Farengar: Oh, no. Many were killed, of course. But many survived into
          historical times. Why, this very palace was built by one of
          Balgruuf's ancestors to hold a captive dragon. Hence its name --

Dragonborn: Have you encountered any dragons?

Farengar: Sadly, no. My work affords me few opportunities for such an
          adventure. Perhaps some hero will bring one to Dragonsreach, like
          old Olaf One-Eye once did. What a fascinating conversation that would

[The player travels to the mountaintop dungeon, visible for miles in the
 Riverwood area. Inside, some bandits are talking.]

Bandit 1: The dark elf wants to go on ahead, let him. Better than us risking
          our necks.

Bandit 2: What if Arvel doesn't come back? I want my share from that claw!

Bandit 1: Just shut it and keep an eye out for trouble.

[Once they're dead, they find Arvel the Swift moaning downstairs, caught in
 a spider's netting. A spider attacks.]

Arvel: Is...is someone coming? Is that you Harknir? Bjorn? Soling? No. Not
       again! Ah, kill it. Kill it! Get me out of here!


Arvel: You. Over here! You did it. You killed it. Now cut me down before
       anything else shows up.

Dragonborn: Where's the golden claw?

Arvel: Yes, the claw. I know how it works. The claw, the markings, the door in
       the Hall of Stories. I know how they all fit together! Help me down,
       and I'll show you. You won't believe the power the Nords have hidden

       Hand over the claw first!
        Does it look like I can move? You have to cut me down, first.

       Fine. Let me see if I can cut you down.
        Sweet breath of Arkay, thank you.

[The player hacks the webs.]

Arvel: It's coming loose. I can feel it.

[Once free, he bolts off into the trap-filled dungeon behind him.]

Arvel: You fool, why should I share the treasure with anyone?

[The chase leads into a draugr-filled crypt, where Arvel is slain by undead
 denizens or trips the swinging spike trap for a more gruesome demise. With
 the claw in hand, one finally reaches the deepest sanctum, where a draugr
 warlord carries the fabled Dragonstone. It's brought back to Farengar ASAP;
 he's conversing with a hooded woman.]

Farengar: You see? The terminology is clearly First Era or even earlier. I'm
          convinced this is a copy of a much older text. Perhaps dating to just
          after the Dragon War. If so, I could use this to cross-refernence
          the names with the other later texts.

Delphine: Good. I'm glad you're making progress. My employers are anxious to
          have some tangible answers.

Farengar: Oh, have no fear. The Jarl himself has finally taken an interest, so
          I'm now able to devote most of my time to this research.

Delphine: Time is running, Farengar, don't forget. This isn't some theoretical
          question. Dragons have come back.

Farengar: Yes, yes. Don't worry. Although the chance to see a living dragon up
          close would be tremendously valuable... Now, let me show you
          something else I found...very intriguing...I think your employers
          may be interested as well... Hmm? Ah, yes, the Jarl's protege¹! Back
          from Bleak Falls Barrow? You didn't die, it seems.

[He notices the player's prize.]

Farengar: Ah! The Dragonstone of Bleak Falls Barrow! Seems you are a cut above
          the usual brutes the Jarl sends my way.

          So what about my reward?
           You'll have to see the Jarl about that. Maybe his steward, Avenicci.
           I'm sure one of them will pay you appropriately.

          I got you the Dragonstone. What next?
           That is where your job ends and mine begins. The work of the mind,
           sadly undervalued in Skyrim.

          My...associate here will be pleased to see your handiwork. She
          discovered its location, by means she has so far declined to share
          with me. So, your information was correct after all. And we have our
          friend to thank for recovering it for us.

Delphine: You went into Bleak Falls Barrow and got that? Nice work. Just send
          me a copy when you've deciphered it.

04) DRAGON RISING                                                        [MQ04]
[In the middle of the conversation, Balgruuf's housecarl runs in.]

Irileth: Farengar! Farengar, you need to come at once. A dragon's been sighted
         nearby. You should come, too.

Farengar: A dragon! How exciting! Where was it seen? What was it doing?

Irileth: I'd take this a bit more seriously if I were you. If a dragon decides
         to attack Whiterun I don't know if we can stop it. Let's go.

[They go to meet with the Jarl upstairs. An anxious guard is with them.]

Balgruuf: So, Irileth tells me you came from the western watchtower.

Whiterun Guard: Yes, my lord.

Irileth: Tell him what you told me. About the dragon.

Whiterun Guard: Uh...that's right. We saw it coming from the south. It was
                fast...faster than anything I've ever seen. 

Balgruuf: What did it do? Is it attacking the watchtower?

Whiterun Guard: No, my lord. It was just circling overhead when I left. I never
                ran so fast in my life...I thought it would come after me for

Balgruuf: Good work, son. We'll take it from here. Head down to the barracks
          for some food and rest. You've earned it. Irileth, you'd better
          gather some guardsmen and get down there.

Irileth: I've already ordered my men to muster near the main gate.

Balgruuf: Good. Don't fail me.

[He notices the player standing there.]

Balgruuf: There's no time to stand on ceremony, my friend. I need your help
          again. I want you to go with Irileth and help her fight this dragon.
          You survived Helgen, so you have more experience with dragons than
          anyone else here. But I haven't forgotten the service you did for me
          in retrieving the Dragonstone for Farengar. As a token of my esteem,
          I have instructed Avenicci that you are now permitted to purchase
          property in the city. And please accept this gift from my personal

Farengar: I should come along. I would very much like to see this dragon.

Balgruuf: No. I can't afford to risk both of you. I need you here working on
          ways to defend the city against these dragons.

Farengar: As you command.

Balgruuf: One last thing, Irileth. This isn't a death or glory mission. I need
          to know what we're dealing with.

Irileth: Don't worry, my lord. I'm the very soul of caution.

[Irileth and the player go to the main gate, where her men are readied.]

Irileth: Here's the situation. A dragon is attacking the Western Watchtower.

Whiterun Guard: What?

Whiterun Guard: A dragon?

Whiterun Guard: We're in for it.

Irileth: You heard right! I said a dragon! I don't much care where it came from
         or who sent it. What I do know is it's made the mistake of attacking

Whiterun Guard: But Housecarl...how can we attack a dragon?

Irileth: That's a fair question. None of us have ever seen a dragon before, or
         expected to face one in battle. But we are honorbound to fight it,
         even if we fall. This dragon is threatening our homes...our families.
         Could you call yourselves Nords if you ran from this monster? Are you
         going to let me face this thing alone?

Whiterun Guard: We're so dead...

Irileth: But it's more than our honor at stake here. Think of it -- the first
         dragon seen in Skyrim since the last age. The glory of killing it is
         ours, if you're with me! Now what do you say? Shall we go kill us a

Whiterun Guard: Yeah!

Whiterun Guard: Damn right!

Whiterun Guard: Yeah!

Irileth: Let's move out.

[Together, the team approaches the watchtower. It was always in ruins, but now
 has a cloak of flames to boot.]

Irileth: No signs of any dragon right now, but it sure looks like he's been
         here. I know it looks bad, but we've got to figure out what happened.
         And if that dragon is still skulking around somewhere. Spread out and
         look for survivors. We need to know what we're dealing with.

[A frantic guard flees from the garrison.]

Whiterun Guard: No! Get back! It's still here somewhere! Hroki and Tor just
                got grabbed when they tried to make a run for it!

Irileth: Guardsman! What happened here? Where's this dragon? Quickly now!

Whiterun Guard: I don't know! Kynareth save us, here he comes again...

[The dragon crests the nearest mountain, making a beeline for the watchtower

Irileth: Here he comes! Find cover and make every arrow count!

Whiterun Guard: Talos save us! It's a dragon!

Whiterun Guard: Slay it! Slay the dragon!

Whiterun Guard: I can't get a bead on him!

Irileth: Come down here and fight, you coward!

[The dragon is eventually weakened and grounded. The player deals the coup de
 grace, causing the dragon to speak.]

Mirmulnir: Dovahkiin! No!!

Irileth: Let's make sure that overgrown lizard is really dead. Damned good
         shooting, boys!

Whiterun Guard: What's happening?!

Irileth: Everybody get back!

[Oddly enough, the dragon's soul is instantly absorbed into the player, which
 surprises the Nord guardsmen and Irileth.]

Whiterun Guard: I can't believe it! You're...Dragonborn...

Dragonborn: Dragonborn? What do you mean?

Whiterun Guard: In the very oldest tales, back from when there were still
                dragons in Skyrim, the Dragonborn would slay dragons and steal
                their power. That's what you did, isn't it? Absorbed that
                dragon's power?

                I don't know what happened to me.
                 There's only one way to find out. Try to Shout...that would
                 prove it.

                I think you may be right.
                 • There's only one way to find out. Try to Shout...
                 • Yes. I think I am. You can Shout now. That can only mean
                   one thing. You must be Dragonborn.

                According to the old legends, only the Dragonborn can Shout
                without training, the way the dragons do.

Whiterun Guard 2: Dragonborn? What are you talking about?

Whiterun Guard: That's right! My grandfather used to tell stories about the
                Dragonborn. Those born with the Dragon Blood in 'em. Like old
                Tiber Septim himself.

Whiterun Guard 3: I've never heard of Tiber Septim killing any dragons.

Whiterun Guard: There weren't any dragons then, idiot. They're just coming
                back now for the first time in...forever.

Whiterun Guard 4: But the old tales tell of the Dragonborn who could kill
                  dragons and steal their power. You must be one!

Whiterun Guard 2: What do you say, Irileth? You've being awfully quiet.

Whiterun Guard 3: Come on, Irileth, tell us, do you believe in this Dragonborn

Irileth: Hmph. Some of you would be better off keeping quiet than flapping your
         gums on matters you don't know anything about. Here's a dead dragon,
         and that's something I definitely understand. Now we know we can kill
         them. But I don't need some mythical Dragonborn. Someone who can put
         down a dragon is more than enough for me.

Whiterun Guard 4: You wouldn't understand, Housecarl. You ain't a Nord.

Irileth: I've been all across Tamriel. I've seen plenty of things just as
         outlandish as this. I'd advise you all to trust in the strength of
         your sword over tales and legends.

Whiterun Guard 2: If you really are Dragonborn, like out of the old tales, you
                  ought to be able to Shout. Can you? Have you tried?

[The player Shouts, almost knocking a guard off his feet with but a word.]

Whiterun Guard 2: By the gods! What manner of power is that?

Whiterun Guard: That was Shouting, what you just did! Must be. You really are
                Dragonborn, then...

Irileth: That was the hairiest fight I've ever been in, and I've been in more
         than a few. I don't know about this Dragonborn business, but I'm sure
         glad you're with us. You better get back to Whiterun right away. Jarl
         Balgruuf will want to know what happened here.

[As one walks the steps of Dragonsreach, a strange Shout-like rumble is heard
 from the Throat of the World, Skyrim's largest mountain. The player goes to
 see Balgruuf.]

Proventus: Good. You're finally here. The Jarl's been waiting for you.

Balgruuf: You heard the summons. What else could it mean? The Greybeards...

Hrongar: We were just talking about you. My brother needs a word with you.

Balgruuf: So what happened at the watchtower? Was the dragon there?

          The watchtower was destroyed, but we killed the dragon.
           I knew I could count on Irileth. But there must be more to it than

          Turns out I may be something called "Dragonborn."
           Dragonborn? What do you know about the Dragonborn?

           That's just what the men called me.
            Not just the men. The Greybeards seem to think the same thing.

          I killed the dragon. I think I deserve a reward.
           There's no question about that. It was a mighty deed. You've earned
           a place of honor among the heroes of Whiterun. But there must be
           more to it than that. Did something...strange...happen when the
           dragon died?

           When the dragon died, I absorbed some kind of power from it.
            So it's true. The Greybeards really were summoning you.

Dragonborn: The Greybeards?

Balgruuf: Masters of the Way of the Voice. They live in seclusion high on the
          slopes of the Throat of the World.

Dragonborn: What do these Greybeards want with me?

Balgruuf: The Dragonborn is said to be uniquely gifted in the Voice -- the
          ability to focus your vital essence into a Thu'um, or Shout. If you
          really are Dragonborn, they can teach you how to use your gift.

Hrongar: Didn't you hear the thundering sound as you returned to Whiterun?
         That was the voice of the Greybeards, summoning you to High Hrothgar!
         This hasn't happened in...centuries, at least. Not since Tiber Septim
         himself was summoned when he was still Talos of Atmora!

Proventus: Hrongar, calm yourself. What does any of this Nord nonsense have to
           do with our friend here? Capable as he may be, I don't see any signs
           of him being this, what, "Dragonborn."

Hrongar: Nord nonsense? Why you puffed-up ignorant...these are our sacred
         traditions that go back to the founding of the First Empire.

Balgruuf: Hrongar. Don't be so hard on Avenicci.

Proventus: I meant no disrespect, of course. It's just that...what do these
           Greybeards want with him?

Balgruuf: That's the Greybeards' business, not ours. Whatever happened when you
          killed that dragon, it revealed something in you, and the Greybeards
          heard it. If they think you're Dragonborn, who are we to argue? You'd
          better get up to High Hrothgar immediately. There's no refusing the
          summons of the Greybeards. It's a tremendous honor. I envy you, you
          know. To climb the 7,000 Steps again...I made the pilgrimage once,
          did you know that? High Hrothgar is a very peaceful place. Very...
          disconnected from the troubles of this world. I wonder if the
          Greybeards even notice what's going on down here. They haven't seemed
          to care before. No matter. Go to High Hrothgar. Learn what the
          Greybeards can teach you.

          You've done a great service to me and my city, Dragonborn. By my
          right as Jarl, I name you Thane of Whiterun. It's the greatest honor
          that's within my power to grant. I assign you Lydia as a personal
          housecarl, and this weapon from my armory to serve as your badge of
          office. I'll also notify my guards of your new title. Wouldn't want
          them to think you're part of the common rabble, now would we? We are
          honored to have you as Thane of our city, Dragonborn.

          Back to business, Proventus. We still have a city to defend.

Proventus: Yes, my lord.

[The player can inquire further.]

Dragonborn: What's it mean to be Dragonborn?

Balgruuf: Well, in the old tales, the Dragonborn heroes would use the power of
          their Voice to defeat the enemies of Skyrim. Wulfharth was
          Dragonborn. Talos, too -- the founder of the Empire, back in the good
          old days. In the very oldest tales, back from when there were still
          dragons in Skyrim, the Dragonborn would slay dragons and steal their

Dragonborn: Who are the Greybeards?

Balgruuf: They're the Masters of the Way of the Voice -- of Shouting. They live
          up on top of the Throat of the World. If you're really Dragonborn,
          they'll want to talk to you. In the old stories, they always summon
          the Dragonborn for training.

Dragonborn: How can you protect Whiterun from the dragons?

Balgruuf: With good planning and constant vigilance. Even now, my court wizard,
          Farengar, continues his research into ways we might drive back these
          terrors. We must also have ample reserves of water to combat the
          fires that will surely spread after an attack. But our greatest
          weapon? Courage. For if we cannot kill the beast, we must at least
          have the tenacity to drive it back. Until brave heroes step forward
          to destroy these monsters, that is the best we can do.

05) THE WAY OF THE VOICE                                                 [MQ05]
[With the destination clear, the player reaches Ivarstead, the small village
 at the bottom of the 7,000 Steps -- the enormous stairway leading up the
 mountain. Near the top is High Hrothgar, an ancient castle. Normally it's
 locked, but during this quest, one can enter. A monk goes to meet the player.]

Arngeir: So...a Dragonborn appears, at this moment in the turning of the age.

         I'm answering your summons.
          We will see if you truly have the gift. Show us, Dragonborn.

         You call me Dragonborn. What does that mean?
          First, let us see if you truly are Dragonborn. 

         Let us taste of your Voice.

[The player shouts, making them stagger backwards.]

Arngeir: Dragonborn. It is you. Welcome to High Hrothgar. I am Master Arngeir.
         I speak for the Greybeards. Now tell me, Dragonborn, why have you come

         Who are you? What is this place?
          We are the Greybeards, followers of the Way of the Voice. You stand
          in High Hrothgar, on the slopes of Kynareth's sacred mountain. Here
          we commune with the voice of the sky, and strive to achieve balance
          between our inner and outer selves.

         I want to find out what it means to be Dragonborn.
          We are here to guide you in that pursuit, just as the Greybeards have
          sought to guide those of the Dragon Blood that came before you.

          You mean I'm not the only Dragonborn?
           You are not the first. There have been many of the Dragon Blood
           since Akatosh first bestowed that gift upon mortalkind. Whether you
           are the only Dragonborn of this age...that is not ours to know. You
           are the only one that has been revealed thus far. That is all I can

         I'm answering your summons, Master.
          We are honored to welcome a Dragonborn to High Hrothgar. We will do
          our best to teach you how to use your gift in fulfillment of your

Dragonborn: What is my destiny?

Arngeir: That is for you to discover. We can show you the Way, but not your

Dragonborn: I'm ready to learn.

Arngeir: You have shown that you are Dragonborn. You have the inborn gift. But
         do you have the discipline and temperament to follow the path laid out
         for you? That remains to be seen. Without training, you have already
         taken the first steps toward projecting your Voice into a Thu'um, a
         Shout. Not let us see if you are willing and able to learn. When you
         Shout, you speak in the language of dragons. Thus, your Dragon Blood
         gives you an inborn ability to learn Words of Power. All Shouts are
         made up of three Words of Power. As you master each Word, your Shout
         will become progressively stronger. Master Einarth will now teach you
         "Ro," the second Word in Unrelenting Force. "Ro" means "balance" in
         the dragon tongue. Combine it with Fus -- "Force" -- to focus your
         Thu'um more sharply.

Einarth: Ro...

[One of the monks inscribes his knowledge on the floor. The player learns the
 information immediately.]

Arngeir: You learn a new word like a master...you truly do have the gift. But
         learning a Word of Power is only the first step...you must unlock its
         meaning through constant practice in order to use it in a Shout. Well,
         that is how the rest of us learn Shouts. As Dragonborn, you can absorb
         a slain dragon's life force and knowledge directly. As part of your
         initiation, Master Einarth will allow you to tap into his
         understanding of "Ro."

[The player absorbs some information from the fellow Greybeard.]

Arngeir: Now let us see how quickly you can master your new Thu'um. Use your
         Unrelenting Force shout to strike the targets as they appear.

Borri: Flik Lo...Sah!

[The player defeats Borri's target.]

Arngeir: Well done. Again.

Einarth: Flik Lo...Sah!

[The player snaps the second target.]

Arngeir: You learn quickly. Once more.

Wulfgar: Flik Lo...Sah!

[He smashes the final monk's target.]

Arngeir: Impressive. Your Thu'um is precise. You show great promise,
         Dragonborn. We will perform your next trial in the courtyard. Follow
         Master Borri.

[They enter the snowy expanse outside the living quarters.]

Arngeir: We will now see how you learn a completely new Shout. Master Borri
         will teach you "Wuld," which means "Whirlwind."

Borri: Wuld...

[Like a previous master, Borri inscribes the word on the ground for the player
 to learn immediately.]

Arngeir: You must hear the Word within yourself before you can project it into
         a Thu'um.

[The player learns it.]

Arngeir: Approach Master Borri and he will gift you his knowledge of "Wuld."

[One absorbs the information like a dragon's soul.]

Arngeir: Now we will see how quickly you can master a new Shout. Master Wulfgar
         will demonstrate Whirlwind Sprint. Then it will be your turn. Master

Borri: Bex!

[Borri opens a gate.]

Wulfgar: Wuld. Nah...Kest!

[Wulfgar quickly runs through it before it closes, only a moment later.]

Arngeir: Now it is your turn. Stand next to me. Master Borri will open the
         gate. Use your Whirlwind Sprint to pass through before it closes.

Borri: Bex!

[Mimicking Wulfgar, one dashes through like a pro.]

Arngeir: Your quick mastery of a new Thu'um is...astonishing. I'd heard the
         stories of the abilities of Dragonborn, but to see it for myself...

         I thought it was this easy for everyone.
          No. Indeed not. But beware that your skill does not outstrip your
          wisdom. You are now ready for your last trial.

         I don't know how I do it. It just happens.
          You were given this gift by the gods for a reason. It is up to you
          to figure out how best to use it. You are now ready for your last

         Thank you. What's next?
          You are now ready for your last trial.

         Retrieve the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, our founder, from his tomb in
         the ancient fane of Ustengrav. Remain true to the Way of the Voice,
         and you will return.

[One can inquire further.]

Dragonborn: Why are the dragons returning? Does it have something to do with

Arngeir: No doubt. The appearance of a Dragonborn at this time is not an
         accident. Your destiny is surely bound up with the return of the
         dragons. You should focus on honing your Voice, and soon your path
         will be made clear.

         Thank you, Master. I will continue my training.
          Good. Then you will be ready for whatever lies ahead.

         Surely there's more you can tell me.
          There is indeed much that we know that you do not. That does not mean
          that you are ready to understand it. Do not let your easy mastery of
          the Voice tempt you into the arrogance of power that has been the
          downfall of many Dragonborn before you.

Dragonborn: What does it mean to be "Dragonborn"?

Arngeir: Dragons have the inborn ability to learn and project their Voice.
         Dragons are also able to absorb the power of their slain brethren. A
         few mortals are born with similar abilities -- whether a gift or a
         curse has been a matter of debate down through the centuries. What you
         have already learned in a few days took even the most gifted of us
         years to achieve. Some believe that Dragonborn are sent into the world
         by the gods, at times of great need. We will speak more of that later,
         when you are ready.

Dragonborn: Why are Shouts in the dragon language?

Arngeir: Dragons have always been able to shout. Language is intrinsic to their
         very being. There is no difference in the dragon tongue between
         debating and fighting. Shouting comes as naturally to a dragon as
         breathing, or speaking. In mythic times, when mortalkind was in great
         need, the goddess Kynareth granted us the ability to speak as dragons
         do. For most people, long years of training are required to learn even
         the simplest Shout. But for you, the dragon speech is is in your
         blood, and you learn it almost without effort.

Dragonborn: There are only four of you?

Arngeir: Five. Our leader, Paarthurnax, lives alone on the peak of the Throat
         of the World. When your Voice can open the path, you will know you are
         ready to speak to him.

Dragonborn: When can I meet your leader, Paarthurnax?

Arngeir: As I said, you will know you are ready when your Voice can open the
         path to him.

Dragonborn: Tell me about the Greybeards.

Arngeir: We study the Way of the Voice, according to the teachings of our
         founder, Jurgen Windcaller. Very few are permitted to study with us
         here at High Hrothgar. But in your case, Dragonborn, it is a privilege
         to guide you towards mastery of your Voice.

Dragonborn: Why don't the others talk?

Arngeir: Their Voices are too powerful for anyone not trained in the Way to
         withstand. Even a whisper could kill you.

Dragonborn: Who was Jurgen Windcaller?

Arngeir: He was a great war leader of the ancient Nords, a master of the Voice,
         or Tongue. After the disaster at Red Mountain, where the Nord army was
         annihilated, he spent many years pondering the meaning of that
         terrible defeat. He finally came to realize that the gods had punished
         the Nords for their arrogant and blasphemous misuse of the Voice. He
         was the first to understand that the Voice should be used solely for
         the glory and worship of the gods, not the glory the men. Jurgen
         Windcaller's mastery of the Voice eventually overcame all opposition,
         and the Way of the Voice was born.

Dragonborn: What is the "Way of the Voice"?

Arngeir: The Voice was a gift of the goddess Kynareth, at the dawn of time. She
         gave mortals the ability to speak as dragons do. Although this gift
         has often been misused, the only true use of the Voice is for the
         worship and glory of the gods. True Mastery of the Voice can only be
         achieved when your inner spirit is in harmony with your outward
         actions. In the contemplation of the sky, Kynareth's domain, and the
         practice of the Voice, we strive to achieve this balance.

         But I don't follow your philosophy. Why help me learn the Voice?
          The Dragonborn is an exception to all the rules -- the Dragon Blood
          itself is a gift from the gods. If we accept one gift, how can we
          deny the other? As Dragonborn, you have received the ability to Shout
          directly from Akatosh. We therefore seek to guide you on the proper
          use of your gift, which transcends the restrictions which bind other

         I will try to follow the Way of the Voice.
          That is commendable. But remember, the Dragon Blood itself is a gift
          from Akatosh. Do not try to deny that gift. Your destiny requires you
          to use your Voice -- why else would Akatosh have bestowed this gift
          upon you? If you remember to use your voice in service to the purpose
          of Akatosh, you will remain true to the Way.

06) THE HORN OF JURGEN WINDCALLER                                        [MQ06]
[At Arngeir's behest, one visits Ustengrav, a barrow near Morthal's marshes.
 Necromancers are walking around the main hall.]

Conjurer: These thralls of yours are slower than Argonians in a blizzard.

Necromancer: Feel free to grab a pick and help them out. I prefer not to sully
             myself with manual labor.

Conjurer: There goes another one.

Necromancer: Bah. Weak-willed rabble. Even dead they're almost useless.

Conjurer: They seem less intelligent each time you raise them, if that's even

Necromancer: As long as they can swing a pickaxe where I tell them, they're as
             smart as we need them to be.

Conjurer: You hear that? The others must have found something!

Necromancer: We'd better go see. These can tend to themselves for a few

[Shadowing them reveals they've uncovered a crypt of high-powered draugr. The
 player lets them thin their own ranks before killing the stragglers. Further
 downstairs is the destination tomb, although its guardians have already been
 killed and the horn is missing. A note mentions seeing "a friend" in Riverwood
 by renting the inn's attic room. One goes there to investigate.]

Delphine: I'm the innkeeper. It's my business to keep track of strangers.

Dragonborn: I'd like to rent the attic room. (10 Gold)

Delphine: Attic room, eh? Well...we don't have an attic room, but you can have
          the one on the left. Make yourself at home.

[The player checks out the room, only for Delphine to enter in after them.]

Delphine: So you're the Dragonborn I've been hearing so much about. I think
          you're looking for this. We need to talk. Follow me.

[Eventually one will have to give the horn back to Arngeir.]

Arngeir: Ah! You've retrieved the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. Well done. You
         have now passed all the trials. Come with me. It is time for us to
         recognize you formally as Dragonborn.

[Him and the other monks gather in the vestibule.]

Arngeir: You are ready to learn the final word of Unrelenting Force, "Dah,"
         which means "Push."

Wulfgar: Dah...

Arngeir: With all three words together, this Shout is much more powerful. Use
         it wisely. Master Wulfgar will now gift you with his knowledge of

[One gets the final word and its knowledge.]

Arngeir: You have completed your training, Dragonborn. We would Speak to you.
         Stand between us, and prepare yourself. Few can withstand the
         unbridled Voice of the Greybeards. But you are ready.

[Arngeir, Wulfgar, Borri and Einarth chant at one in the dragon language.]

Greybeards: Lingrah krosis saraan Strundu'ul, voth nid balaan klov praan nau.
            Naal Thu'umu, mu ofan nii nu, Dovahkiin, naal suleyk do Kaan, naal
            suleyk do Shor, ahrk naal suleyk do Atmorasewuth. Meyz nu Ysmir,
            Dovahsebrom. Dahmaan daar rok.

Arngeir: Dovahkiin. You have tasted the Voice of the Greybeards, and passed
         through unscathed. High Hrothgar is open to you.

[One can ask Arngeir about it afterwards.]

Dragonborn: What was that ceremoy all about? Were you Shouting at me?

Arngeir: We spoke the traditional words of greeting to a Dragonborn who has
         accepted our guidance. The same words were used to greet the young
         Talos, when he came to High Hrothgar, before he became the Emperor
         Tiber Septim.

Dragonborn: What did you actually say?

Arngeir: Ah. I sometimes you forget you are not versed in the dragon tongue as
         we are. This is a rough translation: "Long has the Stormcrown
         languished, with no worthy brow to sit upon. By our breath we bestow
         it now to you in the name of Kyne, in the name of Shor, and in the
         name of Atmora of Old. You are Ysmir now, the Dragon of the North,
         hearken to it."

07) A BLADE IN THE DARK                                                  [MQ07]
[She gives Windcaller's horn, then leads one into her room.]

Delphine: Close the door.

[Delphine opens up a hidden passage in the opposite room's wardrobe, revealing
 a basement filled with training dummies, weapon racks, and a planning table.]

Delphine: Now we can talk. The Greybeards seem to think you're the Dragonborn.
          I hope they're right.

          You're the one who took the horn?
           Surprised? I guess I'm getting pretty good at my harmless innkeeper

           I was expecting someone...taller.
            Good. The point of being in hiding is to appear to be someone
            you're not.

           What's with all the cloak and dagger?
            You can't be too careful. Thalmor spies are everywhere.

           Here I am. What do you want?
            I didn't go to all this trouble on a whim. I needed to make sure it
            wasn't a Thalmor trap.

          Sorry, I'm supposed to be meeting someone here.
           I hope you're just playing dumb. I'm the one who left the note in

          The Greybeards are right. I am Dragonborn.
           I hope so. But you'll forgive me if I don't assume that something's
           true just because the Greybeards say so. I just handed you the Horn
           of Jurgen Windcaller. Does that make me Dragonborn, too?

          What do you want with me?
           I didn't go to all this trouble on a whim. I needed to make sure it
           wasn't a Thalmor trap. I'm not your enemy. I already gave you the
           horn. I'm actually trying to help you. I just need you to hear me

          You'd better have a good reason for dragging me here.
           It was the only way I could make sure it wasn't a Thalmor trap. I'm
           not your enemy. I already gave you the horn. I'm actually trying to
           help you. I just need you to hear me out.

          I just came here for the horn.
           And now you have it. No harm done. I knew the Greybeards would send
           you for the horn if they thought you were Dragonborn. Taking it was
           the only way I could be sure this wasn't a Thalmor trap.

          Go on. I'm listening.
           Like I said in my note, I've heard that you might be Dragonborn.
           I'm part of a group that's been looking for you...well, someone like
           you, for a very long time. If you really are Dragonborn, that is.
           Before I tell you any more, I need to make sure I can trust you.

          You'd better start explaining. Fast.
           I'll explain what I want when I want, got it? You'd already be dead
           if I didn't like the look of you when you walked in here. But I had
           to know if the rumors about you were true... I'm part of a group
           that's been looking for you...well, someone like you, for a very
           long time. If you really are Dragonborn, that is. Before I tell you
           any more, I need to make sure I can trust you.

          I don't have time for this.
           I shouldn't let you walk out of here, knowing what you know. But I
           guess even my paranoia has its limits. You know where to find me
           when you change your mind. Because you will. You have to.

Dragonborn: So what's the part you're not telling me?

Delphine: Dragons aren't just coming back, they're coming back to life. They
          weren't gone somewhere all these years. They were dead, killed off
          centuries ago by my predecessors. Now something's happening to bring
          them back to life. And I need you to help me stop it.

          Do you know how crazy this sounds?
           Ha. A few years ago, I said almost the same thing to a colleague of
           mine. Well, it turned out he was right and I was wrong.

          What makes you think dragons are coming back to life?
           I know they are. I've visited their ancestral burial mounds and
           found them empty. And I've figured out where the next one will come
           back to life.

          We're going to go there, and you're going to kill that dragon. If we
          succeed, I'll tell you anything you want to know.

          How did you figure all this out?
           You should know. You got the map for me. The dragonstone you got for
           Farengar, remember?

           Right, you were at Dragonsreach when I gave it to him.²
            So you were paying attention. I arranged to have Farengar recover
            the dragonstone for me. It's what I do. I make things happen from
            behind the scenes. After all, here you are.

            The dragonstone was some kind of map?
             Yes. A map of ancient dragon burial sites. I've looked at which
             ones are now empty. The pattern is pretty clear. It seems to be
             spreading from the southeast, starting in the Jeralls near Riften.
             The one near Kynesgrove is next if the pattern holds.

Dragonborn: So where are we headed?

Delphine: Kynesgrove. There's an ancient dragon burial mound there. If we can
          get there before it happens, maybe we'll learn how to stop it.

          I know that mound -- high on the hill east of Kynesgrove.²
           Good. Good. Now we won't have to spend time searching for it. We
           should get moving. There's no time to waste.

          Let's go kill a dragon.
           I need to get into my traveling gear. Give me a minute and I'll be
           ready. That's better. Let's get on the road to Kynesgrove.

          Hold on. I'm not ready to go yet.
           I can't wait around for you to make up your mind. I'll meet you at
           Kynesgrove. Don't waste time getting there.

[If one inquires further before committing to Delphine's plan:]

Dragonborn: How do I know I can trust you?

Delphine: If you don't trust me, you were a fool to walk in here in the first

Dragonborn: Why did you take the horn from Ustengrav?

Delphine: I knew the Greybeards would send you there if they thought you were
          Dragonborn. They're nothing if not predictable. When you showed up
          here, I knew you were the one the Greybeards sent, and not some
          Thalmor plant.

Dragonborn: Why are you looking for a Dragonborn?

Delphine: We remember what most don't -- that the Dragonborn is the ultimate
          dragonslayer. You're the only one that can kill a dragon permanently
          by devouring its soul. Can you do it? Can you devour a dragon's soul?

          Yes, that's how I first learned I was Dragonborn.
           Good. And you'll have a chance to prove it to me soon enough.

          I absorb some kind of power from dragons. That's all I can say.
           This is no time to play the reluctant hero. You either are or aren't
           Dragonborn. But I'll see for myself soon enough.

          That's none of your business.
           You're wrong. It is my business. You may be the only one that can
           stop these dragons. But you'll understand that soon enough.

Dragonborn: You said the Thalmor are after you?

Delphine: Yes. We're very old enemies. And if my suspicions are correct, they
          might have something to do with the dragons returning. But that isn't
          important right now. What is important is that you might be

Dragonborn: I don't need to prove anything to you. I'm done here.

Delphine: I shouldn't let you walk out of here, knowing what you know. But I
          guess even my paranoia has its limits. You know where to find me
          when you change your mind. Because you will. You have to.

[Finally, they agree to visit the hill.]

Delphine: Orgnar, I'm traveling. You've got the inn 'til I get back.

Orgnar: Right. Happy trails.

Delphine: Kynesgrove is this way. We can travel together or split up and meet
          there, your choice.

[They travel together, the leader making small talk.]

Delphine: I hope you're Dragonborn, I really do. But we'll find out soon
          enough. We may both end up dead, but at least it gets me out of
          Riverwood. I don't really think I'm cut out for the quiet life. I
          doubt the Thalmor are aware of you yet. So we should be safe from
          them, at least.

[They come upon Valtheim Towers.]

Delphine: This is a notorious bandit hideout. But it's also the shortest way
          to Kynesgrove, so...we may have to kill a few bandits.

[Afterward the bloodletting...]

Delphine: We'll cross the White River and follow it to Windhelm. Then we can
          swing south to Kynesgrove. There's an inn near Kynesgrove -- the
          Braidwood. I hear they serve a nice dark ale. Nothing on the Sleeping
          Giant, of course. I'm glad you were willing to trust me. I know it
          probably wasn't the best way to introduce myself. But old habits...
          you know.

[Once the player agrees on the journey to Kynesgrove, Delphine dons her badass
 warrior gear and they set out for the hills near Windhelm. Upon arriving in
 the small mining community, a woman runs out of the longhouse.]

Delphine: Wait. Something's wrong.

Iddri: No, you don't want to go up there! A dragon...it's attacking!

       A dragon is attacking Kynesgrove?
        Well, I don't know. Not yet...it flew over the town and landed on the
        old dragon mound!

       Where's this dragon?
        It flew over the town and landed on the old dragon burial mound.

       I don't know what it's doing up there, but I'm not waiting around to
       find out!

Delphine: Come on. Hurry. It might be too late.

[One ventures up there to where Delphine is waiting. Alduin, the dragon that
 attacked Helgen, is up there, speaking at the mound.]

Alduin: Sahloknir! Ziil gro dovah ulse!

Delphine: Lorkhan's eyes! Look at that big bastard! Keep your head down, let's
          see what it does.

Alduin: Sahloknir! Ziil gro dovah ulse! Slen Tiid Vo!

Delphine: Steady. I don't know what's happening. Let's watch and wait.]
          This is worse than I thought...

[A skeletal dragon crawls from the mound, Alduin's power giving him flesh.]

Sahloknir: Alduin, thuri! Boaan tiid vokriiha suleysksejun kruziik?

Alduin: Geh, Sahloknir, kaali mir.

[He notices the player watching.]

Alduin: Ful, losei Dovahkiin? Zu'u koraav nid nol dov do hi. You do not even
        know our tongue, do you? Such arrogance, to dare take for yourself the
        name of Dovah. Sahloknir, krii daar joorre.

Delphine: Look out!

[The newly-arisen Sahloknir takes flight.]

Sahloknir: I am Sahloknir! Hear my Voice and despair!

Delphine: This one's mine!

Sahloknir: Dovahkiin, your Voice is no match for mine!

[Eventually, the dragon is felled.]

Delphine: I'll be damned, you did it! That was well done. Come on. I've been
          wanting a closer look at one of these buggers. Wait. Something's
          happening...gods above!

[His soul is quickly absorbed.]

Delphine: So you really are... I...it's true, isn't it? You really are
          Dragonborn. I owe you some answers, don't I? Go ahead. Whatever you
          want to know. Nothing held back.

          Who are you and what do you want with me?
           I'm one of the last members of the Blades. A very long time ago,
           the Blades were dragonslayers, and we served the Dragonborn, the
           greatest dragonslayer. For the last two hundred years, since the
           last Dragonborn emperor, the Blades have been searching for a
           purpose. Now that dragons are coming back, our purpose is clear
           again. We need to stop them.

           The Blades? Who are they?
            Exactly. Nobody even remembers our name these days. We used to be
            known across Tamriel as the protectors of the Septim Emperors.
            Those days are long gone, though. For the last two hundred years,
            we've been searching for the next Dragonborn to guide and guard,
            as we are sworn to do. But we never found one. Until now.

           What's our next move?
            The first thing we need to do is figure out what's behind the
            dragons. The Thalmor are our best lead. If they aren't involved,
            they'll know who is.

            Remind me...who are the Thalmor?
             The faction that rules the Aldmeri Dominion. The ones who almost
             destroyed the Empire during the Great War, thirty years back.
             There's no worse enemy to humankind in Tamriel. The Empire barely
             survived the last war. The Thalmor don't intend to lose the next

            What makes you think the Thalmor are bringing dragons back?
             Nothing solid. Yet. But my gut tells me it can't be anybody else.
             The Empire had captured Ulfric. The war was basically over. Then a
             dragon attacks, Ulfric escapes, and the war is back on. And now
             the dragons are attacking everywhere, indiscriminately. Skyrim is
             weakened, the Empire is weakened. Who else gains from that but the

            Why are the Thalmor after you?
             Before the Great War, the Blades helped the Empire against the
             Thalmor. Our Grand Master saw them as the greatest threat to
             Tamriel. At the time, that was true. Maybe it still is. So we
             fought them in the shadows, all across Tamriel. We thought we
             were more than a match for them. We were wrong.

          What do you know about the dragons coming back?
           Not a damn thing. I was just as surprised as you to find that big
           black dragon here.

           I've seen that dragon before, the one that got away.
            Really? Where?

            It was the one that attacked Helgen, when Ulfric escaped from the
            Imperials. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
             Interesting. Same dragon... Damn it, we're blundering around in
             the dark here! We need to figure out who's behind it all!

Dragonborn: So, we need to find out what the Thalmor know about the dragons.
            Any ideas?

Delphine: If we could get into the Thalmor Embassy...it's the center of their
          operations in Skyrim... Problem is, that place is locked up tighter
          than a miser's purse. They could teach me a few things about

Dragonborn: So how do we get into the Thalmor Embassy?

Delphine: I'm not sure yet. I have a few ideas, but I'll need some time to
          pull things together... Meet me back in Riverwood. If I'm not back
          when you get there, wait for me. I shouldn't be long. Keep an eye on
          the sky. This is only going to get worse.

[She takes off down the hill.]

08) DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY                                                  [MQ08]
[As directed, one reunites with the Blade at Riverwood.]

Delphine: I don't think you were followed. Come on. I have a plan.

[They return to the hidden basement.]

Delphine: I figured out how we're going to get you into the Thalmor Embassy.

          You're not coming?
           That would be a bad idea. I'd be too likely to attract the wrong
           kind of attention. But they don't know you at all, yet.

          That didn't take long.
           I've been doing this a long time, remember? While the Thalmor's
           been looking for me, I've been watching them.

          Why not just fight our way in?
           So that's your plan, huh? Even if you could survive, by the time you
           got inside, whatever documents they had would be long gone. We're
           there for information, remember? Trust me, I've been doing this for
           a long time. My way is better.

Dragonborn: So what's your plan? How do I infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy?

Delphine: The Thalmor ambassador, Elenwen, regularly throws parties where the
          rich and connected cozy up to the Thalmor. I can get you into one of
          these parties. Once you're inside the Embassy, you get away and find
          Elenwen's secret files. I have a contact inside the Embassy. He's not
          up for this kind of high-risk mission, but he can help you. His
          name's Malborn. Wood elf, plenty of reason to hate the Thalmor. You
          can trust him. I'll get word to him to meet you in Solitude, at the
          Winking Skeever -- you know it? While you're doing that, I'll work on
          getting you an invitation to Elenwen's little party. Meet me at the
          Solitude stables after you've arranged things with Malborn. Any

          Who's this contact of yours? You're sure I can trust him?
           Don't worry about Malborn. He's not a dangerous character like you,
           but he hates the Thalmor at least as much as I do. He's a wood elf
           -- the Thalmor wiped out his family back in Valenwood during one of
           their purges that we never hear about. Luckily they don't know who
           he really is, or he wouldn't be serving drinks at the Ambassador's

          How am I going to get into this party?
           Let me handle that. You'll have a real invitation, don't worry. As
           long as you can act the part of a Thalmor toady, you'll get past the

          Once I'm inside the Embassy, then what?
           That's when the fun starts. You'll have to slip away from the party
           without raising the alarm. Then you'll need to find Elenwen's office
           and search her files. Malborn should be able to point you in the
           right direction.

          I'll see you in Solitude after I meet Malborn.
           Sounds good. Be careful.

[One seeks out Malborn at Solitude's local watering hole.]

Dragonborn: Our mutual friend sent me.

Malborn: Really? You're who she picked? I hope she knows what she's doing.
         Here's the deal. I can smuggle some equipment into the Embassy for
         you. Don't plan on bringing anything else with you. The Thalmor take
         security very seriously. Give me what you can't live without, and I'll
         make sure it gets into the Embassy. The rest is up to you.

         What kinds of things should I bring?
          You're asking me? She promised that she was sending someone who knew
          what they were doing... If you actually want to get out alive, I'd
          bring whatever you need to move quietly, and kill quickly.

         Hold on, I need to get a few things ready.
          I'll give you a few more minutes. I can't wait here all day. It's my
          neck on the line, remember.

         I'm ready. Here's what I'll need.

[Once the swap occurs, one tracks down Delphine at the farms.]

Delphine: Have you given Malborn the gear you want to smuggle into the embassy?

Dragonborn: Yes, Malborn's all set.

Delphine: Good. I have your invitation to the party. But the only way you're
          going to get past the guards is if they really believe you're an
          invited guest. Which means you need to look the part, and not be
          armed to the teeth. Here, put this on. When you're ready, I'll keep
          the rest of your gear safe until you get back. You'll only have what
          Malborn smuggled in for you, plus whatever you can pick up inside.

[The player puts on the party clothes Delphine picked out, then puts away all
 weapons and heavy armor that would give the disguise away.]

Delphine: Hmm. I guess that will have to do. You should pass for a real guest,
          at least until you open your mouth. Ready to board the carriage to
          the embassy?

          Hold on a minute.
           This is no time for cold feet. I've put everything in your hands
           here, not least Malborn's life. Now do whatever it is you need to
           do, and let's get going before we miss our chance!

          I'm ready. Keep the rest of my things safe for me.
           Don't worry, it will all be waiting for you when you get back. Just
           make sure you get back out of there alive with the information we
           need. Good luck.

[A short while later, one arrives at the embassy gates. A man walks in nearby.]

Razelan: Ah! A fellow latecomer for Elenwen's little soiree. And arriving by
         carriage, no less! I salute you, sir! My lateness is due more to
         getting lost on the way up this gods-forsaken mountain than to any
         desire to actually arrive late. I prefer to arrive early. Often the
         day before the party. So as not to miss out on any of the drinking.
         There's not enough drinking in the world today, wouldn't you agree?

[A Thalmor wizard nearby acts as a bouncer.]

Wizard: Welcome to the Thalmor Embassy. Your invitation, please.

        Here you go. (Show invitation)
         Thank you, sir. Go right in.

        Is there a problem?
         Of course not. Purely a formality. Now, I need to see your invitation.

        Just a minute. I think I left it on the cart.
         Of course. Just bring it to me when you find it.

Razelan: Now then. Here's my invitation, I don't have a poisoned dagger
         strapped to my thigh, et cetera, et cetera.

Wizard: I'm just doing my duty, sir. Everything's in order. Welcome back, sir.

Razelan: Yes, yes. Now to find myself a drink.

Wizard: Go right on in. The party has already started.

Razelan: Inside, my friend, inside! Where only the women and drinks are cold.

[The player enters the bustling main hall.]

Elenwen: Welcome. I don't believe we've met. I am Elenwen, the Thalmor
         Ambassador to Skyrim. And you are...?

         My name is (name). Pleased to meet you.
          Ah yes. I remember your name from the guest list.

         Quite a party. It's my first time, you know. Where can I get a drink?
          Don't worry, my parties are always well-stocked with the finest food
          and drink available in this country. But first, you were introducing

         You're Elenwen? I've heard so much about you!
          Have you? All good, I trust. But you have met at a disadvantage. I'm
          afraid I know nothing about you...

         Please, tell me more about yourself. What brings you to this...to

Malborn: Madame Ambassador, I'm so sorry to interrupt...

Elenwen: What is it, Malborn? 

Malborn: It's just that we've run out of the Alto wine. Do I have your
         permission to uncork the Arenthia red...

Elenwen: Of course. I've told you before not to bother me with such trifles.

Malborn: Yes, Madame Ambassador.

[He leaves.]

Elenwen: My apologies. We'll have to get better acquainted later. Please, enjoy

[When she leaves, Malborn is approached.]

Malborn: You made it in. Good. As soon as you distract the guards, I'll open
         this door and we can get you on your way. Let's hope we both live
         through this day.

[The player can talk to the guests, mostly random luminaries from around the
 map. They have interesting things to say, so I'll put 'em here.]

Ondolemar: The degeneracy of the Empire is on display here in this room.
Dragonborn: What brings you to this party?
Ondolemar: There are those in the Empire who would wish to evade their
           obligations to help root out the Talos heresy. Fortunately, those
           most opposed to the Emperor's wise policy have no branded themselves
           traitors as well as heretics. I am here to remind the ruling classes
           of Skyrim that their loyalty to the Emperor requires cooperation
           with the Thalmor.

Erikur: The Great War is long past. It's time the Empire and the Aldmeri
        Dominion put aside their differences. Prosperity is good for everyone.

        What brings you to this party?
         You must be new to Skyrim, or you'd already know who I am. I have a
         stake in most anything of importance in Solitude. I feel that it's
         time to put aside the grievances of the past, and let peace and
         prosperity flourish between the Empire and the Aldmeri Dominion. I
         try to do my little part. Besides, just between you and me, it's
         making me pots of money, hahaha.

        You sound like quite the businessman.
         Not every Nord is obsessed with strength, honor and skill at arms. A
         rare few are born with a gift for making money. My investments are my
         strength and my wealth is my weapon. As for honor, well, there are
         some luxuries even I can't afford.

Maven: I don't recall seeing you at one of these before. And I know everyone
       who's anyone in Skyrim.

       I didn't know you had dealings with the Thalmor.
        Have you learned nothing about me? I have dealings with everyone. Now,
        leave me. I don't want to arouse suspicion by talking to someone that
        clearly does not belong here.

       Are you here on guild business?
        Don't mention the Guild. In fact, it's better if you don't speak to me
        at all. This is not the place.

Orthus: I'm ready for this party to be over.

        What brings you to this party?
         Ill luck. I'm a busy man and I don't have time for this sort of
         frivolity. But at the same time, I don't dare refuse an invitation
         from Elenwen.

        You don't look happy to be here.
         Is it that obvious? I should take pains to seem more happy. I wouldn't
         want to upset our host. But the truth of it is, I have a mountain of
         paperwork back in Windhelm and it's not getting any smaller. I just
         hope this party doesn't drag on all night.

Jarl Idgrod: If your eyes and your ears are open and your mind is free of
             judgment and expectation, you might learn much in this chamber.

             Having a good time?
              Fair faces and fine food are well and good, but honesty is rarely
              so pleasing.

             Do you visit the embassy often?
              There are words spoken, and words unspoken. Beware these Thalmor,
              for they are adept in both languages. For this reason, I avoid
              them when I can.

Elenwen: I hope you're enjoying yourself.

         Do you host these parties often?
          Quite often, yes. The only thing I enjoy more than luxury is sharing
          that luxury with those who can appreciate it. But I also enjoy
          learning the latest gossip and hear the most intriguing rumors.

         I can see you spared no expense.
          Of course not. One does not gather the most important men and women
          of Skyrim and then serve them cheap ale and stale bread. This is only
          a taste of the benefits that accrue to those who align themselves
          with Thalmor interests.

         What does your position as Thalmor Ambassador involve?
          One of my main duties is to foster a better understanding between
          the Aldmeri Dominion and the people of Skyrim. I also oversee the
          activities of the Thalmor Justicars throughout Skyrim, although this
          has been unfortunately disrupted by the war.

          I've never quite understood exactly what the Justicars do.
           The Thalmor Justicars are so often misunderstood. Our primary goal
           is to preserve the peace between the Empire and the Aldmeri
           Dominion. The worship of the false god Talos contributed to the
           unfortunate friction that led to the Great War. Following the Great
           War, the White-Gold Concordat set out the terms for peaceful
           coexistence between the two powers. The Empire and the Dominion
           agree that the worship of Talos was a relic of the past, and must be
           eliminated in the interests of peace. But I'm sure you didn't come
           here for a lecture on high politics.

          What's your position on the civil war?
           As long as the Empire continues to uphold its treaty obligations,
           my government does not concern itself with the internal politics of

[After awhile, one goes back to the barkeep.]

Dragonborn: I'm ready.

Malborn: Of course. Let me see if we have another bottle of that. I'll be
         waiting by the door for everyone to be distracted.

[One has to find someone to cause the distraction.]


Razelan: What does a fellow need to do to get a drink around here?

Dragonborn: You look thirsty.

Razelan: My friend, you are very perceptive! I have a powerful thirst that
         cannot be slaked! And none of the waiters will bring me a drink.
         Elenwen must have told them to cut me off, the frigid bitch. Afraid
         I'll cause another scene, I suppose...

Dragonborn: Here, I brought you a drink.

Razelan: Ah, the one generous soul among a gathering of pinch-pennies and
         lick-spittles! If there's anything I can ever do for you, do not
         hesitate to call upon me!

         Thanks. I'll let you know if I need anything.
          Your wish is my command! As long as it doesn't involve much physical
          activity. I seem to be having trouble standing on my feet at the

         Actually, there is something you could do for me.
          Wonderful! I can begin to repay your generosity immediately. Say on,

Dragonborn: I need you to cause a scene. Get everyone's attention for a few

Razelan: Is that all? My friend, you've come to the right person. You could
         say that causing a scene is somewhat of a specialty of mine. Stand
         back and behold my handiwork.

[He walks to the center of the room.]

Razelan: Attention, everyone! Could I have your attention, please! I have an
         announcement to make! I propose a toast to Elenwen! Our mistress! I
         speak figuratively, of course. Nothing could be more unlikely than
         someone would actually want her in their bed.

[The guards draw their blades.]

Razelan: Although...most of you are already in bed with her! But again...I
         speak figuratively, of course! Fine, fine. Get your hands off me.
         I'll be a good boy now. Wouldn't want to offend our Thalmor overlords,
         would we? Someone bring me a drink, quick!


Erikur: Did you see that serving girl? I hear elf women are insatiable...

Dragonborn: Maybe I can talk to her for you. See if she's interested.

Erikur: Really? Yes, maybe that would be just the thing. She seemed to be
        playing hard to get when I last spoke to her. Go on. See what she
        says. Now you've gone and gotten my hopes up again.

[One finds the serving girl.]

Brelas: I hope you're enjoying yourself, sir.

Dragonborn: That fellow over there asked me to talk to you...

Brelas: Ugh. Erikur, right? He was talking to me earlier. I could tell what he
        was after. I hate working these parties. Some of the guests are nice,
        but there's always a few like Erikur. Please tell him to leave me
        alone. Politely. I'm sure you'll have better luck getting through to
        him than I would.

[One goes back to the thane.]

Erikur: Have you talked to Brelas yet? I'm not a patient man, you know.

        Not yet. These things can't be rushed.
         Ha. Don't toy with me. I may just have to seize my opportunity with
         both hands, ha ha ha. But we'll play it your way for now.

        Yes. She said she can sneak you up to her quarters right now.
         Haha. I knew it! No woman yet born has been able to resist my charms
         for long. Thank you, my friend. I owe you one.

        Yes. She wants you to leave her alone.
         What? That little tease! Leading me on and turning cold at the last
         minute. I don't think so.

[If one lies about her advance:]

Erikur: Hello, my dear. I got your message. Where shall we go?

Brelas: What? I'm sorry, sir, but you must have misunderstood. I'm not
        permitted to leave the party.

Erikur: Oh, I don't think so. I think I understand perfectly. Don't worry, my
        dear, I will make any necessary excuses to your employer.

[He goes over to Brelas. If one tells him the truth:]

Erikur: So. You think you can toy with me, is that it? No, my dear. I have my
        heart set on you, and I always get what I want.

Brelas: I'm sorry, sir. I didn't mean to give you the wrong impression earlier.
        I meant no disrespect.

Erikur: Oh, don't worry. I'll let you make it up to me. Now, where can we go
        for a litle privacy, hmm?

[The conversation always ends with:]

Brelas: No, I'm sorry, but I can't go anywhere with you. I won't. Please, I
        must get back to my duties.

Erikur: Don't you dare walk away from me, you slut! Do you know who I am?

Brelas: Please, sir, leave me alone!

Erikur: Now you're going to be sorry you crossed me. Elenwen! This servant girl
        has been throwing herself at me in a most disgusting manner.

Elenwen: Is that so, Erikur? And you with such delicate sensibilities. It must
         have been most upsetting.

Erikur: I demand that you have this wench removed from my presence at once!

Elenwen: Well. Whatever the truth of it, I'm sure a few words with Master
         Rulindil will have a salutary effect. Take her downstairs.

Thalmor Guard: Yes, Madame Ambassador.

Brelas: No! Mistress Elenwen, it's not true! I did nothing! Sir, you must tell
        her! You don't know what they'll do to me! Please!

[The girl is lead downstairs with a guard.]

Erikur: Well, I'm glad that little unpleasantness is over.


Dragonborn: I need your help with something.

Ondolemar: What is it, my friend?

Dragonborn: I need you to cause a scene. Get everyone's attention for a few

Ondolemar: This is very irregular. I trust that whatever you're doing doesn't
           compromise my position in any way?

           Never mind.
            Don't presume upon our friendship. My first loyalty is to the
            Thalmor, as you well know.

           I promise. Just a joke I want to play on someone. (Persuade)
            • Hmm. Very well. I'm putting my reputation on the line for you.
            • This is neither the time nor the place for such things. I'm
              surprised you would ask it of me.

[Ondolemar goes over to Razelan.]

Ondolemar: How dare you speak of the Thalmor in such a disgusting manner!

Razelan: What? I didn't...hmm? No listen, you must have misunderstood... I
         would never openly insult your...that is to say...

Ondolemar: Your insults and provocations have gone far enough! I'd kill you
           where you stand if I wasn't bound by my oath as an officer of the
           Aldmeri Dominion.

Elenwen: Razalan¹. And you promised to behave yourself this time. Remove him.
         He's disturbing the other guests.

Razelan: I protest! This is an insult to the dignity of my person! This time
         I'm completely innocent!

Ondolemar: Forgive me, Ambassador. I allowed this...fool to provoke me. The
           fault is mine. There is no need for further disruption on my

Razelan: That is absolutely untrue! Uh, that is, yes, of course. What...I don't
         understand why everyone...never mind.


Dragonborn: I need your help with something.

Orthus: Of course! I mean...assuming you don't want me to kill someone for you.
        I might have to draw the line there.

Dragonborn: I need you to cause a scene. Get everyone's attention for a few

Orthus: That's it? Sure. Shouldn't be too hard. I usually end up making a fool
        out of myself without even trying. Watch this.

[Orthus goes to Razelan.]

Orthus: Hey, Razelan, remember when you told me I'd never amount to anything?
        Well, I don't think you should say things like that about the

Razelan: What? I didn't...hmm? No, listen, you must have misunderstood... I
         would never openly insult your...that is to say...

Orthus: I know you're drunk as usual, but that's no excuse for insulting our
        hostess. I don't think anyone deserves that kind of abuse! I've known
        plenty of elves who were perfectly decent people.

Elenwen: Razelan. And you promised to behave yourself this time. Remove him.
         He's disturbing the other guests.

Thalmor Guard: Yes, Madame Ambassador.

Razelan: I protest! This is an insult to the dignity of my person! This time
         I'm completely innocent! 

Orthus: I'm sorry, Ambassador. I didn't mean to cause such a commotion. There's
        no need to have him thrown out on my account.

Razelan: Absolutely not! I protest...uh, that is, yes, of course. I still don't
         understand what just...oh never mind.


Jarl Idgrod: Now here is a face I did not expect to see. Be mindful, for you
             walk among adders.

Dragonborn: I need your help with something.

Jarl Idgrod: My ears are always open to a friend's request

Dragonborn: I need you to cause a scene. Get everyone's attention for a few

Jarl Idgrod: Nothing would please me more. I'll keep their eyes away while you
             do what you came here for. An old woman can get away with almost

[She walks over to Razelan's bench.]

Jarl Idgrod: No harm is meant to you, happy fool.

[She prepares her distraction.]

Jarl Idgrod: Right here! I see it in your face! The snakes writhe behind your
             eyes! Get away, get away from me!

Razelan: Hmm? Did you say snakes? Where? I hate them, always slithering they¹
         way they do...what? Are they on me?

Jarl Idgrod: Begone, serpent! Begone from this house and trouble it no more!
             Beware of the serpent in your midst! Beware, oh people of Skyrim!

Elenwen: Razelan. And you promised to behave yourself this time. Remove him.
         He's disturbing the other guests.

Guard: Yes, Madame Ambassador!

Razelan: I protest! This is an insult to the dignity of my person! This time
         I'm completely innocent!

Jarl Idgrod: Dear me. All this trouble over me? I think I was confused. There's
             no harm in him. Please, let him go.

Razelan: That is absolutely untrue! Uh, that is, yes, of course. What...I don't
         understand why everyone...never mind.


Malborn: Let's go, let's go! Before anyone notices us.

[They hide in the pantry.]

Malborn: So far, so good. Let's hope nobody saw us slip out. We need to pass
         through the kitchen. Your gear is hidden in the larder. Just stay
         close and let me do any talking, got it? Follow me.

[The two enter the kitchen. A khajiit is sweeping up.]

Tsavanni: Who comes, Malborn? You know I don't like strange smells in my

Malborn: A guest, feeling ill. Leave the poor wretch be.

Tsavanni: A guest? In the kitchens? You know this is against the rules...

Malborn: Rules, is it, Tsavanni? I didn't realize that eating Moon Sugar was
         permitted. Perhaps I should ask the Ambassador...

Tsavanni: Tss! Get out of here. I saw nothing.

Malborn: Your gear is in that chest. I'll lock the door behind you. Don't
         screw this up. Good luck.

[The player sneaks into the embassy corridors. Guards talk nearby.]

Soldier 1: Did you see those robes march in this morning? Who're they with?
           More of the Emissary's treaty enforcers?

Soldier 2: No. They're high mages, just in from Alinor. I guess Herself is
           finally getting worried about all the dragon attacks.

Soldier 1: Ah, good. I've been wondering how we were supposed to defend this
           place from a dragon.

Soldier 2: If a dragon does show up, maybe we'll get lucky and it will eat the
           mages first. Might give us enough time to kill it.

Soldier 1: Ha! I'd like to see those arrogant bastards taken down a notch.
           Always looking down their noses at us lowly footsloggers.

Soldier 2: Well, we'd better get back to our rounds.

[If one is Altmer and wearing a Thalmor disguise, it's possible to have an
 extra conversation with the Solar's door guard.]

Wizard: Why aren't you at your post, Justiciar?

        Emissary Elenwen was asking for you inside. (Persuade)
         • Why didn't you say so? Take over my post. Make sure nobody enters
           the Solar.

        Yes sir. Sorry, sir.
         Well? Get out of here and mind your rounds.

[Eventually, one sneaks into Elenwen's solar. A conversation occurs nearby.]

Gissur: But, I need that money! I earned it. I have my own expenses you know...

Rulindil: Silence! Do not presume, Gissur. You are most useful, but do not
          presume. We have other informants who are less...offensive.

Gissur: But no one else has brought you such valuable information, have they?
        Etienne, he's talked, hasn't he? He knows where that old man is you're
        looking for, he told me himself.

Rulindil: You'll get the rest of your money when we confirm his story. As

Gissur: So he has talked! I knew it!

Rulindil: Everyone talks, in the end. Now, I have work to do. Leave me to it,
          if you ever want to see the rest of your payment.

Gissur: Can I...I could help you. He'd talk to me. He trusts me.

Rulindil: You'd like to come downstairs with me, is that it, Gissur? Shall we
          loose his bonds and put you in a cell together? You can ask him
          anything you like, and see how he answers.

Gissur: No, no. I'll...I'll wait outside.

Rulindil: That would probably be best. Now get out!

[After dealing with the Thalmor ruffians, one takes their dossiers on Ulfric,
 Delphine and the dragon investigations. One sneaks into the dungeons, just in
 time to overhear a convo with a Thalmor soldier and Etienne.]

Etienne: Stop. Please. I don't know anything else. Don't you think I'd have
         told you already?

Soldier: Silence. You know the rules. Do not speak unless spoken to. Master
         Rulindil will ask the questions.

Rulindil: Let's begin again.

Etienne: No... for pity's sake... I've already told you everything...

Rulindil: You know the rules.

Etienne: Noooooo!!!

Rulindil: Start at the beginning, as usual. If you persist in this
          stubbornness I'll have...

Etienne: No, wait! I was just... catching my breath... why wouldn't I tell you
         again? I don't even know anything... There's an old man. He lives in
         Riften. He could be this Esbern you're looking for, but I don't know.
         He's old and seemed kind of crazy. That's all I know.

Rulindil: And his name is...?

Etienne: I don't know his name. Like I've told already a hundred- Ahhhh!

Rulindil: You know the rules. Just answer the questions. And where can we find
          this nameless old man?

Etienne: Like I said, I don't know! I've seen him down in the Ratway. Maybe he
         lives down there, but I don't know for sure.

Rulindil: That will be all for now. I must say I continue to be disappointed in
          your lack of cooperation. I hope next time you will do better.

Etienne: What else do you want from me? I've already told you everything.
         Listen, if you let me go I can take you to Riften, show you where--

Soldier: Silence, prisoner!

[One slays the remaining guards. Brelas, if she was captured, is nearby.]

Brelas: You've got to help me! Please!

        Come on, you'd better get out of here. (Free her)
         Oh...thank you. I don't understand what's happening. I can't stay
         here. What will I do now?

        I can't help you right now.
         No...please, you have to help me! You don't understand what they do
         to people here!

[Another cell holds Etienne.]

Etienne: I told you, I don't know anything else about it.

         I'm not here to torture you.
          What? Who...what do you want then?

          No time to explain. Let's get out of here. (Free him)
           Yeah, sure, okay. Come on, this way. I've seen the guards use it to
           get rid of bodies. It must lead somewhere.

           Sounds good. I'll follow you.
            Whatever you want. But let's go, now.

           You go ahead. I'm not done here.
            • I guess you know what you're doing. I've got to find a way out of

            • No problem. Thanks for springing me. I owe you. Look me up in
              Riften if you make it out.

           Who are you? What are you doing here?
            • Hey, haven't I seen you around the Flagon? I never expected to
              see another Guild brother down here. They grabbed me in the
              Ratway. The nerve of these bastards...they need to be taught a

            • They grabbed me in Riften. They seem to think I know something.
              They just kept asking me the same damn questions.

           Hold on. You may know something important.²
            I damn well hope so. If it helps you twist them up, I'm glad to
            help. They're after some old guy named Esbern. Something to do with
            dragons, I gathered from listening to them talk when they thought I
            was out. I've seen a guy in Riften who they seem to think is him.
            Not much to go on -- I don't even know where he lives, or his name.
            But they seemed pretty excited about it. That's it. Now, let's get
            out of here.

         I'd like to hear it all one more time.
          Fine. Whatever you want. Can't you just kill me and get it over with?
          There's this old man. I've seen him around Riften. I don't know where
          he lives. I don't know his name. Yes, he matches the description of
          this Esbern guy you're looking for. Maybe it's him. Maybe it isn't.
          That's all I know, okay?

          You've been very cooperative. Thanks.
           Why don't you just kill me already.

[As Etienne is freed, two guards enter with Malborn.]

Soldier: Listen up, spy. You're trapped in here, and we have your accomplice.
         Surrender immediately or you both die.

Malborn: Never mind, I'm dead already--

Soldier: Silence, traitor! Move. Slowly.

Malborn: Help! I'm being attacked!

[The player slays the guards, saving everyone in the process.]

Malborn: Now the Thalmor will be hunting me for the rest of my life. I hope it
         was worth it.

Etienne: I saw guards dragging bodies over here. Might be a way out.

[They enter the trapdoor into the Reeking Cave, where the Thalmor dispose of
 their victims. Soon, everyone's out in broad daylight.]

Etienne: You didn't have to help me, so...thanks.

Brelas: I don't know where to go. Somewhere far away from here.

[The three take off as one returns to Delphine in Riverwood.]

Delphine: You made it out alive, at least. Your gear's safe in my room, as
          promised. Did you learn anything useful?

Dragonborn: The Thalmor know nothing about the dragons.

Delphine: Really? That seems hard to believe. You're sure about that?

          Why'd you send me in if you weren't going to believe me?
           You're right, you're right. I just...I was sure it must have been
           them. If not the Thalmor, who? Or...what?

           I don't know, but the Thalmor are looking for someone named Esbern.
            (same as option below)

          Yes, I'm sure. They're looking for someone called Esbern.
           Esbern? He's alive? I thought the Thalmor must have got him years
           ago. That crazy old man... Figures the Thalmor would be on his
           trail, though, if they were trying to figure out what's going on
           with the dragons.

Dragonborn: What would the Thalmor want with Esbern?

Delphine: You mean, aside from wanting to kill every Blade they can get their
          hands on? Esbern was one of the Blades archivists, back before the
          Thalmor smashed us in the Great War. He knew everything about the
          ancient dragonlore of the Blades. Obsessed with it, really. Nobody
          paid much attention back then. I guess he wasn't as crazy as we all

          So the Thalmor think the Blades know about the dragons...
           Ironic, right? The old enemies assume that every calamity must be a
           plot by the other side... Even so, we've got to find Esbern before
           they do. He'll know how to stop the dragons if anybody does. Do
           they know where he is?

          They seem to think he's hiding out in Riften.
           Riften, eh? Probably down in the Ratway, then. It's where I'd go.
           You'd better get to Riften.

           • Talk to Brynjolf. He's...well-connected. A good starting point,
             at least.

           • Ask around the Ragged Flagon, in the Ratway. It's at least a good
             starting point.

           Oh, and when you find Esbern...if you think I'm paranoid...you may
           have some trouble getting him to trust you. Just ask him where he
           was on the 30th of Frostfall. He'll know what it means.

09) A CORNERED RAT                                                       [MQ09]

[One visits Vekel the Man in Riften's underground tavern. If one's in good
 with the Thieves Guild, the conversation is much smoother:]

Dragonborn: Know of any old guy hiding out in Riften, name of Esbern?

Vekel: Lot of people looking for him. Don't know his name, but he's paid good
       money for nobody to know he's down here. He's holed up in the Ratway
       Warrens. Hardly ever leaves the place -- has someone bring him food and
       such. Crazy old coot, from what I've heard. For that to stand out down
       here, he must really be off his nut.

Dragonborn: Who else is looking for Esbern?

Vekel: Dangerous-looking elves who didn't give their names. Draw your own

[If the player isn't guild-affiliated, the convos are a little rougher. If
 one talks to Vekel:]

Dragonborn: I'm looking for an old guy, hiding out somewhere in Riften.

Vekel: Huh. Lot of old guys around. I don't really know how I can help.

       I need to talk to him. I'm a friend. His life's in danger. (Persuade)
        • Maybe I'm just getting soft in my old age, but I actually believe
        • That's a touching story. Now get outta my face.

       Maybe this will help your memory. (### gold)
        • Well...when you put it that way, I think I do know the old guy you're
          talking about.
        • Big talk for someone with a light purse.

       Are you going to tell me, or am I going to have to beat it out of you?
       (Brawl) |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
        • There's no need for that. Not like he's a friend of mine or anything.
          Just calm down.

        • You've got a lot of nerve. But not a lot of common sense.

        You're tougher than you look. You got me, fair and square.

        Now where's Esbern?

       He's holed up in the Ratway Warrens. Hardly ever leaves the place --
       has someone bring him food and such. Crazy old coot, from what I've
       heard. For that to stand out down here, he must really be off his nut.

Dragonborn: That old guy hiding out down here... Where does he live?

Vekel: He's holed up in the Ratway Warrens. Be careful. You're not the only
       one looking for him.

[If one interrogates Dirge:]

Dragonborn: I'm looking for an old guy, hiding out somewhere in Riften.

Dirge: That's interesting. Why do I care? You want a drink, or maybe just a
       few broken bones?

       I need to talk to him. I'm a friend. His life's in danger. (Persuade)
        • A friend, huh? Well... then it's probably okay if I tell you.
        • I guess you don't hear too well. I never heard of this "friend" of

       Maybe this will help your memory. (### gold)
        • You know what? I think I do know the guy you're talking about.
        • Maybe it would. If you had it.

       He lives somewhere in the Ratway Warrens. Must be crazy or desperate to
       live down there. Maybe both.

Dragonborn: That old guy hiding out down here... Where does he live?

Dirge: Down in the Ratway Warrens. Nice place, if you don't mind the strench,
       the rats, and assorted lowlifes as neighbors.

[If one talks to Brynjolf, as Delphine suggested:]

Brynjolf: Never done an honest day's work in your life for all that coin you're
          carrying, eh, lad?

Dragonborn: Actually, I'm looking for this old guy hiding out in Riften.

Brynjolf: Expecting free information, eh? Help me deal with business first,
          then we'll see how I can help you. Besides, you look like your
          pockets are a little light on coin, am I right?

          Let me find him first. Dragons are bad for business. (Persuade)
           • Aye, you've got a point there.
           • Passing on a golden opportunity is worse.

          Hold on -- I just wanted some information.
           And I'm busy. You help me out, and I'll help you out. That's just
           how it is.

          Yeah. I bet I know your guy. He's hiding out in the Ratway Warrens.
          Paying us good coin for nobody to know about it.

[If Gissur is alive, he will leave the bar and report to Thalmor nearby.]

Gissur: He's in the Flagon right now. Get ready.

Thalmor Wizard: You're sure?

Gissur: Of course I'm sure! He was asking about Esbern.

Thalmor Wizard: Doesn't matter. We'll kill them either way.

[The player enters the Warrens, a rathole series of tunnels where vagrants and
 other types live. There are Thalmor guards searching.]

Soldier: There's the Blades agent! Kill him!

[After eliminating the elves, one finds a heavily locked door.]

Esbern: Go away!

Dragonborn: Esbern? Open the door. I'm a friend.

Esbern: What?! No, that's not me. I'm not Esbern. I don't know what you're
        talking about.

        It's okay. Delphine sent me.
         Delphine? How do you...so you've finally found her, and she led you
         to me. And here I am, caught like a rat in a trap.

        The Thalmor have found you. You need to get out of here.
         Oh, how reassuring! Most likely you're with the Thalmor and this is
         just a trick to get me to open the door.

        Delphine needs your help to stop the dragons. (Persuade)
         So Delphine keeps up the fight, after all these years. You'd better
         come in and tell me how you found me and what you want.

        I'm the one the Blades have been searching for. I'm Dragonborn.
         What's that you said? Dragonborn? Then...there really is hope after
         all? You'd better come inside. Quickly now. Thalmor agents have been
         seen in the Ratway.

        There are Thalmor agents in the Ratway. Looking for you.
         And no doubt you're one of them. Leave me alone!

        Delphine said to "remember the 30th of Frostfall."
         Ah. Indeed, indeed. I do remember. Delphine really is alive, then?
         You'd better come in then and tell me how you found me and what you

[He starts undoing the locks.]

Esbern: This'll just take a moment... This one always sticks...there we go.
        Only a couple more. There we are! Come in, come in! Make yourself at
        home! That's better. Now we can talk.

[He hurriedly shuts the door. If entrance was gotten by mentioning Delphine:]

Esbern: So, Delphine keeps up the fight, after all these years. I thought she'd
        have realized it's hopeless by now. I tried to tell her, years ago...

        The Thalmor have found you. We have to get out of here.
         Yes, yes, so you said. But so what? The end is upon us. I may as well
         die here as anywhere else. I'm tired of running.

          What do you mean, "the end is upon us"?
           (same as "What do you mean, "it's hopeless"?)

        What do you mean, "it's hopeless"?
         Haven't you figured it out yet? What more needs to happen before you
         all wake up and see what's going on? Alduin has returned, just like
         the prophecy said! The Dragon from the dawn of time, who devours the
         souls of the dead! No one can escape his hunger, here or in the
         afterlife! Alduin will devour all things and the world will end.
         Nothing can stop him! I tried to tell them. They wouldn't listen.
         Fools. It's all come true...all I could do was watch our doom

         Alduin... The dragon who's raising the others?
          Yes! Yes! You see, you know but you refuse to understand!

         You're talking about the literal end of the world?
          Oh, yes. It's all been foretold. The end has begun. Alduin has
          returned. Only a Dragonborn can stop him. But no Dragonborn has been
          known for centuries. It seems that the gods have grown tired of us.
          They've left us to our fate, as the plaything of Alduin the

          It's not hopeless, Esbern. I'm Dragonborn.
           What? You're...can it really be true? Dragonborn? Then...there is
           hope! The gods have not abandoned us! We must...we must... We must
           go, quickly now. Take me to Delphine. We have much to discuss.

[If entrance was gotten by mentioning being Dragonborn:]

Esbern: You...Dragonborn? Is it really true?

        Yes. Delphine seemed to think it was important.
         Important? Far more than even she realizes! If you are Dragonborn,
         then... Then...there is hope after all. For so long, all I could do
         was watch our doom approach, helplessly.

        That's what everyone keeps telling me.
         {same as above, starting at "Then...there is hope after all."}

         Doom? You mean the return of the dragons?
          Dragons, pah. They can be killed. The Blades killed many in their
          early days as dragon-slayers. No, dragons are merely the final
          portent of the End of Days.

          "End of Days"? I don't think things are quite that bad.
           {same as "What do you mean, "it's hopeless"?" above, to "Nothing
           can to him!"}

          You're talking about...the literal end of the world?
           Oh, yes! The prophecies made clear the signs that will precede the
           end times. One by one, I have seen them fulfilled. Alduin has
           returned, just like the prophecy said! Alduin has returned, just
           like the prophecy said! The Dragon from the dawn of time, who
           devours the souls of the dead! No one can escape his hunger, here
           or in the afterlife! Alduin will devour all things and the world
           will end. Nothing can stop him! I tried to tell them. They wouldn't
           listen. Fools. It's all come true...all I could do was watch our
           doom approach...

          Alduin... The dragon who's raising the others?
           Yes! Yes! You see, you know but you refuse to understand!

          It's not hopeless, Esbern. I'm Dragonborn.
           You're right, I forget myself. I've lived without hope for so
           long... The prophecies are clear. Only the Dragonborn can stop
           Alduin. We must go, quickly now. Take me to Delphine. There is much
           to discuss.

[After the conversation, Esbern will scramble around his dwelling.]

Esbern: But, give me...just a moment... I must gather a few things... I'll
        need this... No, no, useless trash...where'd I put my annotated Anuad?
        One moment, I know, time is of the essence, but mustn't leave secrets
        behind for the Thalmor...there's one more thing I must bring... Well,
        I guess that's good enough...let's be off...

10) ALDUIN'S WALL                                                        [MQ10]
[After slaying more pursuers, the two Blades are reunited in Riverwood.]

Esbern: Delphine! I...it's good to see you. It's been...a long time.

Delphine: It's good to see you, too, Esbern. It's been too long, old friend.
          Too long. Well, then. You made it, safe and sound. Good. Come on. I
          have a place where we can talk. Orgnar, hold down the bar for a
          minute, will you?

Orgnar: Yeah, sure.

Delphine: This way.

[They go to the secret basement.]

Delphine: Now then. I assume you know about...

Esbern: Oh, yes! Dragonborn! Indeed, yes. This changes everything, of course.
        There's no time to lose. We must locate...let me show you. I know I
        had it here, somewhere...

Delphine: Esbern, what...

Esbern: Give me...just a moment... Ah! Here it is. Come, let me show you.

[He puts a book on the table.]

Esbern: You see, right here. Sky Haven Temple, constructed around one of the
        main Akiviri military camps in the Reach, during their conquest of

Delphine: Do you know what he's talking about?

Esbern: Shh! This is where they built Alduin's Wall, to set down in stone all
        their accumulated dragonlore. A hedge against the forgetfulness of
        centuries. A wise and foresighted policy, in the event. Despite the
        far-reaching fame of Alduin's Wall at the time -- one of the wonders
        of the ancient world -- its location was lost.

Delphine: Esbern. What are you getting at?

Esbern: You mean...you don't mean to say you haven't heard of Alduin's Wall?
        Either of you?

Delphine: Let's pretend we haven't. What's Alduin's Wall and what does it have
          to do with stopping the dragons?

Esbern: Alduin's Wall was where the ancient Blades recorded all the knew of
        Alduin and his return. Part history, part prophecy. Its location has
        been lost for centuries, but I've found it again. Not lost, you see,
        just forgotten. The Blades archives held so many secrets...I was only
        able to save a few scraps...

Delphine: So you think that Alduin's Wall will tell us how to defeat Alduin?

Esbern: Well, yes, but...there's no guarantee, of course.

Delphine: Sky Haven Temple it is, then. I knew you'd have something for us,
          Esbern. I know the area of the Reach that Esbern's talking about.
          Near what's now known as Karthspire, the Karth River canyon. We can
          meet you there, or all travel together, your call.

          What's the best way to get there?
           From Riverwood? The road south through Falkreath is the most direct
           route. Or you could catch the carriage from Whiterun to Markarth
           and then approach from the west. Either way, the Reach is wild
           country these days. The Forsworn are everywhere. Best be careful.

          I'll meet you at Karthspire.
           Your call. Might be safer to travel separately -- attract less
           attention that way. Don't worry, I'll get Esbern there in one piece.
           We'll wait for you near Karthspire. Good luck.

          Let's travel there together. Are you ready to go?
           Always. Let's go see if we can find this Sky Haven Temple.

[Before leaving, Delphine finds Orgnar.]

Delphine: This is it. Orgnar, the inn is yours. I'm probably never coming back

Orgnar: Well, now. That's something to think about.

Delphine: Take care of yourself, Orgnar. Goodbye.

Orgnar: Yeah...sure. You, too, Delphine. You be safe.

[If one slays a dragon en route.]

Esbern: Ah...the power of the dragon is yours! There can be no doubt that you
        are the Dragonborn of prophecy.

[They enter the Karthspire's lower caves, finding old ruins.]

Delphine: This looks promising.

Esbern: Yes. Definitely early Akiviri stonework here.

Delphine: We've got to get this bridge down. These pillars must have something
          to do with it.

Esbern: Yes. These are Akiviri symbols. Let's see...you have the symbol for
        "King"...and "Warrior"...and of course the symbol for "Dragonborn."
        That's the one that appears to have a sort of arrow shape pointing
        downward at the bottom.

[They solve the puzzle and lower the bridge.]

Delphine: Whatever you did, it worked. Let's see what those old Blades left
          in our way.

[They come to a room with many floor tiles.]

Esbern: Wait.

Delphine: Why are you stopping?
Esbern: We should be careful here. See these symbols on the floor?

Delphine: Hmm. Esbern's right. Look like pressure plates.

Esbern: We'll cross once it's safe.

[The Dragonborn crosses and pulls the disarm chain.]

Delphine: Looks safe now. Let's move.

Esbern: Yes, yes! I think we must be close to the entrance.

[They discover the hidden temple's front gate.]

Esbern: Wonderful! Remarkably well-preserved, too. Ah...here's the "blood
        seal." Another of the lost Akiviri arts. No doubt triggered by...well,
        blood. Your blood, Dragonborn.

Delphine: Esbern's probably right. Try using your blood on the carved seal on
          the floor.

Esbern: Look here! You see how the ancient Blades revered Reman Cyrodiil. This
        whole place appears to be a shrine to Reman. He ended the Akiviri
        invasion under mysterious circumstances, you recall. After the
        so-called "battle" of Pale Pass, the Akiviri went into his service.
        This was the foundation stone of the Second Empire.

[The player slits his hand on the seal, undoing the seal.]

Delphine: That's done it! Look, it's coming to life! You did it! There's the
          entrance. After you, Dragonborn. You should have the honor of being
          the first to set foot in Sky Haven Temple.

Esbern: There's no telling what we might find inside!

[They enter the long-abandoned temple.]

Esbern: Fascinating! Original Akiviri bas-reliefs...almost entirely intact!
        Amazing...you can see how the Akiviri craftsmen were beginning to
        embrace the more flowing Nordic style...

Delphine: We're here for Alduin's Wall, right, Esbern?

Esbern: Yes, of course. We'll have more time to look around later, I suppose.
        Let's see what's up ahead.

[They find the carved Wall up ahead.]

Esbern: Shor's bones! Here it is! Alduin's Wall...so well preserved...I've
        never seen a finer example of early second era Akiviri sculptural

Delphine: Esbern. We need information, not a lecture on art history.

Esbern: Yes, yes. Let's see what we have... Look, here is Alduin! This panel
        goes back to the beginning of time, when Alduin and the Dragon Cult
        ruled over Skyrim. Here, the humans rebel against their dragon
        overlords -- the legendary Dragon War. Alduin's defeat is the
        centerpiece of the Wall. You see, here he is falling from the sky. The
        Nord Tongues -- masters of the Voice -- are arrayed against him.

Delphine: So, does it show how they defeated him? Isn't that why we're here?

Esbern: Patience, my dear. The Akiviri were not a straightforward people.
        Everything is couched in allegory and mythic symbolism. Yes, yes. This
        here, coming from the mouths of Nord heroes -- this is the Akiviri
        symbol for "Shout." But...there's no way to know what Shout is meant.

Delphine: You mean they used a Shout to defeat Alduin? You're sure?

Esbern: Hmm? Oh, yes. Presumably something rather specific to dragons, or even
        Alduin himself. Remember, this is where they recorded all they knew of
        Alduin and his return.

Delphine: So we're looking for a Shout, then. Damn it. Have you ever heard of
          such a thing? A Shout that can knock a dragon out of the sky?

          No, I've never heard of anything like that.
           I was afraid you were going to say that. I guess there's nothing
           for it. We'll have to ask the Greybeards for help. I hoped to avoid
           involving them in all this, but we have no other choice.

          The Greybeards might know.
           You're probably right. I was hoping to avoid having to involve them
           in all this, but it seems we have no choice.

          What do you have against the Greybeards?
           If they had their way, you'd do nothing but sit up on their mountain
           with them and talk to the sky, or whatever it is they do. The
           Greybeards are so afraid of power they won't use it. Think about it.
           Have they tried to stop the civil war, or done anything about
           Alduin? No. And they're afraid of you, of your power. Trust me,
           there's no need to be afraid. Think of Tiber Septim. Do you think
           he'd have founded the Empire if he'd listened to the Greybeards?

           The Greybeards may have a point. Power is dangerous.
            Only if you don't know how to use it. All the great heroes have had
            to learn to use their power. Those that shrank from their
            destiny...well, you've never heard of them, have you? And there
            are the villains -- those that misused their power. There's always
            a choice, and there's always a risk. But if you live in fear of
            what might go wrong, you'll end up doing nothing. Like the
            Greybeards up on their mountain.

           Don't worry. I'm not afraid of my own power.
            Good. The Greybeards can teach you a lot, but don't let them turn
            you away from your destiny. You're Dragonborn, and you're the only
            one who stop Alduin. Don't forget it.

            I'd better go see what Arngeir knows about this Shout.
             (same as "I'll ask Arngeir if he knows what Shout they used")

          I'll ask Arngeir if he knows what Shout they used.
           Right. Good thing they've already let you into their little cult.
           Not likely they'd help Esbern or me if we came calling. We'll
           look around Sky Haven Temple and see what else the old Blades
           might have left for us. It's a better hideout than we could have
           hoped for. Talos guard you.

Esbern: Look, here. In the third panel. The prophecy that brought the Akiviri
        to Tamriel in the first place, in search of the Dragonborn. Here are
        the Akiviri -- the Blades -- you see their distinctive longswords. Now
        they kneel, their ancient mission fulfilled, as the Last Dragonborn
        contends with Alduin at the end of time. Are you paying attention,
        Delphine? You might learn something of your own history.

11) THE THROAT OF THE WORLD                                              [MQ11]
[One revisits High Hrothgar to tap Arngeir for knowledge.]

Dragonborn: I'd like to learn the Shout used to defeat Alduin.

Arngeir: Where did you learn of that? Who have you been talking to?

         Does it matter?
          Yes. For matters of such gravity, we need to know where you stand.
          Or who you stand with.

          Who I stand with is my business.
           If you wish to stand alone, so be it. If you wish for our help,
           you'll answer my question.

          I have nothing to hide. The Blades helped me find out about it.
           The Blades! Of course. They specialize in meddling in matters they
           barely understand. Their reckless arrogance knows no bounds. They
           have always sought to turn the Dragonborn from the path of wisdom.
           Have you learned nothing from us? Would you simply be a tool in the
           hands of the Blades, to be used for their own purposes?
         It was recorded on Alduin's Wall.
          (same as "I have nothing to hide...")

         The Blades helped me find out about it.
          (same as "I have nothing to hide...")

         The Blades are helping me. I'm not their puppet.
          No, no, of course not. Forgive me, Dragonborn. I have been
          intemperate with you. But heed my warning -- the Blades may say they
          serve the Dragonborn, but they do not. They never have.

          So can you teach me this Shout?
           (skip down to "No. I cannot teach..." below)

         The Blades just want to defeat Alduin. Don't you?
          What I want is irrelevant. This Shout was used once before, was it
          not? And here we are again. Have you considered that Alduin was not
          meant to be defeated? Those who overthrew him in ancient times only
          postponed the day of reckoning, they did not stop it. If the world
          is meant to end, so be it. Let it end and be reborn.

         At least the Blades aren't keeping secrets from me.
          Do not be so sure about that. Beware -- the Blades may claim to serve
          the Dragonborn, but they do not. They never have. As for me, I only
          kept from you what you were not yet ready to know. Are still not
          ready to know, as your question reveals.

[If one picks "The blades just..." or "At least the Blades..." options:]

Dragonborn: So you won't help me?

Arngeir: No. Not now. Not until you return to the path of wisdom.

Einarth: Arngeir. Rak los Dovahkiin, Strundu'ul. Rok fen tinvak Paarthurnax.

Arngeir: Dragonborn...wait. Forgive me. I was...intemperate. I allowed my
         emotions to cloud my judgment. Master Einarth reminded me of my duty.
         The decision whether or not to help you is not mine to make.

[The dialogue always ends with:]

Dragonborn: So, you can teach me this Shout?

Arngeir: No. I cannot teach it to you because I do not know it. It is called
         "Dragonrend," but its Words of Power are unknown to us. We do not
         regret this loss. Dragonrend holds no place within the Way of the

         I thought you knew all the Words of Power.
          But not Dragonrend. The knowledge of that Shout was lost in the time
          before history began. Perhaps only its creators ever knew it. But I
          am not the one to speak of it to you.

         What's so bad about Dragonrend?
          It was created by those who had lived under the unimaginable cruelty
          of Alduin's Dragon Cult. Their whole lives were consumed with hatred
          for dragons, and they poured all their anger and hatred into this
          Shout. When you learn a Shout, you take it into your very being. In
          a sense, you become the Shout. In order to learn and use this Shout,
          you will be taking this evil into yourself.

         If the Shout is lost, how can I defeat Alduin?
          Only Paarthurnax, the leader of our order, can answer that question,
          if he so chooses.

         Who is Paarthurnax?
          He is our leader. He surpasses us all in his mastery of the Way of
          the Voice.

         Why haven't I met Paarthurnax yet?
          He lives in seclusion on the very peak of the mountain. He speaks
          to us only rarely, and never to outsiders. Being allowed to see him
          is a great privilege.

         I need to speak to Paarthurnax, then.
          You weren't ready. You still aren't ready. But thanks to the Blades,
          you now have questions that only Paarthurnax can answer.

Dragonborn: How do I get to the top of the mountain to see him?

Arngeir: Only those whose Voice is strong can find the path. We will teach you
         a Shout to open the way to Paarthurnax.

[Everyone moves to the snowy courtyard.]

Arngeir: The path to Paarthurnax lies through this gate. I will show you how
         to open the way. Lok... Vah... Koor...

[He imprints the words into the ground, letting the player learn them.]

Arngeir: I will grant you my understanding of Clear Skies. This is your final
         gift from us, Dragonborn. Use it well. Clear Skies will blow away the
         mist, but only for a time. The path to Paarthurnax is perilous, not to
         be embarked upon lightly. Keep moving, stay focused on your goal, and
         you will reach the summit.

[As the player reaches the summit, a dragon -- Paarthurnax -- swoops in.]

Paarthurnax: Drem Yo Lok. Greetings, wunduniik. I am Paarthurnax. Who are you?
             What brings you to my strunmah...my mountain?

             I wasn't expecting you to be a dragon.
              I am as my father Akatosh made me. As are you...Dovahkiin.

             You're the master of the Greybeards?
              They see me as master. Wuth. Onik. Old and wise. It is true I am

             I think you already know who I am.
              Yes. Vahzah. You speak true, Dovahkiin. Forgive me. It has been
              long since I last tinvaak with a stranger. I gave in to the
              temptation to prolong our speech.

              Why live alone on a mountain if you love conversation?
               Evenaar bahlok. There are many hungers it is better to deny than
               to feed. Dreh ni nahkip. Discipline against the lesser aids in
               qahnaar...denial of the greater.

             Tell me. Why do you come here, volaan? Why do you intrude on my

Dragonborn: I need to learn the Dragonrend Shout. Can you teach me?

Paarthurnax: Drem. Patience. There are formalities which must be observed, at
             the first meeting of two of the dov. By long tradition, the elder
             speaks first. Hear my Thu'um! Feel it in your bones! Match it, if
             you are Dovahkiin! Yol...Toor...Shul!

[He breathes fire on the nearby Word Wall, empowering it for his guest.]

Paarthurnax: The Word calls you. Go to it.

[It's the word for Fire Breath.]

Paarthurnax: A gift, Dovahkiin. Yol. Understand Fire as the dov do.

[He gives his knowledge to the player.]

Paarthurnax: Now, show me what you can do. Greet me not as

             • mortal,
             • khajiit,

             but as dovah! Do not be afraid. Faasnu. Let me feel the power of
             your Thu'um.

[The player breathes fire on him.]

Paarthurnax: Aaah...yes! Sossedov los mul. The dragonblood runs strong in you.
             It is long since I had the pleasure of speech with one of my own
             kind. So. You have made your way here, to me. No easy task for a
             joor...mortal. Even for one of Dovah Sos. Dragonblood. What would
             you ask of me?

Dragonborn: Can you teach me the Dragonrend Shout?

Paarthurnax: Ah. I have expected you. Prodah. You would not come all this way
             for tinvaak with an old dovah. No. You seek your weapon against

             How did you know I came for Dragonrend?
              Alduin komeyt tiid. What else would you seek? Alduin and
              Dovahkiin return together. But, I do not know the Thu'um you
              seek. Krosis.

             The Greybeards didn't want me to come at all.
              Hmm. Yes. They are very protective of me. Bahlaan fahdonne. But
              I do not know the Thu'um you seek. Krosis.

             Do you know Dragonrend or not?
              Krosis. Sorrowfully, no.

             It cannot be known to me. Your kind -- joorre -- mortals --
             created it as a weapon against the dov...the dragons. Our
             hadrimme, our minds cannot even...comprehend its concepts.

Dragonborn: How can I learn it, then?

Paarthurnax: Drem. All in good time. First, a question for you. Why do you want
             to learn this Thu'um?

             That's none of your business.
              Nid. If you wish me to answer your question, you must answer

             I need to stop Alduin.
              Yes. Alduin...zeymah. The elder brother. Gifted, grasping and
              troublesome as is so often the case with firstborn. But why?
              Why must you stop Alduin?

              The prophecy says that only the Dragonborn can stop him.
               True... But qostiid -- prophecy -- tells what may be, not what
               should be. Qostiid sahlo aak. Just because you can do a thing,
               does not always mean you should. Do you have no better reason
               for acting than destiny? Are you nothing but a plaything of
               dez...of fate?

             I like this world. I don't want to see it end.
              Pruzah. As good a reason as any. There are many who feel as you
              do, although not all. Some would say that all things must end,
              so that the next can come to pass. Perhaps this world is simply
              the Egg for the next kalpa? Lein vokiin? Would you stop the next
              world from being born?

             I didn't come here to debate philosophy with you.
              Hahaha! You have much to learn of the dov, then. There is nothing
              else but philosophy to a dovah. It is no accident that we do
              battle with our Thu'um, our Voices. There is no distinction
              between debate and combat to a dragon. Tinvaak los grah. For us
              it is one and the same. 

             The next world will have to take care of itself.
              Paaz. A fair answer. Ro fus...maybe you only balance the forces
              at work to quicken the end of this world. Even we who ride the
              currents of Time cannot see past Time's end. Wuldsetiid los
              tahrodiis. Those who try to hasten the end, may delay it. Those
              who work to delay the end, may bring it closer.

             I don't believe in destiny. But I will stop Alduin.²
              And so, perhaps, your destiny will be fulfilled. Who can say?
              Dez motmahus. Even to the dov, who ride the currents of Time,
              destiny is elusive. Alduin believes that he will prevail, with
              good reason. Rok mul. And he is no fool. Ni mey, rinik gut nol.
              Far from it. He began as the wisest and most far-seeing of us

             But you have indulged my weakness for speech long enough. Krosis.
             Now I will answer your question. Do you know why I live here, at
             the peak o the Monahven -- what you name Throat of the World?

             No. Dragons like mountains, right?
              True. But few now remember that this was the very spot where
              Alduin was defeated by the ancient Tongues. Vahrukt unslaad...
              perhaps none but me now remember how he was defeated.

             I never thought about it.
              This is the most sacred mountain in Skyrim. Zok revak strunmah.
              The great mountain of the world. Here the ancient Tongues, the
              first mortal masters of the Voice, brought Alduin to battle and
              defeated him.

             You said you were going to answer my question.
              Drem. Patience. I am answering, in my way. This is the most
              sacred mountain in Skyrim. Zok revak strunmah. The great mountain
              of the world. Here the ancient Tongues, the first mortal masters
              of the Voice, brought Alduin to battle and defeated him.

Dragonborn: Using the Dragonrend Shout, right?

Paarthurnax: Yes and no. Viik nuz ni kron. Alduin was not truly defeated,
             either. If he was, you would not be here today, seeking to...
             defeat him. The Nords of those days used the Dragonrend Shout
             to cripple Alduin. But this was not enough. Ok mulaag unslaad.
             It was the Kel -- the Elder Scroll. They used it to...cast him
             adrift on the currents of Time.

             An Elder Scroll? What's that?
              Hmm. How to explain in your tongue? The dov have words for such
              thing that joorre do not. It is an...artifact from outside time.
              It does not exist, but it has always existed. Rah wahlaan. They
              are...hmm...fragments of creation. The Kelle...Elder Scrolls, as
              you name them, they have often been used for prophecy. Yes, your
              prophecy comes from an Elder Scroll. But this is only a small
              part of their power. Zofaas suleyk.

             Are you saying the ancient Nords sent Alduin forward in time?
              Not intentionally. Some hoped he would be gone forever, forever
              lost. Meyye. I knew better. Tiid bo amativ. Time flows ever
              onward. One day he would surface. Which is why I have lived here.
              For thousands of mortal years I have waited. I knew where he
              would emerge but not when.

Dragonborn: How does any of this help me?

Paarthurnax: Tiid krent. Time was...shattered here because of what the ancient
             Nords did to Alduin. If you brought that Kel, that Elder Scroll
             back here...to the Tiid-Ahraan, the Time-Wound... With the Elder
             Scroll that was used to break Time, you may be able to...cast
             yourself back. To the other end of the break. You could learn
             Dragonrend from those who created it.

12) ELDER KNOWLEDGE                                                      [MQ12]

Dragonborn: Do you know where I can find an Elder Scroll?

Paarthurnax: Krosis. No. I know little of what has passed below in the long
             years I have lived here. You are likely better informed than I.

Dragonborn: The Lorekeeper at the College of Winterhold might know.

Paarthurnax: Trust your instincts, Dovahkiin. Your blood will show you the way.

[One can inquire further to Paarthurnax on Alduin's circumstances.]

Dragonborn: What do I do with the Elder Scroll when I find it?

Paarthurnax: Return it here, to the Tiid-Ahraan. Then... Kelle vomindok.
             Nothing is certain with such things. But I believe the Scroll's
             bond with the Tiid-Ahraan will allow you a...a seeing, a vision
             of the moment of its creation. Then you will feel -- know --
             Dragonrend, in the power of its first expression. You will see
             them...wuth fadonne...my friends -- Hakon, Gormlaith, Felldir.

Dragonborn: Hakon, Gormlaith, Felldir? Who are they?

Paarthurnax: The first mortals that I taught the Thu'um -- the first Tongues.
             The leaders of the rebellion against Alduin. They were mighty, in
             their day. Even to attempt to defeat Alduin...sahrot hunne. The
             Nords have had many heroes since, but none greater.

Dragonborn: How could an Elder Scroll cast Alduin through time?

Paarthurnax: Vomindok. I do not know. Perhaps in the very doing they erased
             the knowing of it from Time itself. The dov are children of
             Akatosh. Thus we are specially...attuned to the flow of Time.
             Perhaps also uniquely vulnerable. I warned them against such a
             rash action. Even I could not foresee its consequences. Nust ni
             hon. They would not listen.

Dragonborn: You mean you were there?

Paarthurnax: Yes. There were a few of us that rebelled against Alduin's thur...
             his tyranny. We aided the humans in his overthrow. But they did
             not trust us. Ni ov. Their inner councils were kept hidden from
             us. I was far from here on the day of Alduin's downfall. But all
             dov felt the...sundering of Time itself.

Dragonborn: What does the Dragonrend Shout actually do?

Paarthurnax: I cannot tell you in detail. I never heard it used. Kogaan. It was
             the first Thu'um created solely by mortals. It was said to force a
             dragon to experience the concept of Mortality. A truly
             vonmindoraan...incomprehensible idea to the immortal dov.

[Optionally, one can ask Arngeir about the Scroll.]

Arngeir: So...you spoke to Paarthurnax. The dragonblood burns bright within
         you. Did he tell you what you wanted to know? Did he teach you the
         Dragonrend Shout?

Dragonborn: No, but he told me how to find out.

Arngeir: So be it. If he believes it is necessary for you to learn this...we
         will bow to his wisdom.

Dragonborn: I need the Elder Scroll the ancients used. Do you know where to
            find it?

Arngeir: We have never concerned ourselves with the Scrolls. The gods
         themselves would rightly fear to tamper with such things. As for where
         to find it...such blasphemies have always been the stock and trade of
         the mages of Winterhold. They may be able to tell you something about
         the Elder Scroll you seek.

[One journeys to the College's librarian.]

Dragonborn: I'm looking for an Elder Scroll.

Urag: And what do you plan to do with it? Do you even know what you're asking
      about, or are you just someone's errand boy?

      Tell me more about the Elder Scrolls.
       I knew it. Everyone comes in here, expecting my help, but they don't
       even have the proper questions. An Elder Scroll is an instrument of
       immense knowledge and power. To read an Elder Scroll, a person must
       have the most rigorously trained mind, or else risk madness. Even so,
       the Divines usually take the reader's sight as a price.

       A price for what?
        The simplest way to put it is "knowledge," but there's nothing simple
        about an Elder Scroll. It's a reflection of all possible futures and
        all possible pasts. Each reader sees different reflections through
        different lenses, and may come away with a very different reading. But
        at the same time, all of it is true. Even the falsehoods. Especially
        the falsehoods.

       Who wrote the Elder Scrolls?
        It would take a month to explain to you how that very question doesn't
        even make sense. The Scrolls exist here, with us, but are also beyond
        and beneath. Before and after. They are bits of Divine made substance
        so we could know them. Sorry. Talking about the Scrolls, you usually
        end up in irritating and vague metaphors like that. Some people who
        study them devoutly go mad.

       All right. So do you have one that I could use?

      Of course I do. Do you have one here?
       You think even if I did have one here, I would let you see it? It would
       be kept under the highest security. The greatest thief in the world
       wouldn't be able to lay a finger on it. 

       What about the Dragonborn?
        What about...wait. Are you? Were you the one the Greybeards were
        calling? I'll bring everything we have on them, but it's not much.

       Do you at least have any information on them?
        Of course.

       I need to find one and was told you could help.
        I don't know who told you that, but I'll do what I can. What we do have
        are plenty of books.

      I'll bring everything we have on them, but it's not much. So don't get
      your hopes up. It's mostly lies, leavened with rumor and conjecture.

[He gets out a book written by Septimus Signus.]

Urag: Here you go. Try not to spill anything on them.

Dragonborn: This "Ruminations" book is incomprehensible.

Urag: Aye, that's the work of Septimus Signus. He's the world's master on the
      nature of Elder Scrolls, but...well. He's been gone for a long while.
      Too long.

      Where did he go?
       Somewhere up north, in the ice fields. Said he found some old Dwemer
       artifact, but...well, that was years ago. Haven't heard from him since.

      He's dead?
       Oh no. I hope not. But even I haven't seen him in years, and we were
       close. Became obsessed with the Dwemer. Took off north saying he had
       found some old artifact. Haven't seen him since. Somewhere in the ice
       fields, if you want to try and find him.

[This begins the tandem quest "Discerning the Transmundane". However, one only
 need continue it until the appropriate scroll is found, at which point the
 quest ends and the Alduin's Bane begins.]

13) ALDUIN'S BANE                                                        [MQ13]
[One returns with the scroll.]

Dragonborn: I have the Elder Scroll.

Paarthurnax: You have it. The Kel -- the Elder Scroll. Tiid kreh...qalos. Time
             shudders at its touch. There is no question. You are doom-driven.
             Kogaan Akatosh. The very bones of the earth are at your disposal.
             Go then. Fulfill your destiny. Take the Scroll to the Time-Wound.
             Do not delay. Alduin will be coming. He cannot miss the signs.

[Reading the Dragon Scroll at the designated spot lets the player look into
 the past, seeing the summit as it was millennia before during the Dragon War.
 One can do nothing but glimpse history unfolding.]

Hakon: Gormlaith! We're running out of time! The battle...

Dragon: Daar sul thur se Alduin vakrii. Today Alduin's lordship will be
        restored. But I honor your courage. Krif voth ahkrin. Die now, in vain.

Hakon: For Skyrim!

Gormlaith: Hyah!

[The two Nords fight the dragon.]

Gormlaith: Know that Gormlaith sent you down to your death!

[They stab the dragon in the mouth; it lies still.]

Gormlaith: Hakon! A glorious day, is it not!

Hakon: Have you no thought beyond the blooding of your blade?

Gormlaith: What else is there?

Hakon: The battle below goes ill. If Alduin does not rise to our challenge, I
       fear all may be lost.

Gormlaith: You worry too much, brother. Victory will be ours.

Hakon: Why does Alduin hang back? We've staked everything on this plan of
       yours, old man.

Felldir: He will come. He canot ignore our defiance. And why should he fear
         us, even now? 

Gormlaith: We've bloodied him well. Four of his kin have fallen to my blade
           alone this day. 

Felldir: But one have yet stood against Alduin himself. Galthor, Sorri,

Gormlaith: They did not have Dragonrend. Once we bring him down, I promise I
           will have his head.

Felldor: You do not understand. Alduin cannot be slain like a lesser dragon.
         He is beyond our strength. Which is why I brought the Elder Scroll.

Hakon: Felldir! We agreed not to use it!

Felldir: I never agreed. And if you are right, I will not need it.

Hakon: No. We will deal with Alduin ourselves, here and now.

Gormlaith: We shall see soon enough. Alduin approaches!

Hakon: So be it.

[The formidable dragon perches on the Word Wall.]

Alduin: Meyye! Tahrodiis aanne! Him hinde pah liiv! Zu'u hin daan!

Gormlaith: Let those that watch from Sovngarde envy us this day!

Gormlaith/Felldir/Hakon: Joor...Zah...Frul!

[The Shout forcefully binds the dragon, preventing it from flying.]

Alduin: Nivahriin joorre! What have you done? What twisted Words have you
        created?! Tahrodiis Paarthurnax! My teeth to his neck! But first...dir
        ko maar. You will die in terror, knowing your final fate... To feed my
        power when I come for you in Sovngarde!

Gormlaith: If I die today, it will not be in terror. You feel fear for the
           first time, worm. I see it in your eyes.

Felldir: Fo...Krah Diin!

Gormlaith: Skyrim will be free!

[The three Nords continue attacking the bound dragon, but soon Gormlaith is
 snapped up and thrown aside, dead. Felldir opens the Scroll.]

Felldir: Hold, Alduin on the Wing! Sister Hawk, grant us your sacred breath to
         make this contract heard! Begone, World-Eater! By words with older
         bones than your own we break your perch on this age and send you out!
         You are banished! Alduin, we shout you out from all our endings unto
         the last!

Alduin: Faal Kel...?! Niikriinne...

[The Scroll's magics snare Alduin, promptly banishing him out of the summit,
 and indeed the era itself.]

Felldir: You are banished!

Hakon: It worked...you did it...

Felldir: Yes, the World-Eater is gone...may the spirits have mercy on our

[The player is transported back to the current time period, just in time to
 see Alduin approaching the peak.]

Alduin: Bahloki nahkip sillesejoor. My belly is full of the souls of your
        fellow mortals, Dovahkiin. Die now and await your fate in Sovngarde!

Paarthurnax: Lost funt. You are too late, Alduin! 

Alduin: Suleyki mulaag, Paarthurnax. My power has waxed, while yours has waned.

Paarthurnax: Dovahkiin! Use Dragonrend, if you know it!

[The player's ancient Shout snares Alduin, forcing him down to the ground.]

Paarthurnax: Unslaad hakoron! Never again!

Alduin: You will pay for your defiance!

Paarthurnax: This is your chance, Dovahkiin! Strike with all your force!

Alduin: You may have picked up the weapons of my ancient foe, but you are not
        their equal!

Paarthurnax: Dovahkiin, vosaraan! Use Dragonrend before Alduin consumes you!

[The player finally defeats the dragon.]

Alduin: Meyz mul, Dovahkiin. You have become strong. But I am Al-du-in,
        firstborn of Akatosh! Mulaagi zok lot! I cannot be slain here, by you
        or anyone else! You cannot prevail against me. I will outlast you...

14) THE FALLEN                                                           [MQ14]
[Defeated kinda-sorta, Alduin flies off. It's possible to get one's bearings
 from three main people. Paarthurnax is first and closest:]

Paarthurnax: Lot krongrah. You truly have the Voice of a dovah. Alduin's allies
             will think twice after this victory.

             It wasn't really a victory, since Alduin escaped.
              Ni liivrah hin moro. True, this is not the final krongrah --
              victory. But not even the heroes of old were able to defeat
              Alduin in open battle. Alduin always was pahlok -- arrogant in
              his power. Uznahgar paar. He took domination as his birthright.
              This should shake the loyalty of the dov who serve him.

             I need to find out where Alduin went.
              Yes...one of his allies could tell us. Motmahus... But it will
              not be easy to...convince one of them to betray him. Perhaps the
              hofkahsejun -- the palace in Whiterun...Dragonsreach. It was
              originally built to house a captive dovah. A fine place to trap
              one of Alduin's allies, hmm?

Dragonborn: The Jarl of Whiterun might not think so.

Paarthurnax: Hmm, yes. But your su'um is strong. I do not doubt that you can
             convince him of the need.

             Dragonsreach was built to hold a dragon?
              Yes. This was ages ago, you understand. There were more of us
              then. Before the bruniikke -- the Akaviri -- came and killed all
              my zeymah. I used to visit him from time to time. Nearly crazed
              by loneliness and captivity. Tiiraz sivaas. He did not even
              remember his own name. I do not know how he came to be caught.
              But the bronjun...the Jarl...was very proud of his pet. Paak!
              The hofkahsejun has been known as Dragonsreach ever since.

             You're the Master of the Greybeards. Do others come here to train?
              I have taught the Way of the Voice for centuries and the Thu'um
              since long before that. But no, Dovahkiin. Others do not come
              here to train anymore. Saraan. You are the first in over a
              hundred years. I meditate on the Rotmulaag -- the Words of Power.
              I counsel in their use. It is enough for me.

              You meditate on the words? How?
               Knowing a Word of Power is to take its meaning into yourself.
               Contemplate the meaning of a Rotmulaag. You will become closer
               to that Word, as it fills your inner self. Will I teach you,
               Dovahkiin? What Word calls you to deeper understanding? There
               are three to master: Fus, Feim, and Yol.

                It is called "Force" in your tongue. But as you push the world,
                so does the world push back. Think of the way force may be
                applied effortlessly. Imagine but a whisper pushing aside all
                in its path. That is "Fus." Let its meaning fill you. Su'um
                ahrk morah. You will push the world harder than it pushes back.

                "Fade" in your tongue. Mortals have greater affinity for this
                word than the dov. Everything mortal fades away in time, but
                the spirit remains. Ponder the meaning of spirit. Unslaad zii.
                Where mortal flesh may wither and die, the spirit endures. That
                is "Feim." Let that meaning fill you. Su'um ahrk morah. You
                will find that your spirit will give you more strength.

                In your tongue, the Word simply means "fire." It is change
                given form. Power at its most primal. That is the true meaning
                of "Yol." Suleyk. Power. You have it, as do all dov. But power
                is inert without action and choice. Think of this as the fire
                builds in your su'um, in your breath. Su'um ahrk morah. What
                will you burn? What will you spare?

[If one seeks out Arngeir instead of the other two:]

Arngeir: Alduin...we heard the Dragonrend Shout from here...you defeated him?

Dragonborn: Yes, but he escaped. I need to find out where he went.

Arngeir: The old tales say that he is able to travel into Sovngarde to devour
         the souls of the dead. But they don't say how he does this.

Dragonborn: One of his dragon allies could tell us...

Arngeir: Yes, of course! But how to force a dragon to talk to you... There is
         one possibility. But...no, the Jarl would never agree.

Dragonborn: The Jarl? What are you talking about?

Arngeir: Do you know Dragonsreach? The Jarl of Whiterun's palace? Its name is
         no accident. The palace was originally built to hold a captive dragon.

         But I thought there weren't any dragons until Alduin came back.
          Oh, this was back in the days of Olaf One-Eye, thousands of years
          ago. In those days, dragons could still be found among the remote
          mountain peaks. Before the Blades wiped them all out.

         So if I could lure a dragon into Dragonsreach...
          You might be able to trap him there, exactly. You'd require the
          Jarl's cooperation, of course. That might not be easy to come by.
          You must trust in the rightness of your cause, and the strength of
          your Voice.

[If one speaks to Esbern instead of the other two:]

Esbern: Did you find the Elder Scroll? What happened when you took it back to
        the Throat of the World?

Dragonborn: I defeated Alduin, but he escaped. I need to find him.

Esbern: He must have returned to Sovngarde to feed on the souls of the dead.
        If you don't find him soon, he'll return, stronger than ever!

Dragonborn: I know. That's why I need to find him.

Esbern: Yes, yes. We must think. He must have a means of travelling to and from
        Sovngarde. But no tale tells where that might be.

Dragonborn: His dragon allies must know where this portal is...

Esbern: Very true! Hmmm. I wonder...do you know the Jarl's palace in Whiterun?

        You mean Dragonsreach?
         Yes, exactly! Most people don't know that it was originally built to
         hold a captive dragon -- hence its name.

        What's the Jarl's palace have to do with this?
         Well, you see, the palace -- Dragonsreach -- was originally built to
         hold a captive dragon. Hence its name.

        I thought there weren't any dragons until Alduin came back.
         Oh, this was thousands of years ago, before the Akiviri crusaders
         cleansed Skyrim of dragons. Skyrim's mountains were still infested
         with dragons. One of the early Nord kings caught a dragon and kept it
         in Dragonsreach.

        So if I could lure a dragon into Dragonsreach...
         You could trap him there, exactly. Although...it might be difficult
         to persuade the Jarl to allow you to use his palace as a dragon
         trap... I'm sure you'll manage, though. If you can defeat the
         World-Eater, surely sweet-talking the Jarl of Whiterun isn't beyond

        I'm afraid there's a further problem. A serious one. I've discovered
        who the Greybeards' leader really is.

        You've discovered...what?
         He's a dragon. Not just any dragon, but the right hand of Alduin,
         responsible for many atrocities during the ancient Dragon War.

        Turns out he's a dragon. But he helped me.
         All well and good. But did you know that he was Alduin's chief
         lieutenant in ancient times? Responsible for terrible atrocities?
         It's true that his crimes are long in the past, but justice does not
         count the passage of years.

        The Blades have been hunting him for centuries, but he was protected by
        the Greybeards and then the Emperors. Justice demands that he die for
        his crimes. Until he is dead, I'm afraid my oath as a Blade prevents
        me from offering you aid and comfort.

[After getting info on Whiterun, one seeks out the Jarl.]

Dragonborn: I need your help. I need to trap a dragon in your palace.

Balgruuf: I must have misheard you. I thought you asked me to help you trap a
          dragon in my palace.

          You know I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important. (Persuade)
           Of course. You already saved Whiterun from that dragon. I owe you
           a great deal. But I don't understand. Why let a dragon into the
           heart of my city when we've been working so hard to keep them out?

          You heard right. It's the only way to stop the dragons.
           What you're asking for is insane. Impossible!

           • You want me to let a dragon into the heart of the city, with the
             threat of war on my doorstep?

           • Why would I agree to let a dragon into the heart of my city, after
             working so hard to keep them out?

Dragonborn: The threat is worse than you know. Alduin has returned.

Balgruuf: Alduin? The World-Eater himself? But...how can we fight him? Doesn't
          his return mean it's the end times?

          It's only hopeless if we give up.
           I didn't say anything about giving up.

          I'm Dragonborn. It's my destiny to stop him.
           I don't know about such things, but I heard the Greybeards summon
           you. That's good enough for me. 

          Maybe so, but I plan to go down fighting. What about you?
           Spoken like a true Nord. I'll stand beside you, Dragonborn.

          Now, what's this nonsense about trapping a dragon in my palace?

Dragonborn: It's the only way to find Alduin before it's too late.

Balgruuf: • Then...Whiterun will stand with you, Dragonborn. We will take the
            risk, whether it be in victory or defeat!

          • I want to help you, Dragonborn. And I will. But I need your help
            first. Ulfric and General Tullius are both just waiting for me to
            make a wrong move. Do you think they will sit idle a dragon is
            slaughtering my men and burning my city? No. I can't risk weakening
            the city while we are under the threat of enemy attack. I'm sorry.

[If the civil war has ended:]

Balgruuf: So what's the plan, then? How do you intend to lure a dragon into
          the trap?

Dragonborn: I don't know yet. But I know some people who can probably help.

Balgruuf: Oh...well, I'll leave that to you. I trust you know your business.
          Probably for the best. It will give me time to see if that old trap
          still works -- and break the news to the men.

[If the civil war is ongoing:]

Dragonborn: What if you didn't have to worry about an enemy attack?

Balgruuf: Then I would be glad to help you with your mad dragon-trapping
          scheme. But getting both sides to agree to a truce will be difficult
          at this point. The bitterness has gone too deep. Maybe...hmm...what
          of the Greybeards? They are respected by all Nords. High Hrothgar is
          neutral territory. If the Greybeards are willing to host a peace
          council...then maybe Ulfric and Tullius would have to listen.

Dragonborn: Leave that to me. I'll talk to Arngeir about hosting a peace

Balgruuf: Aye, Dragonborn. Maybe you can stop the dragons -- and this war into
          the bargain.

[If one hasn't learned the Shout needed during "Season Unending," this can
 be gotten from Paarthurnax at the Throat:]

Dragonborn: I need a way to lure a dragon to Dragonsreach. Any ideas?

Paarthurnax: Hmm, yes. I have been pondering on exactly that question. Lingrah
             morah. I have tasted the voices of Alduin's allies on the wind.
             Pogaan nahlaas, vokrii wah jun. There is one who I remember well.
             Odahviing. He is the one to tell us where Alduin has gone.

Dragonborn: So we know his name. How does that help me get him to Dragonsreach?

Paarthurnax: Ah, I forget how little you know of the dov. Our names are always
             made of us three Rotmulaag -- Words of Power. You see --
             Paar-thur-nax -- a Thu'um -- a Shout, yes?

Dragonborn: Why would he come when called?

Paarthurnax: He is not compelled to come, but the dov are prideful by nature.
             Few could resist such a challenge. Especially from you, Dovahkiin.
             But Odahviing, he is...headstrong? Boziik. Rash. Even among the
             dov, he was known for this. He will not resist the challenge of
             your Voice, Dovahkiin. He will come. Now -- hear his name.
             Odahviing. Taste it on the wind. Od-ah-viing. Know it in your
             su'um. Od-ah-viing!

[If "Season Unending" was skipped, one can visit Esbern for help, too:]

Dragonborn: I need a way to lure a dragon to Dragonsreach. Any ideas?

Esbern: Interesting problem. Hmmm. Yes. I've been poring over the records here
        in Sky Haven Temple. An unguessed trove of lost lore...but the
        important thing is that the Blades recorded many of the names of
        dragons they slew. Cross-referencing this with Delphine's map of
        dragon burial sites, and I believe I've identified one of the dragons
        that Alduin has raised up.

Dragonborn: How does that help us?

Esbern: Ah, don't you see? The names of dragons are always three Words of
        Power -- Shouts. By calling the dragon with the Voice, he will hear
        you wherever he might be.

Dragonborn: Why would he come when called?

Esbern: He's not compelled to, but dragons are prideful by nature and loath to
        refuse a challenge. Your Voice in particular is likely to intrigue this
        dragon, after your victory over Alduin. I think it very likely that he
        will be unable to resist investigating your call.

Dragonborn: So what's this dragon's name?

Esbern: Ah, indeed. I'm no master of the Voice like these worthy gentlemen,
        but it is written here in this scroll. Od - Ah - Viing. "Winged Snow
        Hunter," as I read it.

[If the war is ongoing, readers should skip to "Season Unending". If the war
 is over, that quest is skipped entirely. When that quest is done, the rest
 of this quest can continue.]

Dragonborn: Are you ready to spring the trap on the dragon?

Balgruuf: • We'll be ready, don't worry. You do have a plan for actually luring
            a dragon into this trap, don't you?

          • As I promised, my men stand ready. The great chains are oiled. We
            wait on your word.

          Not quite yet.
           Not that it's upon us, I'm rather looking forward to the challenge.
           I'll be famouser than Olaf One-Eye!

          I'm ready. Let's trap a dragon.
           My men know what to do. Make sure you do your part. I'm putting my
           city in your hands.

[Balgruuf, Irileth and the Dragonborn visit the Great Porch, the castle's old
 dragon-housing area.]

Balgruuf: • You do have a plan for luring a dragon here, yeah?
          • Go ahead and call this dragon of yours. We're ready.

          We're ready when you are.

[The player shouts Odahviing's name.]

Guard: Hear that?

[Odahviing dives in, snatching up the guard in the blink of an eye.]

Balgruuf: Over there!

Guard: Shor's bones, here he comes!

Balgruuf: Hold your fire until he's close!

Odahviing: Dovahkiin! Here I am!

Guard: We may not be trying to kill him, but he sure seems to be trying to
       kill us!

Balgruuf: Steady! Steady, now! Keep under cover until it's down!

[Eventually the dragon is weakened, causing him to perch on the Great Porch.
 He creeps closer inside during the fight.]

Odahviing: Ni fas, Dovahkiin!

[The guards hit the chains, trapping the dragon under a massive weighted yoke.]

Balgruuf: Got him!

Odahviing: Nid!

Guard: I think it's holding!

Odahviing: Horvutah med kodnaav. Caught like a bear in a trap... Zok frini
           grind ko grah drun viiki, Dovahkiin. Ah. I forget. You do not have
           the dovah speech. My...eagerness to meet you in battle was my...
           undoing. Dovahkiin. I salute your, hmm...low cunning in devising
           such a grahmindol -- strategem. Zu'u bonaar. You went to a great
           deal of trouble to put me in this...humiliating position. Hind siiv
           Alduin, hmm? No doubt you want to know where to find Alduin?

Dragonborn: That's right. Where is he hiding?

Odahviing: Rinik vazah. An apt phrase. Alduin bovul. One reason I came to your
           call was to test your Thu'um for myself. Many of us have begun to
           question Alduin's lordship, whether his Thu'um is truly the
           strongest. Among ourselves, of course. Mu ni meyye. None were yet
           ready to openly defy him.

Dragonborn: You were telling me where to find Alduin?

Odahviing: Unslaad krosis. Innumerable pardons. I digress. He has travelled to
           Sovngarde to regain his strength, devouring the sillesejoor...the
           souls of the mortal dead. A privilege he jealously guards... His
           door to Sovngarde is at Skuldafn, one of his ancient fanes high in
           the eastern mountains. Mindoraan, pah ok middovahhe lahvraan til. I
           surely do not need to warn you that all his remaining strength is
           marshalled there. Zu'u lost ofan hin laan...now that I have answered
           your question, you will allow me to go free?

           Do you promise to serve me?
            Aam? Serve you? ...no. Ni tiid. If and when you defeat Alduin, I
            will reconsider.

           Not until Alduin is defeated.
            Ah. Well. Hmm...krosis. There is one...detail about Skuldafn I
            neglected to mention.

Dragonborn: Tell me what you know, then.

Odahviing: Only this. You have the Thu'um of a dovah, but without the wings of
           one, you will never set foot in Skuldafn. Of course...I could fly
           you there. But not while imprisoned like this.

           We seem to be at an impasse, then.
            Indeed. Orin brit ro. I cannot leave here until you defeat Alduin,
            which you cannot do without my help.

           Do you expect me to take your word for that?
            Ahraan. You wound me, Dovahkiin. I may not tell the whole truth,
            but I am no liar. Go and see for yourself. Zu'u ni bo nol het. I
            will be here...unless Alduin returns before you do.

           Fine. I'll set you free if you promise to take me to Skuldafn.
            Onikraan koraav gein miraad. It is wise to recognize when you only
            have one choice. And you can trust me. Zu'u ni tahrodiis. Alduin
            has proven himself unworthy to rule. I go my own way now. Free me,
            and I will carry you to Skuldafn.

[Farengar walks over after the conversation.]

Farengar: Incredible! Uh...sir, you have no idea how long I have waited for
          such an opportunity! I would be most appreciative if you would permit
          me to perform some, ah, tests on you. Purely in the interests of the
          advancement of knowledge.

Odahviing: Begone, mage. Do not test my promise to the Dovahkiin.

Farengar: I assure you, you will not even notice me. Most of them are hardly
          painful at all on a large dragon such as yourself.

Irileth: Farengar, very bad idea. Even for you.

Farengar: Surely you wouldn't miss a fe scales...or a small amount of blood...

Odahviing: Joor mey! What are you doing back there? Yol...Toor...Shul!

[He breathes firing, causing Farengar to scamper off.]

15) SEASON UNENDING                                         [OPTIONAL]   [MQ15]
[If the Civil War is still ongoing, one will have to speak to Arngeir about a
 peace summit.]

Arngeir: Alduin...we heard the Dragonrend Shout from here...you defeated him?

Dragonborn: Yes, but he escaped. I need to find his portal to Sovngarde.

Arngeir: I feared as much. I thought it was him we saw flying east after your

Dragonborn: I need your help. I need to capture a dragon.

Arngeir: We are not warriors. What is overlooked in the Dragonborn is not
         permitted to any other followers or the Way of the Voice.

Dragonborn: I'll worry about capturing a dragon. I need your help to stop the

Arngeir: You misunderstand our authority. The Greybeards have never involved
         themselves in political affairs.

Dragonborn: Jarl Balgruuf won't help me while the war rages.

Arngeir: I see. The dragon will lead you to Alduin, but without the Jarl's

Dragonborn: Both sides respect the Greybeards. They will listen.

Arngeir: Paarthurnax has made the decision to help you. This is the road we
         have to walk. Even the Greybeards must bend to the winds of change,
         it seems. So be it. Tell Ulfric and General Tullius that the
         Greybeards wish to speak to them. We will see if they still remember

[One can pick his mind about other options.]

Dragonborn: Are you ready to host the peace council?

Arngeir: Deliver the message to the warring parties. If they will listen, I
         will do what I can to bring them to terms.

Dragonborn: The Blades want me to kill Paarthurnax.

Arngeir: Now you see why I warned you against them! Bloodthirsty barbarians!

Dragonborn: Is it true what they said? Was he Alduin's ally?

Arngeir: Yes. But understand -- during the days of Alduin's rule, all dragons
         were his allies. There was nothing else they could be. If not for
         Paarthurnax, Alduin could not have been overthrown. It was he who
         first taught men to use the Thu'um.

         He still needs to pay for his crimes.
          The same could be said for any of us, could it not? Are you so
          guiltless as to stand in judgment upon Paarthurnax? Listen to your
          inner Voice before acting. Do not allow the Blades to bully you into
          doing something you will later regret. After all, repentance is
          something you deny to Paarthurnax by meting out your so-called

         I haven't decided what to do yet.
          You're learning, Dragonborn. Doing nothing can be the wisest choice,
          although strangely often the most difficult. I trust that you will
          make the right choice, in the end. Listen to the Voice that Kynareth
          has placed within you, and your path will become clear.

         Don't worry, I'm not going to kill Paarthurnax.
          Kynareth has placed the Voice of wisdom within you, Dragonborn. All
          you need do is learn to listen to it, and your path will be clear.

Dragonborn: Where has Alduin gone?

Arngeir: The old tales say that he can travel into Sovngarde to devour the
         souls of the dead. You must find out how he does this, before he
         regains his strength and returns.

[One visits Castle Dour in Solitude, the Imperial Legion's seat of power.]

Dragonborn: I have a message from the Greybeards.

Tullius: The Greybeards? What do those old hermits want with me?

Dragonborn: They're convening a peace council at High Hrothgar.

Tullius: There's nothing to discuss as long as that traitor Ulfric is in arms
         against his rightful Emperor.

Dragonborn: We need a truce until the dragon menace is dealt with.

Tullius: They are getting to be a problem. But I wasn't sent to Skyrim to fight
         dragons. My job is to quell this rebellion, and I intend to do just
         that, dragons or no dragons.

         The dragons are a bigger problem than the Stormcloaks right now.
         (Persuade) |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
          • You may have a point. It's getting difficult to even move troops
            around without attracting a dragon attack. By all accounts the
            Stormcloaks are suffering just as badly. Even Ulfric might see
            the sense of a truce under these conditions.

          • I'll be the judge of that. Besides, by all reports the Stormcloaks
            are suffering just as much a we are from these dragon attacks.

         The best time to negotiate is from a position of strength.
          Fair enough. We're driving the Stormcloaks back well enough at the
          moment, but we're already overstretched. That's what comes from
          trying to win a war with bare handful of legions. If the Emperor
          would just give me the reinforcements I've requested!

          Why won't the Emperor send more reinforcements?
           Most of the Legion is tied down on the border with the Aldmeri
           Dominion. The Emperor can't afford to risk weakening Cyrodiil's
           defenses. From the Imperial City, our war here is just a sideshow.
           An interlude before the main event against the Thalmor resumes.

         The Empire can't afford to snub the Greybeards.
          Hmm. You may have a point. I'm always surprised by how seriously the
          Nords take these things.

Dragonborn: You'll come to the peace council, then?

Tullius: Yes. Yes, fine, I'll come to this Greybeard council. For all the good
         it will do.

[The player visits Ulfric's Palace of the Kings in Windhelm.]

Dragonborn: I have a message from the Greybeards.

Ulfric: It's about time they turned their gaze from the heavens, back to our
        bleeding homeland. What do they want?

Dragonborn: They want to negotiate a truce until the dragon menace is dealt

Ulfric: I have the greatest respect for the Greybeards, of course. And the
        dragon attacks are a growing plague. But the political situation is
        still delicate. Not all the Jarls are fully committed to supporting me
        as High King. I can't afford to appear weak. I can't agree to this
        unless Tullius himself will be there.

        Politics be damned! Alduin has returned! (Persuade)
         • Alduin? The World-Eater of song and legend? If that's true...well,
           it changes the situation doesn't it? Even Tullius may be forced to
           talk sense in the face of such a threat.
        General Tullius has already agreed to attend.
         Good. We still hold half of Skyrim despite everything the Empire could
         throw at us. I doubt the Empire has the stomach for much more

Dragonborn: So you'll come to the peace council?

Ulfric: Yes. I'll give Tullius one more chance to quit Skyrim with his tail
        between his legs.

[With the two players collected, one returns to Arngeir in the main hall.]

Arngeir: So, you've done it. The men of violence are gathered here, in these
         halls whose very stones are dedicated to peace. I should not have
         agreed to host this council. The Greybeards have no business involving
         ourselves in such matters.

         Don't worry. I'll get them to agree to peace.
          Peace? I doubt it. They may put their weapons down for a moment, but
          only to gather strength for the next bloodletting. They are not yet
          tired of war. Far from it. Do you know the ancient Nord word for war?
          "Season unending"...so it has proved.

         This was the only way to get Balgruuf's help.
          Yes, yes. Which is why I allowed this...violation of all our

         But regrets are pointless. Here we are. Take your seat at the council
         table and let us see what wisdom we can find among these warriors of

[In the adjacent chamber, Skyrim's big shots are gathered: Tullius and Rikke,
 Ulfric and Galmar, Jarls Balgruuf and Elisif, and finally, Elenwen. Delphine,
 Esbern and the Greybeards enter soon after. One can speak to them before the
 summit begins:]

Elenwen: And so we meet again. But this time I know who and what you really

Elenwen: I'll give you credit for boldness. But associating yourself with the
         Blades is a choice you will come to regret.

Elenwen: I'm here to ensure General Tullius does not exceed his authority.

Elenwen: We should get started.

Balgruuf: If you can arrange an end to the fighting, Dragonsreach is at your

Balgruuf: We should get started.

Tullius: Is everyone here? Let's get this started.

Elisif: I'm here because it's requested of me. But there's nothing to be gained
        by talking to that murderer.

Elisif: I understand this council was your idea, Dragonborn. I'm afraid I don't
        hold out much hope for success.

Rikke: I'm glad I finally got a chance to see this place.

Galmar: When has any good ever come from talking to the Empire?

Galmar: I don't know how you convinced Ulfric to talk to the Empire. Worse than
        a waste of time, if you ask me.

Ulfric: I never thought I'd willingly stand in the same room with Tullius
        again. At least not without a weapon in my hand.

Ulfric: It's good to be back at High Hrothgar after all these years.

Ulfric: I'd just as soon get this over with.

Delphine: We should get started. Alduin is only getting stronger.

Delphine: What are we waiting for?

Esbern: We must succeed here today.

Esbern: We must make them see their danger, Dragonborn.

[Eventually, Arngeir calls for everyone's attention.]

Arngeir: Now that everyone is here, please take your seats so we can begin. I
         hope that we have all come here in the spirit of...

Ulfric: No. You insult us by bringing her to this negotiation? Your chief

Rikke: That didn't take long.

Galmar: Hear, hear!

Elenwen: I have every right to be at this negotiation. I need to ensure that
         nothing is agreed to here that violates the terms of the White-Gold

Tullius: She's part of the Imperial deligation. You can't dictate who I bring
         to this council.

Arngeir: Please. If we have to negotiate the terms of the negotiation, we will
         never get anywhere. Perhaps this would be a good time to get the
         Dragonborn's input on this matter.

Ulfric: By Ysmir's beard, the nerve of those Imperial bastards, eh? To think
        that I would sit down at the same table with that...Thalmor bitch.
        Either she walks or I do.

        You're right. The Thalmor have no business here.
         I'm glad we agree on this.

        What's the harm? Besides, Tullius doesn't really want her here either.
         Maybe so, but bringing her here is a deliberate provocation. Tullius
         needs to know I won't be pushed around.

         I agree. This will set the tone for the whole negotiation. Elenwen
         should go. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
          Well said.

         Let Tullius have his way on this. He'll have to give ground later.
          Hmm. It feels like a mistake to me, but I'll bow to your judgment on

[If Elenwen gets to stay:]

Ulfric: But she is to observe, nothing more. We are not negotiating with her,
        is that clear?

Elenwen: Ulfric, why so hostile? After all, it's not the Thalmor that are
         burning your farms and killing your sons.

Rikke: She's supposed to be on our side?

Ulfric: You know exactly...no. Not this time.

[If Elenwen leaves:]

Elenwen: Very well, Ulfric. Enjoy your petty victory. The Thalmor will treat
         with whatever government rules Skyrim. We would not think of
         interfering in your civil war.

Galmar: Ha! Skyrim will never bow to the Thalmor! Unlike your Imperial friends

Rikke: You're lucky I respect the Greybeards' council, Galmar!

Tullius: Legate. We represent the Emperor here.

Rikke: Sorry, sir. It won't happen again.

[After the Elenwen issue is decided:]

Arngeir: Now that that's settled, may we proceed?

Ulfric: I have something to say first.

Rikke: Here we go.

Ulfric: The only reason I agreed to attend this council was to deal with the
        dragon menace. There's nothing else to talk about, unless the Empire
        is finally ready to renounce its unjust claim to rule over the free
        people of Skyrim.

Rikke: I knew he wouldn't be able to resist.

Ulfric: We're here to offer a temporary truce to allow the Dragonborn here to
        deal with the dragons. Nothing more. I consider even talking to the
        Empire a generous gesture.

Tullius: Are you done? Did you just come here to make speeches? Or can we get
         down to business?

Ulfric: Yes, let's get this over with.

Arngeir: Are we ready to proceed? Jarl Ulfric. General Tullius. This council
         is unprecedented. We are gathered here at the Dragonborn's request. I
         ask that you all respect the spirit of High Hrothgar, and do your
         best to begin the process of achieving a lasting peace in Skyrim. Who
         would like to open the negotiations?

Ulfric: Yes, let's get down to it. We want control of Markarth. That's our
        price for agreeing to a truce.

Elisif: So that's why you're here, Ulfric? You dare to insult the Greybeards
        by using this council to advance your own position?

Tullius: Jarl Elisif, I'll handle this.

Elisif: General, this is outrageous! You can't be taking this demand seriously!
        I thought we were here to discuss the truce!

Tullius: Elisif! I said I'd handle it. Ulfric, you can't seriously expect us
         to give up Markarth at the negotiating table. You hope to gain in
         council what you've been unable to take in battle, is that it?

Arngeir: I'm sure Jarl Ulfric does not expect something for nothing.

Rikke: Yes, that'd be entirely out of character.

Arngeir: What would the Empire want in return?

Elisif: Wait. General, you don't intend to just hand over Markarth to that...

Balgruuf: This is how the Empire repays us for our loyalty?

Tullius: Enough! First, let's be clear. This council wasn't my idea. I think
         it's a waste of time. You are a traitor to the Empire, and deserve a
         traitor's death. But I at least will negotiate in good faith. Since
         we're all here at your request, I'd like to hear what you think
         Markarth is worth.

         How about Riften?
          Hmm. The Rift would help secure our communications with Cyrodiil...
          and threaten Ulfric's southern flank... You heard the man, Ulfric.
          We've made you a fair offer. Are you serious about these talks, or
          are you just here to posture?

         Winterhold seems like a fair trade.
          In exchange for Markarth, the source of most of Skyrim's silver?
          Hardly. Riften seems like a better choice to me. Well-fortified,
          easily resupplied across Lake Honrich. Plus all the mead we can

          You asked my opinion. I gave it to you.
           Fair enough. I was hoping you could put aside your loyalties for
           the greater good, but I see you're firmly in Ulfric's camp. Still...
           Winterhold would allow us to directly threaten the rebel supply
           lines out of Windhelm... Better than nothing, I suppose. But Ulfric
           will need to offer a lot more if he wants me to give up Markarth
           without a fight.

          There are advantages to gaining Winterhold. (Persuade)
           • ("Winterhold would allow..." to "...Markarth without a fight.")

           • Not enough to outweigh the loss of Markarth. With the Reach in
             enemy hands, our whole position in Solitude would be threatened.

          You're right. Riften is a fair trade for Markarth.
           I'm glad you agree. I was starting to wonder whose side you were
           on here.

[If one traded Winterhold:]

Ulfric: The Dragonborn has spoken, Tullius. Markarth will be ours. Now we'll
        see if there's anything behind your talk of good faith.

Tullius: • I don't blame you, Dragonborn. You made the best of a bad
           situation. But I can see now that this is not a negotiation at all.

         • You disappoint me, Dragonborn. I accepted your invitation on trust
           in your good name. But it seems you intend to favor Ulfric. I can
           see now that this is not a negotiation at all. 

         I know you, Ulfric. If I hand over Markarth, you'll be ready with a
         new demand. You'll never defeat the Empire, and you know it. But
         you're willing to sacrifice thousands for your own selfish ambition.
         Soon enough I'll have you back under the headsman's axe, and this time
         there won't be any dragon to save you.

Ulfric: As always, the Empire's fine words are worth nothing!

[If one traded Riften:]

Ulfric: I expected better from you, Dragonborn. I came here in good faith, and
        now it seems you help the Empire at every turn. As for you General
        Tullius, I see now that Galmar was right. Talking to the Empire is
        just as useless as ever. If you think you can hold Markarth, you're as
        deluded as your Emperor when he signed away our freedom to the Thalmor.
        Skyrim will never again bow to your false Empire! Let's go, Galmar. I
        should have listened to you in the first place.

Tullius: You always were a fool, Ulfric. You're no better at diplomacy than you
         are on the battlefield.

[Esbern will always interrupt the ongoing argument.]

Esbern: Stop! Are you so blind to our danger that you can't see past your petty
        disagreements? Here you sit arguing about...nothing! While the fate of
        the land hangs in the balance!

Ulfric: Is he with you, Delphine? If so, I advise you to tell him to watch his

Delphine: He is with me. And I advise you both to listen to what he has to say,
          before you do anything rash.

Esbern: Don't you understand the danger? Don't you understand what the return
        of the dragons means? Alduin has returned! The World-Eater! Even now,
        he devours the souls of your fallen comrades! He grows more powerful
        with every soldier slain in your pointless war! Can you not put aside
        your hatred for even one moment in the face of this mortal danger?

[If Elenwen is present, a missable segment plays where she's rebuffed:]

Elenwen: A very pretty speech, but what does this have to do with...

         • Ulfric: Shut up. 
         • Tullius: That's enough out of you.

[Tullius may chime in here:]

Tullius: I don't know about the end of the world, but this dragon situation
         has gotten out of hand. If this truce will help the Dragonborn put an
         end to that menace, we both gain. Remember that, Ulfric. Now, back to
         the matter at hand...

[If Tullius doesn't chime in, Ulfric does instead:]

Ulfric: If he's right about Alduin...we both have just as much to lose here,
        Tullius, remember that. Now, back to the matter at hand.

[If negotiations favor the Stormcloaks, Tullius will comment now:]

Tullius: You know as well as I do we can't hand over Markarth on these terms.

Galmar: Shor's bones, where will these demands end?

Ulfric: Out with it, then.

Tullius: We want compensation for the massacre at Karthwasten.

Rikke: You slaughtered the very people you claimed to be fighting for! True
       sons of Skyrim would never do such things.

Galmar: Damned Imperial lies! My men would never stoop to such methods, even
        in retaliation for your butchery at...

Ulfric: This is our homeland, Tullius. All the blood spilled in this war is on
        your head.

Tullius: So, Dragonborn. What do you say?

         Ulfric should compensate you for Karthwasten.
          Well said. For once, you'll actually pay for your crimes.

         Who's to say what happened at Karthwasten?
          I should have known better than to expect you to give us a fair
          hearing. Once again, the Empire takes the blame for the crimes of

[If the Dragonborn decides, but the terms still aren't fair:]

Tullius: You know I can't agree to these terms. The Emperor would repudiate
         this treaty and I would be recalled.

Galmar: • You see what talking to them gets us?
        • Damn Imperial arrogance!

Ulfric: Let's hear it.

[If Tullius doesn't get his sought-after compensation:]

Tullius: We want the Pale returned to Imperial control. The traitor Skald the
         Elder will be replaced with a more loyal candidate.

Ulfric: What next, Tullius? Shall I just hand over all of Skyrim?

Tullius: I guess I have no choice but to let the Dragonborn decide. Although
         I'm starting to doubt your fairness. So, Dragonborn. What do you say?

         I agree. Ulfric should turn over the Pale.
          I knew I could count on you.

         Ulfric doesn't need to give up any more territory.
          As I expected, you favor your friends.

[If negotiations favor the Imperials, Ulfric will comment now:]

Ulfric: Don't hand me a mug of sheep's piss and call it mead. These terms are
        still not acceptable.

Tullius: I'm sure you have something in mind.

Galmar: Damn right we do.

Ulfric: You surrend Hjaalmarch to us, and take Idgrod Ravencrone with you.
        Sorli the Builder will take over as Jarl of Morthal.

Tullius: Where do these demands stop, Ulfric? Do you expect me to surrender all
         of Skyrim?

Ulfric: It seems I have no choice but to let the Dragonborn decide. Although
        I'm starting to doubt your fairness. What say you, Dragonborn?

        I agree. The Empire should hand over Hjaalmarch.
         Spoken like a true son of Skyrim!

        The Empire doesn't need to give up any more territory.
         Even the Dragonborn betrays Skyrim.


Ulfric: These terms are not acceptable. You know that.

Tullius: I'm listening.

Galmar: Don't play dumb, Tullius!

Ulfric: Bah! This is a waste of time. I can see that we won't get better terms
        from this council. So bet it. The sons of Skyrim at least put the
        greater good above our own interests.


Tullius: Don't hand me a mug of sheep's piss and call it Colovian brandy. These
         terms are still not acceptable.

Ulfric: I'm listening.

Tullius: Never mind. I can see that these are the best terms we'll get from
         this council. So be it. The Empire at least puts the greater good
         above our own interests.


Ulfric: I suppose that's the fairest deal we're likely to get.


[Arngeir will say applicable bullet points next:]

Arngeir: It seems we may have an agreement. Jarl Ulfric... General Tullius...
         These are the terms currently on the table.

         • Markarth will be handed over to Ulfric's forces. Jarl Igmund will
           step down, and Thongvor Silver-Blood will become the Jarl of

         • Ulfric will allow Imperial troops to enter Winterhold. Korir will
           replace Kraldar as Jarl.

         • The Stormcloaks will withdraw from the rift, allowing Imperial
           troops unhindered access. Jarl Laila Law-Giver will step down, and
           Maven Black-Briar will become the Jarl of Riften.

         • The Stormcloaks will pay appropriate compensation for the massacre
           at Karthwasten.

         • Hjaalmarch will be turned over to Ulfric, with Sori the Builder
           assuming the Jarlship.

         • The Pale will be turned over to the Empire. Brina Merilis will
           assume the Jarlship in Dawnstar.

         You both agree to this?

Ulfric: • The sons of Skyrim will live up to their agreements. As long as the
          Imperials hold to theirs. What about you, Elisif? Are these terms to
          your liking? Speak up. I'm sure General Tullius is waiting to do your

        • I shouldn't agree to terms that so blatantly favor the Empire. I
          have no choice, though, under the circumstances. But once Alduin is
          defeated, then it will be the Empire's turn. Remember "Evgir
          Unslaad." You should be pleased, Elisif. You've done so well for
          yourself as the Empire's pet Jarl. But beware -- the Empire's loyalty
          is fickle. They will tire of this war, and then I will be the one
          dictating terms to you.

Elisif: I have nothing to say to that murderer. General, you've proven yourself
        a good friend to Skyrim. I continue to trust that you will do your
        utmost to safeguard our interests.

Tullius: Thank you, Jarl Elisif. I appreciate your loyalty.

         • The Empire can live with these terms, yes. For a temporary truce,
           until the dragon menace is dealt with.

         • These terms blatantly favor the rebels. Everyone here knows that.
           But the Empire will accept them, until the dragon menace is dealt

         After that, Ulfric...there will be a reckoning. Count on it.

[No matter the negotiations, Ulfric and Galmar start leaving at this point.]

Ulfric: Come on, Galmar. We've have a lot of work to do.

Balgruuf: Giving up Markarth is a heavy price for this truce, Dragonborn. I
          hope it was worth it.

Arngeir: Jarl Balgruuf, I assume you are familiar with the Dragonborn's plan?

Balgruuf: Yes, I'm ready to do my part. Just say the word, and my men will
          help you spring this trap.

Arngeir: But the difficulty remains -- how to lure a dragon to Dragonsreach at

Tullius: Well, that's an excellent question. You haven't overlooked that little
         detail, did you?

Esbern: Ah. I believe I can be of help here. I anticipated this problem. While
        you were arranging this meeting, I was busy in the library of Sky
        Haven Temple. An unguessed trove of lost lore...but the important thing
        is that the Blades recorded many of the names of dragons they slew.
        Cross-referencing this with Delphine's map of dragon burial sites, and
        I believe I've identified one of the dragons that Alduin has raised up.

Dragonborn: How does that help us?

Esbern: Ah, don't you see? The names of dragons are always three Words of
        Power -- Shouts. By calling the dragon with the Voice, he will hear
        you wherever he might be.

Dragonborn: Why would he come when called?

Esbern: He's not compelled to, but dragons are prideful by nature and loath to
        refuse a challenge. Your Voice in particular is likely to intrigue this
        dragon, after your victory over Alduin. I think it very likely that he
        will be unable to resist investigating your call.

Dragonborn: So what's this dragon's name?

Esbern: Ah, indeed. I'm no master of the Voice like these worthy gentlemen,
        but it is written here in this scroll. Od - Ah - Viing. "Winged Snow
        Hunter," as I read it.

[With the knowledge in hand, everyone at the table gets ready to leave. They
 say lines based off how the council went. I'll inclue Galmar and Ulfric's
 lines as well, although they left earlier.]

Arngeir: You did well here today. I don't think the truce will last long, but
         that will not be on your account.

Rikke: I hope this truce gives you what you need. It won't last.

Rikke: I'd give a week's pay to see the look on Ulfric's face again, when he
       had to swallow the terms of the truce.

Elisif: I don't know why you gave Ulfric so much. That murderer will never rule

Elisif: I'm glad you were able to negotiate a truce, but I still don't trust
        Ulfric. He'll break his word as soon as it suits him.

Tullius: You'd better be able to deliver, Dragonborn. I sacrified a lot here

Tullius: That could have gone worse. Now it's up to you to deliver.

Elenwen: These terms are satisfactory to my government. The truce is unlikely
         to last long in any case.

Balgruuf: As soon as I get back to Whiterun, I'll get my men ready.

Ulfric: I sacrificed a lot here today for this plan of yours.

Ulfric: We're counting on you to make this all worthwhile.

Galmar: I don't much like this truce. Feels like a betrayal to me.

Galmar: The look on Tullius's face while the Greybeard read the terms was worth
        the trip.

16) PAARTHURNAX                                             [OPTIONAL]   [MQ16]
[This quest begins after the Blades request one slay Paarthurnax, either at
 Sky Haven Temple or at the "Season Unending" peace summit. One must visit the
 dragon to discuss it.]

Dragonborn: The Blades say you have to die.

Paarthurnax: The Blades are wise not to trust me. Onikaan ni ov. I would not
             trust another dovah.

Dragonborn: Why shouldn't they trust you?

Paarthurnax: Dov wahlaan fah rel. We were made to dominate. The will to power
             is in our blood. You feel it in yourself, do you not? I can be
             trusted. I know this. But they do not. Onikaan ni ov dovah. It is
             always wise to mistrust a dovah. I have overcome my nature only
             through meditation and long study of the Way of the Voice. No day
             goes by where I am not tempted to return to my inborn nature. Zin
             krif horvut se suleyk. What is better -- to be born good, or to
             overcome your evil nature through great effort? 

[If one kills Parthy, it's time to tell Delphine the news.]

Dragonborn: It's done. Paarthurnax is dead.

Delphine: I knew we could count on you! Glad to have you back on our side.

[If one tries talking to Arngeir after the slaying of the Greybeards' leader:]

Arngeir: This is how you repay our trust? Paarthurnax's trust? His noble
         spirit...the wisdom of ages...his deep understanding of our
         existence...all gone, and for what? A mindless vendetta urged on you
         by a cabal of Akaviri barbarians! Begone, before even my philosophy
         is tested beyond the breaking point. We are men of peace, and you are

Arngeir: We have nothing to say to each other. Paarthurnax's murder is beyond
         my powers of forgiveness.

17) THE WORLD-EATER'S EYRIE                                              [MQ17]
[After capturing Odahviing and discussing terms with him, one can free him by
 talking to the yoke's guard.]

Dragonborn: Open the trap.

Guard: You sure about that? You want to let that dragon loose after all the
       trouble to catch it there?

       Yes, I'm sure.
        Your funeral. Someone else is going to have to help you get him back
        in there again.

       Hold on. Not yet.
        Hey, when you make up your mind, let me know. I'll be here.

[One decides to invade Skuldafn.]

Guard: Get ready to open the trap! This seems like a really bad idea to me.

Balgruuf: Carry on, soldier. This is all part of the Dragonborn's plan.

[They release the yoke, stirring the dragon.]

Irileth: By all the gods...

Odahviing: Faas nu, zint dein ruthi ahst vaal.

[They walk to the open-air perch.]

Odahviing: Saraan uth -- I await your command, as promised. Are you ready to
           see the world as only a dovah can?

           I'm ready. Take me to Skuldafn.
            Zok brit uth! I warn you, once you've flown the skies of Keizaal,
            your envy of the dov will only increase. Amativ! Mu bo kotin

           Hold on. I'm not quite ready.
            Kreh zini! The freedom of the sky beckons! Yet I stay here, nau
            gol, as promised.

[The player flies off on Odahviing's back.]

Irileth: You are either the bravest person I've ever met, or the biggest fool.

Balgruff: May Kynareth guard you while you pass through her realm!

[One finally reaches Skuldafn, the mountaintop stronghold normally inaccessible
 to on-foot travel.]

Odahviing: This is far as I can take you. Krif voth ahkrin. I will look for
           your return, or Alduin's.

[He flies off, letting the player fight the draugr and minor dragons who wait
 for the player down the fane.]

Dragons: Skuldafn fen kos dinok.

[After traversing Skuldafn Temple, one kills the dragon priest guarding the
 Sovngarde portal. One jumps in...]

18) SOVNGARDE                                                            [MQ18]
[Stepping into Sovngarde, one sees just what it looks like: like Skyrim's
 frosty mountains at nightfall. There's mist everywhere, and Alduin can be
 seen in the distance. A Stormcloak approaches out of nowhere.]

Stormcloak: Turn back, traveler! Terror awaits within this mist. Many have
            braved the shadowed vale but vain is all courage against the peril
            that guards the way.

            Who are you?
             Near Giants' Gap, in the gloom before dawn, we marched, 
             unsuspecting into the Imperials' trap. Then we stood and fought,
             our shield-wall defending until by dawn's light the Legion's
             ranks wavered. But I never knew if nights-end brought victory --
             a swift-flying arrow to Sovngarde carried me.

            What's this mist?
             I do not know -- but none have passed through. Alduin, his hunger
             insatiable, hunts the lost souls snared within this shadowed
             valley. Can you lead the way to where Shor's hall waits, beckoning
             us on to welcome long sought?

             Yes, it's at the far end of the valley from here.
              (skip to "I saw it fair...")

             Shor's hall? What's that?
              Don't you know? What drew you here? Surely your dreams showed
              you the way? The Hall of Valor, where heroes wait to follow Shor
              to the final battle.

             I saw it fair when first I trod this long-sought path. The pain
             and fear vanished, dreamlike, and a vision beckoned. Shor's hall,
             shimmering across the clouded vale. But quenched was hope by the
             shrouding mist -- my mind is darkened. I've lost the way and
             wander blindly. Hurry! Before Alduin your life devours bring word
             to Shor's hall of our hard fate!

             Follow me. I'll lead you through this mist.
              I'll try to hold to your hopeful purpose. Quickly, before this
              encompassing fog once more snares me in the World-Eater's net.

             Don't worry, I'm here to kill Alduin.
              Beware! The World-Eater waits within the mist!

[The player can find random dead/ghost people along the misty path. Some NPCs
 will appear if their circumstances were completed, usually dying during some
 questline. They all talk in heroic prose, for some reason...]

Kodlak: When I woke from cold death, my doom was lifted -- there was Shor's
        Hall, my heart's desire. But now I wander, weary and lost. Alduin
        hunts me as we once hunted our prey -- a bitter payment for many bloody

Torygg: When Ulfric Stormcloak, with savage Shout, sent me here, my sole
        regret was fair Elisif, left forlorn and weeping. I faced him
        fearlessly -- my fate inescapable -- yet, my honor is unstained -- can
        Ulfric say the same?

Ulfric: Skyrim was betrayed, the blood of her sons spilled in doomed struggle
        against fate. And so in death, too late, I learn the truth - fed by
        war, so waxed the power of Alduin, World-Eater -- wisdom now useless.
        By gods' jest in this grim mist together snared, Stormcloak and
        Imperial, we wander hopeless, waiting for succor.

Galmar: Dragonborn, even in death you dog my steps? How come you here? The
        king of this realm will cast you out -- cursed be your name by all
        sons of Skyrim, with scorn unceasing.

Rikke: The bitter war of the world beyond was all for naught. We are all
       trapped in Alduin's web -- for our allegiance he cares not, but devours
       us equally -- doom unescapable. Shor as well -- he welcomes all heroes
       to his kingly hall, if we could but reach it.

[Eventually, one finds Shor's Hall and a massive bridge leading to it, crafted
 from a giant creature's spine. A sentry stands guard.]

Tsun: What brings you here, wayfarer grim, to wonder here, in Sovngarde,
      souls-end, Shor's gift to the honored dead?

      Who are you?
       I am Tsun, shield-thane to Shor. The Whalebone Bridge he bade me guard
       and winnow all the souls whose heroic end sent them here, to Shor's
       lofty hall where welcomed, well-earned, awaits those I judge fit to join
       that fellowship of honor.

      I pursue Alduin, the World-Eater
       A fateful errand. No few have chafed to face the Worm since first he
       set his soul-snare here at Sovngarde's threshold. But Shor's restrained
       our wrathful onslaught -- perhaps, deep-counselled, your doom he

      I seek entrance to the Hall of Valor.
       No shade are you, as usually here passes, but living, you dare the land
       of the dead. By what right do you request entry?

       By the right of birth. I am Dragonborn.
        Ah! It's been too long since last I faced a doom-driven hero of the
        dragon blood.

       By right of glory. I lead the Companions of Jorrvaskr.²
        I welcome the chance to challenge the blade of Ysgramor's heir, honored
        shield-brother to Kodlak Whitemane, whom I've watched for in vain.

       By right of Cleverness. I am Master of the College of Winterhold.²
        Well met, mage of Skyrim. The Nords may have forgotten their
        forefathers' respect for the Clever Craft, but your comrades throng
        this hall. Here in Shor's house we honor it still.

       By right of blood. I Listen for the Night Mother.²
        You trespass here, shadow-walker. Shor does not know you. Perhaps
        before the end you will earn the right to pass this way. Welcome I do
        not offer, but your errand I will not hinder, if my wrath you can

       By right of plunder. I am a Nightingale of Nocturnal.²
        Do not mistake the night-shrouded thief's stealthily-taken spoils,
        stolen and unearned, for a warrior's plunder, won in honorable battle.
        Your doom already binds you to your dark mistress, but your errand I
        will not hinder, if my wrath you can withstand.

Dragonborn: Can I enter the Hall of Valor?

Tsun: Living or dead, by decree of Shor, none may pass this perilous bridge
      'til I judge them worthy by the warrior's test.

[The player beats Tsun in battle.]

Tsun: You fought well. I find you worthy. It is long since one of the living
      has entered here. May Shor's favor follow you and your errand.

[One crosses the massive bridge into the Hall of Valor, where Nord heroes of
 old yet revel in their glories. A man gets up and approaches at the player's

Ysgramor: Welcome, Dragonborn! Our door has stood empty since Alduin first set
          his soul-snare here. By Shor's command we sheathed our blades and
          ventured not the vale's dark mist. But three await your word to
          loose their fury upon the perilous foe. Gormlaith the fearless,
          glad-hearted in battle; Hakon the valiant, heavy-handed warrior;
          Felldir the Old, far-seeing and grim.

[One goes over to the three battle-ready Nords.]

Gormlaith: At long last! Alduin's doom is now ours to seal -- just speak the
           word and with high hearts we'll hasten forth to smite the worm
           wherever he lurks.

Felldir: Hold, comrades -- let us counsel take before battle is blindly joined.
         Alduin's mist is more than a snare -- its shadowy gloom is his shield
         and cloak. But with four Voices joined, our valor combined, we can
         blast the mist and bring him to battle.

Hakon: Felldir speaks wisdom -- the World-Eater, coward, fears you, Dragonborn.
       We must drive away his mist, Shouting together, and then unsheathe our
       blades in desperate battle with our black-winged foe.

Gormlaith: To battle, my friends! The fields will echo with the clamor of war,
           our wills undaunted.

[The Dragonborn and his three comrades rush outside.]

19) DRAGONSLAYER                                                         [MQ19]
[With the ancient Nord heroes at his back, one crosses the bone bridge.]

Tsun: The eyes of Shor are upon you this day. Defeat Alduin, and destroy his

Felldir: We cannot fight the foe in this mist!

Gormlaith: Clear Skies -- combine our Shouts!

[The player uses his Clear Skies Shout.]

Nord Heroes: Lok...Vah...Koor!

Alduin: Ven Mul Riik!

Gormlaith: Again!

Nord Heroes: Lok...Vah...Koor!

Alduin: Ven Mul Riik!

[Alduin's Shouting returns the mist, again.]

Hakon: Does his strength have no end? Is our struggle in vain?

Gormlaith: Stand fast! His strength is failing! Once more, and his might will
           be broken!

Felldir: One more time, and the World-Eater must face us!

[The player Shouts a third time.]

Nord Heroes: Lok...Vah...Koor!

[This time, the mist dissipates completely. Alduin finally flies into range.]

Felldir: Stand together and we shall defeat him!

Gormlaith: No escape this time, foul worm!

Hakon: Stand fast! The fell worm's death is ours at last, the light returns!

Alduin: Nust wo ni qilaan fen kos duuan.

Gormlaith: For Skyrim! For Shor! For Sovngarde's freedom!

Hakon: Nowhere to hide! Hunter becomes our prey!

Alduin: You are persistent, Dovahkiin. Pruzeh ol aar. A fine slave you would
        have made.

[The player Dragonrends Alduin, and with the other Nords, finally slay Alduin.]

Alduin: Zu'u unslaad! zu'u nis oblaan!

[Alduin's flesh explodes off, and his vile soul evaporates, finally ending hi
 tyrannical reign.]

Tsun: This was a mighty deed! The doom of Alduin encompassed at last, and
      cleansed is Sovngarde of his evil snare. They will sing of this battle
      in Shor's hall forever. But your fate lies elsewhere. When you have
      completed your count of days, I may welcome you again, with glad
      friendship and bid you join the blessed feasting.

Gormlaith: All hail the Dragonborn! Hail him with great praise!

[The player can talk to them before leaving. Souls that were once lost in the
 mist are now approaching.]

Hakon: I'll look for you, friend, when at last you return to Shor's hall. The
       honor will be ours when you rejoin the ranks of Sovngarde.

Felldir: Our ancient debt for Alduin's reprieve is now repaid -- the long night
         is ended!

Gormlaith: Even here, where heroes throng, few can match this mighty deed.
           What glory! The gods themselves must envy us this well-earned honor!

Kodlak: I hear your heart beat like the Harbingers of old. Your glories in
        Skyrim are seen and honored.

[When it's time to go, one returns to Tsun.]

Tsun: When you are ready to rejoin the living, just bid me so, and I will send
      you back.

      Not yet.
       Tarry not too long -- the land of the dead is not meant for mortals to

      I'm ready to return to Tamriel.
       Return now to Nirn, with this rich boon from Shor, my lord: a Shout to
       bring a hero from Sovngarde in your hour of need. Nahl...Daal...Vus!

[Tsun's Shout returns the player to the Throat of the World. There, many of
 the dragons have gathered, Paarthurnax among them, if he yet lives. Together,
 they say their peace and start circling the summit, almost like last rites.]

Dragon: Alduin mahlaan

Dragon: Sahrot thur qahnaraan

Dragon: Alduin mahlaan

Dragon: Dovahkiin los ak dovahkriid

Dragon: Alduin mahlaan

Dragon: Thu'umii los nahlot

Dragon: Alduin mahlaan

Dragon: Mu los vamir

Paarthurnax: So, it is done. Alduin dilon. The Eldest is no more, he who came
             before all others, and has always been.

             You don't sound very happy about it.
              Happy? No, I am not happy. Zeymahi lost ont du'ul Bormahu. Alduin
              was once the crown of our father Akatosh's creation. You did what
              was necessary. Alduin had flown far from the path of right action
              in his pahlok -- the arrogance of his power.

             I have no regrets. Alduin had to be destroyed.
              Of course. Alduin wahlaan daanii. I would not have helped you if
              I thought otherwise. You did what was necessary. Alduin had flown
              far from the path of right action in his pahlok -- the arrogance
              of his power.

             Alduin brought this on himself.
              Indeed. Alduin wahlaan daanii. His doom was written when he
              claimed for himself the lordship that properly belongs to 
              Bormahu -- our father Akatosh.

             But I cannot celebrate his fall. Zu'u tiiraaz ahst ok mah. He was
             my brother once. This world will never be the same.

             I was just fulfilling my destiny as Dragonborn.
              Indeed, you saw more clearly than I -- certainly more clearly
              than Alduin. Rok funta koraav. Perhaps you now have some insight
              into the forces that shape the vennesetiid...the currents of
              Time. Perhaps you begin to see the world as a dovah.

             The world is a better place without Alduin.
               • I am glad you believe that. At least it will continue to
                 exist. Grik los lein. Even I cannot see past Time's ending to
                 what comes next. Niid koraav zeim dinoksetiid. We must do the
                 best we can with this world.

              • Perhaps. At least it will continue to exist. Grik los lein.
                And, as you told me once, the next world will have to take
                care of itself. Ful nii los. Even I cannot see past Time's

             But I forget myself. Krosis. So los mid ahdon. Melancholy is an
             easy trap for a dovah to fall into. You have won a mighty victory.
             Sahrot krongrah -- one that will echo through all the ages of this
             world for those who have eyes to see. Savor your triumph,
             Dovahkiin. This is not the last of what you will write upon the
             currents of Time. Goraan! I feel younger than I have in many an

[He goes to fly with his brethren.]

Paarthurnax: Many of the dovahhe are now scattered across Keizaal. Without
             Alduin's lordship, they may yet bow to the vahzen...rightness of
             my Thu'um. But willing or no, they will hear it! Fare thee well,

[Paarthy flies off with the others. Meanwhile, Odahviing lands nearby.]

Odahviing: Pruzah wundunne wah Wuth Gein. I wish the old one luck in his...
           quest. But I doubt many will wish to exchange Alduin's lordship for
           the tyranny of Paarthurnax's "Way of the Voice". As for myself,
           you've proven your mastery twice over. Thuri, Dovahkiin. I gladly
           acknowledge the power of your Thu'um. Zu'u Odahviing. Call me when
           you have need, and I will come if I can.

[This effectively ends the main quest. One can visit some old friends to bring
 news of what happened, though. If one finds the Blades:]

Esbern: Please...Delphine has been very worried about you.

Delphine: We heard the news from Whiterun -- that you left the city on the
          back of a dragon! That's a little...showy, even for you. Since you're
          still alive, I assume you have good news to report?

Dragonborn: Yes, I used Alduin's portal to travel to Sovngarde. He's dead.

Delphine: Gods above...that's better news than I had hoped! When you walked
          into my inn that day, I never imagined where it would all lead...
          dragons out of legend...Sovngarde...

[If one visits Arngeir, and Paarthurnax wasn't killed to piss him off:]

Arngeir: I can see it in your eyes -- you've seen the land of the gods and
         returned. Does this mean...it is done? Is Alduin truly defeated?

         Yes. I went to Sovngarde and killed Alduin there.
          At last. It is over. Perhaps it was all worth it, in the end.

         As dead as I can make him.
          Then it is done at last. Perhaps it was all worth it, in the end.

         I hope so. But I don't know if Alduin can ever be completely
         destroyed. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
          Perhaps, perhaps not. Dragons are not like mortal creatures, and
          Alduin is unique even among dragonkind. He may be permitted to return
          at the end of time to fulfill his destiny as the World-Eater. But
          that is for the gods to decide. You have done your part.

         You've shown yourself mighty, both in Voice and deed. In order to
         defeat Alduin, you've gained mastery of dreadful weapons. Now it is
         up to you to decide what to do with your power and skill. Will you
         be a hero whose name is remembered in song throughout the ages? Or
         will your name be a curse to future generations? Or will your memory
         fade from history, unremembered? Let the Way of the Voice be your
         guide, and the path of wisdom will be clear to you. Breath and focus,
         Dragonborn. Your future lies before you.

_______________________________________________/ MISCELLANEOUS QUESTS [MSCL] |_
COLLEGE OF WINTERHOLD                                                    [CLLG]
 01) First Lessons ..................................................... CW01
 02) Under Saarthal .................................................... CW02
 03) Hitting the Books ................................................. CW03
 04) Good Intentions ................................................... CW04
 05) Revealing the Unseen .............................................. CW05
 06) Containment ....................................................... CW06
 07) The Staff of Magnus ............................................... CW07
 08) The Eye of Magnus ................................................. CW08

[CW01] FIRST LESSONS |=========================================================
[The player, having heard Nords hate magic, goes to the only place in Skyrim
 for study: the College of Winterhold. Faralda, one of the teachers, blocks
 entrance onto a thin bridge, the only route to the learning center.]

Faralda: Cross the bridge at your own peril! The way is dangerous, and the
         gate will not open. You shall not gain entry!

         What is this place?
          Oh, forgive me. Most who arrive here do so because they have heard
          of the College beforehand. This is the College of Winterhold, a safe
          haven for mages in Skyrim. A place of wisdom and arcane knowledge.

         Why are you out here?
          I am here to assist those seeking the wisdom of the College. And if,
          in the process, my presence helps to deter those who might seek to
          do harm, so be it. The more important question is: why are you here?

Dragonborn: May I enter the College?

Faralda: Perhaps. But what is it you expect to find within?

          I want to use the power of fire and ice to destroy any who oppose me.
           I see. That power certainly exists, I assure you. Wield it
           faithfully, and few can withstand you.

          I desire to bend the will of those around me.
           Yes, the school of Illusion can be quite influential. Kings have
           risen to power because of it, and empires have been razed with it.

          I want to unravel the mysteries of Aetherius.
           Ah, the immortal plane. It is said to be the source of all magic.
           This is a noble goal, indeed.
          I just wanted to see what it looks like inside.
           Ha! Humor is often in short supply here. But I sense that perhaps
           you're after more than just that. 

         It would seem that the College has what you seek. The question now is
         what can you offer for the College. Not just anyone is allowed inside.
         Those wishing to enter must show some degree of skill with magic. A
         small test, if you will.

         I think we both know I'll succeed here. (Persuade)
          • You know, I think you're right. I think you'll be a superb addition
            to the College. Welcome, Apprentice.

          • No, I'm afraid I don't know anything of the sort.

         I'll take your test, then.

[If the player completes the test:]

Faralda: Well done, indeed. I think you'll be a superb addition to the College.
         Welcome, Apprentice.

[The player completes the test or sweet-talks Faralda.]

Faralda: I'll lead you across the bridge. Once inside you'll want to speak with
         Mirabelle Ervine, our Master Wizard. Please, follow me.

[One can inquire further.]

Dragonborn: Where do I need to go again?

Faralda: You'll need to speak with Mirabelle Ervine. Her quarters are in the
         Hall of Countenance, but she could be anywhere on the grounds.

Dragonborn: Who is Mirabelle Ervine?

Faralda: She's the Master-Wizard here. Arch-Mage Eren may be in charge, but
         Mirabelle runs the place. You'd do well to remember that.

Dragonborn: I'd like to know more about the College.

Faralda: We are the only group left in Skyrim dedicated to study of the arcane.
         There are those who study, to be sure, but they do so in private, and
         often in secret. 

Dragonborn: Is there any advice you can give about Destruction spells?

Faralda: Certainly. Destruction spells come in different forms, each useful
         for various purposes. Concentration spells can be cast immediately,
         though they're weaker. Good for a tight spot, and less costly if you
         miss. You'll also need to decide whether to devote yourself to a
         single type of spell. Focusing solely on flame spells will make them
         more powerful, but you may find yourself at a disadvantage against
         foes immune to fire.

[The destruction teacher leads one into the College grounds. Mirabelle Ervine
 is talking with a Thalmor agent near the door.]

Mirabelle: I believe I've made myself rather clear.

Ancano: Yes, of course. I'm simply trying to understand the reasoning behind
        the decision.

Mirabelle: You may be used to the Empire bowing to your every whim, but I'm
           afraid you'll find the Thalmor receive no such treatment here. You
           are a guest of the College, here at the pleasure of the Arch-Mage.
           I hope you appreciate the opportunity.

Ancano: Yes, of course. The Arch-Mage has my thanks.

Mirabelle: Very good. Then we're done here.

[The player walks over.]

Mirabelle: Welcome to the College.

Dragonborn: I was told to come see you.

Mirabelle: Another new student...I'm surprised at how many of you there are
           lately. Well, first you'll need these. While you're not required to
           wear them, you may find them more to your liking than your current
           clothes. I'll give you a brief tour, and then we'll get you to your
           first class. Are you ready to begin?

           I'd love to have a look around.
            Wonderful. Please follow me, and don't wander off.

           Sorry, I'm not ready for that just yet.
            I see. Well, please let me know when you are.

[The player takes the grand tour.]

Mirabelle: The College of Winterhold has been a fixture in Skyrim for thousands
           of years. The prominent feature here is the Hall of the Elements.
           It's our primary location for lectures, practice sessions, and
           general meetings. The Arcanaeum is located above the hall, and the
           Arch-Mage's quarters above that. While technically in charge of the
           College, the Arch-Mage's responsibilities often keep him occupied.
           Thus, I run the day-to-day operations. Now, if you'll please follow
           me, I'll show you to the living quarters. Unfortunately, we've had
           to implement more stringent entry procedures, due to some problems
           with the local Nords. We don't anticipate any real violence, but it
           never hurts to be prepared.

           Our newest members are housed here at the Hall of Attainment. I'll
           ask that you please keep your voice down while inside, as others may
           be working on research or...delicate experiments. Now, I'll show you
           to your quarters. You're going to be sharing space with your fellow
           Apprentices, who you'll meet shortly. This is where you'll be
           staying. This bed and desk are yours. Please try and be considerate
           of others. Now, let's go back to the Hall of the Elements, where
           most of the members gather for lectures and study sessions.

           Initially, you'll be learning from Tolfdir, one of our most esteemed
           Wizards. Tolfdir is likely already addressing the new Apprentices.
           Go on in, and if you have any problems, let one of our senior
           members know.

[The player can inquire further about things.]

Dragonborn: What's expected of me here?

Mirabelle: There are no expectations. The College is a place to study and
           practice magic freely. Hopefully any discoveries made in your
           pursuits will be shared with members of the College first. That way
           we all benefit.

Dragonborn: Where can I learn new spells?

Mirabelle: Well, that depends on what you're looking for. Faralda can teach
           Destruction spells, and offers training in that school. Phinis is
           one of the best Conjurers in all Skyrim, and can help with spells
           from that school. Don't let Tolfdir fool you; he's the pre-eminent
           scholar in Alteration. One of the best in Tamriel, and always
           willing to pass on his knowledge. If you can find him and focus his
           attention, there's a great deal Drevis can teach you about Illusion
           magic. And finally, there's Colette. She may be...difficult to get
           along with, but she's very knowledgeable when it comes to
           Restoration magic.

[The player enters the Hall of the Elements and finds Tolfdir with the other
 rookies: Onmund, J'zargo, and Brelyna Maryon.]

Tolfdir: Welcome, welcome! We were just beginning. Please, stay and listen. So,
         as I was saying, the first thing to understand is that magic is, by
         its very nature, volatile and dangerous. Unless you can control it, it
         can and will destroy you.

Brelyna: Sir, I think we all understand that fairly well. We wouldn't be here
         if we couldn't control magic!

Tolfdir: Of course, my dear. Of course. You all possess some inherent magical
         ability. That much is not being questioned. What I'm talking about is
         true control, mastery of magic. It takes years, if not decades, of
         practice and study.

J'zargo: Then what are we waiting for? Let's get started!

Tolfdir: Please, please! This is exactly what I'm talking about. Eagerness must
         be tempered with caution, or else disaster is inevitable.

Onmund: But we've only just arrived here -- you've no idea what any of us are
        capable of. Why not give us a chance to show you what we can do?

Tolfdir: You've been quiet so far. What do you think we should do?

         I'm not really sure what to think.
          Not going to weigh in either way? I admire your restraint, but there
          are times when you must make decisions, even without all the facts.
          Rely on instinct.

          Onmund: We're all pretty new at this, right? Let's just give it a
                  chance. What's the worst that could happen?          

         I think we should learn something practical.
          Is that so?

          Brelyna: See? He agrees with us too! Why don't you actually show us

         Safety should be more important than anything.
          Well, your classmates certainly seem to disagree with you.

          J'zargo: Oh, don't listen to him. We can do it, just give us a

Tolfdir: All right, let's settle down. I suppose we can try something
         practical... In continuing with our theme of safety, we'll start with
         Wards. Wards are protective spells that block magic. I'll teach you
         all a ward, and we'll see if you can successfully use it to block
         spells, all right? Would you mind helping me with the demonstration?
         Are you at all familiar with ward spells?

         I don't know any ward spells.
          That's all right. I can teach you a very basic ward, one that's
          enough for the purposes of this lesson.

         I have a ward spell, but I've never really used it.²
          That's what this lesson is for. Perfect time to try it out.

         I already know it, and already know how to use it.²
          Well, then this should be no problem at all for you.

         Now, if you'll just stand right over there, I'll cast a spell at you,
         and you block it with the ward. Here we go. Over there, please. Just
         opposite me. Wouldn't want anyone else in the way. Now, cast the ward
         spell, and keep it up. You'll have to keep your ward up, or else this
         won't work. I don't want to hurt you. Hold still...

[The player blocks the fireball.]

Tolfdir: Excellent work! Well, I think this is an excellent start. I'd like
         you all to continue practicing with wards, please. I think perhaps
         we're ready to begin exploring some of the various applications of
         magic throughout history. The College has undertaken a fascinating
         excavation in the ruins of Saarthal nearby. It's an excellent learning
         opportunity. I suggest we meet there in a few hours, and see what
         awaits us inside. That's all for now, thank you.

[CW02] UNDER SAARTHAL |========================================================
[The player travels to Saarthan in the west Winterhold mountains. The rest of
 the Apprentices are waiting with Tolfdir.]

Tolfdir: And here we all are. Shall we step inside?

         I'm ready. Let's go.
          All right, please stay close to me while we're inside. It should be
          safe, but it's always better to be cautious.

         What's so important about this place?
          We're particularly interested in the prevalence of magical seals
          placed on the tombs here. It's rather unlike anything we've

         What are we looking for?
          Anything! Anything at all that might be of interest. That's why I
          adore this location...we have no idea what we're going to find. And
          if, along the way, my message about the dangers of magic should
          happen to sink in for a few students, that would be a happy

         I'm not quite ready to go inside yet.
          No? I daresay we don't have all day.

          Sorry, I'm still not ready to go in there.
           Still? If I have to wait much longer, you may need to just bury me

[The students enter the barrow excavation site.]

Tolfdir: As some of you may know, Saarthal was one of the earliest Nord
         settlements in Skyrim. It was also the largest. Sacked by the Elves
         in the infamous "Night of Tears," not much is known about what
         happened to Saarthal. This is an exciting opportunity for us. To be
         able to study such an early civilization, and the magics they used...
         Well, are there any questions before we begin?

         I don't have any more questions. What would you like me to do?
          Ah, yes. Hmm. Well, why don't you see if you can assist Arniel Gane?
          He's one of our scholars, here working on cataloging our finds. I
          expect he'd appreciate some help in locating any additional magical
          artifacts here in the ruins. Any enchanted items will do; the
          usefulness of the enchantment is irrelevant.  If you find anything,
          the class can look it over.

         Now what?
          Well, are there any questions before we begin?

         Now, let's see. What shall we have the rest of you do? Brelyna, my
         dear. Why don't you search for warding magics? Anything designed to
         keep people out. Don't interact with them, just identify them. All
         right, everyone. Onmund, please search that area over there. See if
         you notice any...residual energies. Alive or undead. J'zargo...what
         shall we have you do... Ah! Why don't you verify that we're the first
         ones here? Look for any amount of tampering with the tombs. All right,
         everyone. Let's be careful, but have fun!

Let's be careful, but have fun!

[The others may comment on their journey so far.]

Brelyna: I'm not seeing any signs of warding magics at all. Either they're not
         here, or they were removed long ago.

Brelyna: To think, my ancestors destroyed the homes of Onmund's ancestors. So
         much bloodshed.

J'zargo: J'zargo finds nothing but dust in these ruins.

J'zargo: Do you think there's treasure here? Something to make J'zargo a
         powerful wizard?

Onmund: Can you imagine what it was like, living here so long ago? The first
        men in Tamriel, here...

Onmund: I wonder if everyone else would be so happy to rifle through the bones
        of their ancestors.

Tolfdir: Please be careful here. The site isn't entirely secured.

[The player finds Arniel Gane far below, hunched over a desk.]

Arniel: Don't touch anything!

Dragonborn: Tolfdir told me to help you.

Arniel: What? Ah, yes. You. I remember you. You're going to help? That's fine.
        Just... Just don't make a mess of my work. I've only looked through a
        portion of this section. You, uh, you can look around in the chambers
        just north of here. Try and be careful, all right? We don't want to
        damage anything.

Dragonborn: What did you need me to do?

Arniel: Just round up the rest of the magical artifacts so that I can catalog

[The player goes into the nearby tombs, picking up enchanted accessories that
 have been lying around for centuries. Taking a strange amulet off the wall
 drops a gate, trapping one inside.]

Tolfdir: What in the world was that racket? Is everything all right?

Dragonborn: I'm trapped in here!

Tolfdir: How in the world did that happen?

Dragonborn: I pulled an amulet off the wall.

Tolfdir: Really? Perhaps the amulet is important somehow. Is there some way you
         can use it?

[The player puts it on. A strange red aura leaks from the amulet's niche.]

Tolfdir: Do you see that? Some kind of resonance...you and the wall. It must
         be connected to the amulet! I wonder...what effect might your spells

[Hitting the niche with a spell breaks the wall and lowers the trap.]

Dragonborn: Did you see that?

Tolfdir: Well would you look at that! This appears to lead somewhere. Let's
         see where it goes. Well, this is highly unusual. And very interesting.
         Why in the world would this be sealed off? What is this place? I'm
         not sure what to expect here. Please be on your guard.

[They traverse the secret tunnel. As Tolfdir is giving his cautious speech, a
 strange mage projects himself into view, apparently stopping time around him
 for the duration.]

Nerien: Know that you have set in motion a chain of events that cannot be
        stopped. Judgment has not been passed, as you had no way of knowing.
        Judgment will be passed on your actions to come, and how you deal with
        the dangers ahead of you. This warning is passed to you because the
        Psijic Order believes in you. You, mage, and you alone, have the
        potential to prevent disaster. Take great care, and know that the
        Order is watching.

[The mage disappears, and the flow of time resumes properly.]

Tolfdir: I...I swear I felt something rather strange just then. What just

Dragonborn: Some sort of ghost or apparition appeared. It spoke to me.

Tolfdir: I'm afraid I didn't see anything... Can you tell me more about what
         you just saw?

Dragonborn: It said something about danger ahead, and the Psijic Order.

Tolfdir: The Psijic Order? Are you quite sure about that? That's very odd. And
         danger ahead? Why that doesn't make any sense at all. The Psijics have
         no connection to these ruins. And no one's seen any of their order in
         a long time. Perhaps we should take a look inside these coffins...
         Now please do be careful. Who knows what we're going to find.

[The player can inquire further:]

Dragonborn: What's the Psijic Order?

Tolfdir: They were a group of mages with a history that pre-dates the Empire.
         Very powerful, very secretive. No one's seen them in well over a
         hundred years. They vanished, along with their sanctuary on the Isle
         of Artaeum. I have no idea what connection they'd have to this place.

Dragonborn: Why is the Psijic Order contacting me?

Tolfdir: I have no idea, but it's fascinating. Assuming it's true, of course.
         The Isle of Artaeum disappeared over a hundred years ago, and no one
         has seen them since. And yet now, suddenly, they have chosen to
         contact you? Why, it's intriguing! If nothing else, I'd take it as a
         compliment. The Psijics have only ever dealt with those they feel

[The two go to inspect the coffins, just as draugr escape. They're re-killed.
 The situation repeats in the next, larger chamber.]

Tolfdir: I've never seen anything like this in Nordic ruins before. Why, just
         look at all these coffins! This bears closer inspection. I'd like to
         stay a while and examine this. You, however, should press on. See if
         you can find whatever this vision of yours mentioned. But if it is
         truly dangerous, be careful. Go on ahead. I'll be sure and catch up
         with you before long.

[As promised, he eventually reunites with the player.]

Tolfdir: Hold on, my boy. Hold on! I thought it high time I caught up with you.

[They reach a deep room with an undead guardian and a massive, magical sphere
 of unknown make.]

Tolfdir: Well now...would you look at that. I never imagined we'd find
         something like this. Why is this buried so far within Saarthal?

[The boss attacks, but attacks aren't doing anything.]

Tolfdir: Nothing seems to work! Keep it busy. I'll try to drain some of its

Jyrik Gaulderson: Qiilaan us dilon!

[They kill the draugr, then marvel at the free-floating contraption.]

Tolfdir: I'm not the only one seeing this, am I? Why, this is utterly unique.

Dragonborn: What is this thing?

Tolfdir: I have no idea! This is amazing. Absolutely amazing. The Arch-Mage
         needs to be informed immediately. He needs to see this for himself. I
         don't dare leave this unattended. Can you return to the College and
         inform Savos Aren of this discovery? Please, hurry.

[The player can inquire further.]

Dragonborn: What should I tell the Arch-Mage?

Tolfdir: Let him know that we've unearthed something... Well, I'm not sure.
         Something unique, let's say. It's clearly magical in nature, but like
         nothing I've ever seen before. He should be most interested.

Dragonborn: Will you be all right by yourself?

Tolfdir: Oh, I think I'll be fine. We seem to have eliminated the most pressing
         threat. It certainly seems that whoever placed this here intended for
         it to be well guarded. I wonder why...

[At Tolfdir's behest, one returns to the College to report.]

Savos: You are relatively new here, are you not? I have noticed you, but we
       have not spoken.

       No, we haven't.
        Then allow me to introduce myself.

       No, sir.
        "Sir"? How quaint.

       I am Savos Aren, Arch-Mage of the College of Winterhold. I am quite
       content to see nearly any aspect of magic explored and investigated
       here. But I do not and will not approve of any research or experiments
       that cause purposeful harm to your fellow members of the College. Are
       we clear?

Dragonborn: I need to speak to you about Saarthal.

Savos: Please don't tell me that another one of the apprentices has been
       incinerated. I have enough to deal with right now.

       We found some sort of...orb. Tolfdir wanted you to see it.
        I...see. I trust that Tolfdir will provide a more...specific

       We've found something in Saarthal, and Tolfdir thinks it's important.
        Very well, I trust you wouldn't be here were it not significant.

       Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Tolfdir normally looks
       after your little group, yes? Since he's apparently occupied, and I will
       need to see this discovery for myself, I think perhaps you should begin
       researching the subject. Speak with Urag in the Arcanaeum. See if he is
       aware of anything that matches your discovery. And...good work. The next
       time you find yourself exploring Nordic ruins, perhaps this will be

[The player can inquire further about new subjects:]

Dragonborn: Dangerous research must be a problem here.

Savos: Not often, no. Some risks must be taken, to be sure. I am simply trying
       to avoid untimely deaths. We also must make an effort to avoid worsening
       what Skyrim thinks of us.

Dragonborn: What's the purpose of the College?

Savos: Purpose? I should think it's self-evident. Magic is a true power, not
       something to be shunned by commoners or treated as an amusing diversion
       by politicians. It shapes worlds, creates and destroys life... It
       deserves proper respect and study. The College is a place where we can
       focus on that, without the pressures of the world weighing down on us.

Dragonborn: I'd like to know more about the College's history.

Savos: I've seen documents dating back to the late Second Era. Beyond that,
       it's hard to say. Events in the last several hundred years resulted in
       a significant loss of our history, I'm afraid.

Dragonborn: What happened in the last few hundred years?

Savos: The Great Collapse, as it has come to be known. An unfortunate natural
       disaster that ravaged the area. The College fared far better than the
       city of Winterhold, but it was not left untouched.

Dragonborn: What caused the Great Collapse?

Savos: No one is sure of the cause. Some believed the eruption of Red Mountain
       had far-reaching consequences that were only felt years later. I know
       there are some who have blamed the College, said that we were
       responsible. I assure you this is not the case.

Dragonborn: Tell me more about the Great Collapse.

Savos: The Sea of Ghosts practically came alive. No one was expecting it.
       Monstrous waves battered the shore for weeks on end. Winterhold was
       ancient and weathered, but it couldn't withstand the sea's fury. Entire
       districts of the city were lost overnight. The waves receded in time,
       but the damage was irreversible. Most residents of Winterhold abandoned
       what was left of the city. The College survived, and so here we remain.

Dragonborn: Have you ever met with the Psijic Order?

Savos: Personally? No, not I. One of their number used to advise the Arch-Mage
       when I was but an Apprentice here. But that was a great many years ago,
       before all the members of the order were called back to the Isle of
       Artaeum, and it disappeared entirely.

[CW03] HITTING THE BOOKS |=====================================================
[Upon leaving the Arch-Mage's quarters, Faralda approaches.]

Faralda: There you are. I've been trying to find you. I just wanted to let you
         know Ancano's been asking about you. I think he's looking for you.

Dragonborn: Why would Ancano be looking for me?

Faralda: I'm not sure. Just... Well, mind what you tell him, all right?

         Is there a problem?
          No, no. Well, I don't think so. Between the two of us, there are
          rumors about him. That this "advisor" position he has is a sham, an

         What does it matter what I say to him?
          Between the two of us, there are rumors about him. That this
          "advisor" position he has is a sham, an excuse.

         That what he's really doing is spying for the Thalmor, trying to feed
         them information. Whether it's true, I can't say. But it never hurts
         to be a little suspicious, does it?

         Thanks for the warning.
          You're welcome.

         I'll say what I like to him.
          Of course. That's your choice. I just wanted to let you know.

[The player finds Urag gro-Shub, the orc librarian, in the Artaeum.]

Urag: You are now in the Arcanaeum, of which I am in charge. It might as well
      be my own little plane of Oblivion. Disrupt my Arcanaeum, and I will
      have you torn apart by angry Atronachs. Now, do you require assistance?

Dragonborn: I need to learn about something we found in Saarthal.

Urag: I know what you want. Word travels fast around here. Discovered some big
      mystery, huh? Well you don't even need to ask. No, I don't have anything
      for you. Not anymore, anyway.

Dragonborn: You don't have anything that can help?

Urag: I said not anymore. Orthorn stole a number of books when he ran off to
      Fellglow Keep to join those Summoners. Some kind of peace offering. I
      think one of his volumes may have had some relevant information. If you
      want them, you'll have to talk to Orthorn.

[The player can ask about pertinent info.]

Dragonborn: Doesn't anyone care that Orthorn stole things from the College?

Urag: Not enough to bother with it. Arch-Mage Aren's approach to these things
      is to just let them sort themselves out. Although now it looks like
      you'll be doing the sorting. Good luck with that.

Dragonborn: Who is Orthorn?

Urag: He was an Apprentice here at the College. Not very skilled, but got
      involved with a group of mages who took a liking to him. When they left,
      he took off after them. Stole supplies and books from the College, I
      suppose as a way to ingratiate himself.

Dragonborn: Why are these mages in Fellglow Keep?

Urag: Let's just call it a "difference of opinion" with the College. They were
      interested in research that goes outside the bounds of what the College
      allows, so they were...persuaded to leave.

[On the way out, the player is pulled aside by Ancano.]

Ancano: You there. I have questions for you. You were in Saarthal, yes? It has
        come to my attention that something was found there.

         I know full well that you have. Please do not insult my intelligence.
         Tolfdir is still there now, is he? I shall expect a full report when
         he returns.

        Yes, we did. I just informed the Arch-Mage.
         I am well aware. Tolfdir is still in Saarthal, is he? I shall be
         expecting a full report from him when he returns.

        How do you know anything about this?
         It is my job to know these things. My role as advisor to the Arch-Mage
         is aided by knowing everything that transpires here.

        Why does this matter to you?
         Something was discovered in Saarthal that was significant enough that
         Tolfdir sent a new member of the College, alone, to deliver word.
         That sounds precisely like the sort of thing that should matter to
         everyone. Especially me.

        Thank you for your help. You may go now.

[The player can grill Ancano a little more afterwards.]

Dragonborn: There's a rumor that you're spying for the Thalmor.

Ancano: What? Preposterous, and just the sort of thing I would expect from
        mages who have nothing better to do with their time. I have made it
        quite clear that my only here is as advisor to the Arch-Mage. I would
        suggest that you not further spread this rumor.

Dragonborn: What is it you do here?

Ancano: I am an advisor to the Arch-Mage. The Thalmor wish to promote relations
        with your College. I am at the Arch-Mage's disposal if he requires

Dragonborn: Does the Arch-Mage often ask for advice?

Ancano: Perhaps not as often as he should. In time, I believe he will be more

Dragonborn: I'd like to know more about the Thalmor.

Ancano: Now that stability has been established between the Dominion and the
        Empire, we seek only to help Skyrim. To guide its people through this
        time of transition, to help lead them to a better future.

[The player journeys to Fellglow Keep near Whiterun, slaughtering hostile mages
 within. Eventually, one finds Orthorn imprisoned within.]

Orthorn: Please! Help me! Don't leave me here!

Dragonborn: So, you're Orthorn?

Orthorn: Yes, yes! Did Arch-Mage Aren send you? He sent you to rescue me,
         didn't he? 

         I'm just here for the books you took from the College.
          What? The bo... Oh. Oh dear. I shouldn't have taken them, I know!
          It was stupid. I was stupid. It won't happen again. Help me get out
          of here, and I'll help you find them. Please!

         I'm here to rescue you and recover the books you stole.
          See? I knew Aren wouldn't leave me in here! Hurry and get me out of
          this cage before they come for me!

[The player can inquire further.]

Dragonborn: Where are the books you stole?

Orthorn: I don't have them anymore. She took them... The Caller. She's the one
         who put me in here! Please, let me out of here!

Dragonborn: Why are you in this cage?

Orthorn: They threw me in here until they were ready to use me in one of their
         experiments. This wasn't supposed to happen. I thought they wanted my
         help, not to use me as a test subject!

Dragonborn: Is there a key for this cage?

Orthorn: No, it's the levers in the center there. Just make sure you don't pull
         the wrong one. Please, hurry. I don't like being in here!

[Orthorn gets released, finally.]

Orthorn: Thank you, thank you! I promise I'll help. And then I'll go back to
         the College and I'll beg them to let me back in.

         I don't want your help.
          Ah. I see. Well, then I'll just stay behind you a little bit, and
          follow along quietly.

         Now where are the books?
          Yes, of course. I said I'd tell you, didn't I? The Caller will have
          them. She was most interested in one of the volumes. Although not
          interested enough to keep me from being locked up.

           Oh, you saved me! Thank you so much. Who knows what they'd have done
           if you hadn't come along. I promise I'll help you get out of here.

Dragonborn: You should get yourself to safety.

Orthorn: Don't you need my help?

         I can handle this on my own.
          Well, I... If you're sure... I'll just be on my way then. Please
          do be careful, and thank you.

         This will be easier without you getting in my way.
          Well, I was only trying to help. Fine, I'll just save myself then.
          Thank you for letting me out of that cage.

         If you don't get away from me right now, I may kill you myself.
          I was only trying to help you, you know! I hope the Caller turns
          you inside out¹!

         You're right. I could use some help.
          I shall do my best.

[One eventually reaches the boss' chamber.]

The Caller: So, you're the one who barged into my home and laid waste to my
            projects. How nice to meet you.

            Who are you?
             Names no longer matter. You may refer to me as The Caller. Now,
             do you have a reason for making such a mess?

            I'm here for the books from the College.
             So you're just one of Aren's lackeys? That's disappointing. You
             show real promise. You come here, kill my assistants, disrupt my
             work... You've annoyed me, so I don't think I'll be giving you

            May I please have the books?
             Oh, now we're all please and thank you, are we? I'm afraid we're
             well beyond pleasantries. I'll allow you the opportunity to turn
             around, walk out that door, and never come back. I suggest you
             move quickly.

            Perhaps we can come to an arrangement.
             • I'm afraid you don't have anything worth trading. Now, you can
               go back to your College and leave me be, or I can kill you. Your

             • An arrangement? After you've destroyed so much? Fine. Leave me
               the elf. You may go with your books.

            I'm not going anywhere without those books.
             Are you attempting to threaten me? After I've been so hospitable?
             Well, then you won't be leaving here at all.

            Let me leave with the books, and there won't be any more trouble.²
             • Fine. Take them and be gone. Never return here, or else you'll
               face my full wrath.

             • Are you attempting to threaten me? After I've been so
               hospitable? Well, then you won't be leaving here at all.

[If Orthorn is with and the player strikes a bargain with The Caller:]

Orthorn: I, uhh... Wait, what?

The Caller: He gets the books, I get you. It's very simple.

Orthorn: But why?

The Caller: This little adventure of yours has cost me a number of test
            subjects. I need more, and you'll do nicely.

Orthorn: You wouldn't do that, would you? You wouldn't leave me here with her!

The Caller: I'm waiting. Well, what's it going to be?

Dragonborn: It's a deal. You can have Orthorn.

The Caller: Fine. Take your books and leave at once. If you ever come back, I
            won't be so gracious.

Orthorn: How could you just leave me here?

[The player reclaims the stolen books, one way or another. If Orthorn wasn't
 cruelly traded away:]

Orthorn: Well, everything worked out nicely, didn't it?

Dragonborn: I've got what I came for.

Orthorn: Yes, you certainly do. You'll be going back to the College, then? I,
         uhh...I think perhaps I'll wait a bit before venturing there myself.
         Let this whole thing blow over, you know. Give certain parties a
         chance to forget what I may have done. Still, you've gotten me out of
         that cage, and I won't forget it. Thank you again, and good luck to

[Eventually, the player returns to the Arcanaeum.]

Dragonborn: Here are the books that went missing.

Urag: Well, well. And you seem to be in one piece! Thank you. I'll look these
      over, and inform Mirabelle if I find anything relevant. "Night of Tears,"
      eh? I remember this one. Well, isn't that interesting. Did you read it
      yourself? If I recall correctly, that has some interesting implications.
      You should mention that to Tolfdir. And...here. I suppose you've earned

[CW04] GOOD INTENTIONS |=======================================================
[Tolfdir can be found in the Hall of the Elements, inspecting the strange orb
 that's been transported from Saarthal.]

Dragonborn: Urag suggested I come see you.

Tolfdir: Did he now? Does he have information about our wonderful discovery?

         I found a certain book, "Night of Tears"...
          Is that the one about something buried beneath Saarthal? Something
          that men and mer fought over? I'll have to make a point of re-reading
          it. I don't recall the details.

         There's a book he thinks you should read.
          Ah, yes. I'll be sure and stop by the Arcanaeum later.

         I just can't seem to tear myself away. Whatever it is, its beauty is
         like nothing I've ever seen before. If you'd allow me to indulge
         myself for a moment, I thought I might make a few observations...

[He leads the player to inspect the orb.]

Tolfdir: I'm sure you've already noticed the markings. They're quite unlike
         anything we've seen before. Ayleid, Dwemer, Daedric... Not even
         Falmer. None of them are a match. Quite curious indeed. Now, I'm not
         sure you're quite as attuned as I am, given my extensive years of
         experience, but can you feel that? This marvelous object. It
         practically radiates magicka, and yet it's unlike anything I've felt
         before. Arch-Mage Aren is already hard at work, and hopefully we'll
         have more information soon.

[Ancano approaches.]

Ancano: I'm afraid I must intrude. It is urgent that I speak with your
        associate immediately.

Tolfdir: This is most inappropriate! We are involved in serious research here!

Ancano: Yes, I've no doubt of its gravity. This, however, is a matter that
        cannot wait.

Tolfdir: Well, I'm quite sure I've never been interrupted like this before...
         the audacity!... I suppose we'll continue this at some later time,
         when we can avoid interruptions.

[Tolfdir leaves the two alone.]

Ancano: I need you to come with me immediately. Let's go.

Dragonborn: I don't understand what's going on.

Ancano: Really? Well, allow me to clarify the situation. I'd like to know why
        there's someone claiming to be from the Psijic Order here at the
        College. More importantly, I'd like to know why he's asking for you
        specifically. So we're going to go have a little chat with him, and
        find out exactly what it is he wants.

        Why are you so concerned about this?
         I'll be the one asking the questions. All you need to know is that the
         Psijic Order is a rogue organization, believing themselves to be above
         the law. They have clashed with the Aldmeri Dominion before, and I
         have no intention of allowing that to happen here.

        Aren't you just an advisor here?
         Technically, that is true. But I still report to the Aldmeri Dominion,
         and I cannot ignore this situation. Don't worry, you can return to
         your petty squabbles and meaningless "research" as soon as this matter
         is resolved.

        Now, you are going to speak to this...Monk...and find out why he is
        here, and then he will be removed from College grounds.

[Ancano leads the player to the Arch-Mage's quarters, where him, Aren and the
 Psijic mage can talk. As expected, the new guest freezes time to avoid the
 others' prying.]

Quaranir: Please do not be alarmed. I mean you no harm. It is good to meet you
          in person.

          What's going on? What happened to everyone?
           I'd simply like to talk to you.

          What do you want with me?
           I merely wish to talk to you.

          What did you do?

          I've given us a chance to speak privately, but I'm afraid I can't
          do this for long. We must be brief. The situation here at your
          College is of dire importance, and attempts to contact you as we
          have previously have failed. I believe it is due to the very source
          of our concern. This object...the Eye of Magnus as your people have
          taken to calling it. The energy coming from it has prevented us
          from reaching you with the visions you have already seen. The longer
          it remains here, the more dangerous the situation becomes. And so I
          have come here personally to tell you it must be dealt with.

          If this is dangerous, then why don't you do something about it?
           I'm afraid it's not that simple.

          What does this have to do with me?
           You set this chain of events in motion at Saarthal.

          You must understand, the Psijic Order does not typically...intervene
          directly in events. My presence here will be seen as an affront to
          some within the Order, and as soon as we have finished, I will be
          leaving your College. I'm all too aware that my presence has aroused
          suspicion, especially in Ancano, you Thalmor associate. Nevertheless,
          my Order will not act directly. You must take it upon yourself to do

          So what exactly is the problem?
           As you may have learned, this object...The Eye...is immensely
           powerful. The world is not ready for it. If it remains here, it will
           be misused. Indeed, many in the Order believe it has already...
           Rather, something will happen soon, something that cannot be

           What do you expect from me, then?
            We believe that your efforts should be directed toward dealing with
            the aftermath, but we cannot predict what that will be.

           I'll help, but I don't know what to do.
            Unfortunately, the future is as obscured to us as it is to you.
            The overwhelming power of the Eye makes it difficult for us to see.

           I fear I have already overstepped the bounds of my Order, but I
           will offer this: seek out the Augur of Dunlain here in your
           College. His perception may be more coherent than ours.

            Who is the Augur of Dunlain?
             He was once a student here at the College. Now he is...something

            Where can I find this Augur?
             I...I am unsure. He is somewhere within the College. Surely one
             of your colleagues must know his location. I am sorry I cannot
             provide you with further help, but this conversation requires a
             great deal of effort on my part. Now, I am afraid I must leave
             you. We will continue to watch over you, and guide you as best we
             can. It is within you to succeed. Never forget that.

          Why should I trust you or your Order?
           I presume you refer to Ancano's distaste for the Psijic Order? The
           Thalmor see our Order as a threat because we have power, and we will
           not allow them to control us. I assure you that we mean you no harm.

[The conversation done, Quaranir removes the time-stopping effect.]

Savos: I'm sorry, were you about to say something?

Ancano: Well? What is the meaning of this?

Quaranir: I'm sorry, I'm afraid I don't understand.

Ancano: Don't play coy. You asked to see a specific member of the College. Here
        he is. Now what is it you want?

Quaranir: There's been a misunderstanding. Clearly I should not be here. I
          shall simply take my leave.

Ancano: What? What trickery is this? You're not going anywhere until I find out
        what you're up to!

Quaranir: I am not "up to" anything. I apologize if I have offended you in any

Ancano: We will see about this...

[Ancano escorts the monk out of the College. The player talks to Aren.]

Savos: I'm...I'm not sure what happened. A monk from the Psijic Order, here,
       after all these years, and then he just leaves. I hope we didn't offend
       him somehow.

Dragonborn: Have you ever heard of the Augur of Dunlain?

Savos: Has Tolfdir been telling stories again? I thought I made it quite clear
       that this was a subject inappropriate for conversation. Please don't
       allow him to continue to discuss the subject.

[Tolfdir is next asked.]

Dragonborn: Have you ever heard of the Augur of Dunlain?

Tolfdir: Well now, there's a name I haven't heard in some time. My goodness,
         it's been years since I've spoken with him. I suppose he's still down
         in the Midden, but I haven't checked. Are you going to see him? Do
         tell him "hello" for me, won't you?

Dragonborn: Where is the Midden?

Tolfdir: Underneath the College. It's not the nicest place, so if you go down
         there, please be careful.

Dragonborn: Can you tell me more about the Augur of Dunlain?

Tolfdir: Well, I suppose he wouldn't mind... It was all before my time, you
         understand. I've heard the stories, the same as anyone else. He was a
         brilliant student, an accomplished wizard. Delved into magic in a way
         none had seen before. But, I think, he became too focused on just how
         much power he could acquire. That's what led to the accident.

[The player enters the Midden, the glacial tunnels beneath the College. If one
 didn't learn the Augur's whereabouts from anyone, a voice speaks:]

Augur: There is no help for you here. There is no solace in knowing what is to

[Deep inside is a locked door. A gravelly voice shouts from behind it.]

Augur: Your perseverence will only lead to disappointment. Still you persist?
       Very well, you may enter.

[Inside, one sees the Augur: not as a student, but as a giant, floating mass
 of pure energy.]

Dragonborn: So you're the Augur of Dunlain?

Augur: I am that which you have been seeking. Your efforts are in vain. It has
       already begun. But those who have sent you have not told you what they
       seek. What you seek.

       I was told to find you.
        Indeed. And so you have come looking, though you do not know why. Like
        others before you, you blindly follow a path to your own destruction.
        The Thalmor came seeking answers as well, unaware they will be his
        undoing. Your path now follows his, though you will arrive too late.

       And what is it I'm seeking?
        You see that which all who wield magic seek. Knowledge. You shall find
        this: Knowledge will corrupt. It will destroy. It will consume. You
        seek meaning, shelter in Knowledge. You will not find it. The Thalmor
        sought the same thing, and it shall lead to his end as it has so many

       Thalmor? What Thalmor?
        The one who calls himself Ancano. He seeks information about the Eye,
        but what he will find shall be quite different. His path will cross
        yours in time, but first you must find that which you need.

       I'm not the first to come see you?
        No, though you may be the last. The one who calls himself Ancano has
        sought my knowledge as well, through very different questions. Your
        path differs from most. You are being guided, pushed toward something.
        It is a good path, one untravelled by many. It is a path that can save
        your College. I will tell you what you need to know to follow it

Dragonborn: What do I need?

Augur: You, and those aiding you, wish to know more about the Eye of Magnus.
       You wish to avoid the disaster of which you are not yet aware. To see
       through Magnus' Eye without being blinded, you require his staff. Events
       now spiral quickly towards the inevitable center, so you must act with
       haste. Take this knowledge to your Arch-Mage.

[The player returns to Savos Aren.]

Dragonborn: I have important information for you.

Savos: Really? And what might that be?

Dragonborn: We need to find the Staff of Magnus.

Savos: I'm sorry, what? Well...I'd certainly love to have such a powerful
       staff, but I'm not really sure that any of us need it.

Dragonborn: It's connected to the orb we found.

Savos: And how do you know of this?

Dragonborn: I spoke with the Augur of Dunlain.

Savos: Did you really? And he specifically mentioned the Staff of Magnus? I...
       I'm impressed with your initiative. Of course, someone will need to
       follow up on this.

       What should I do next?
        A most impressive attitude. Keep this up, and you'll do quite well for

       You mean me, don't you?
        I certainly do. Since you went so far as to seek out the Augur for
        advice, I thought you'd be more enthusiastic.

       Something as specific and ancient as the Staff of Magnus...I'm not sure
       we'd ever find something like that... I seem to recall Mirabelle
       mentioning the staff somewhat recently. Why don't you see if she can
       tell you anything? I'm quite pleased with your progress, you know.
       You've certainly proven yourself to be more than a mere Apprentice. Well
       done. This circlet once proved invaluable to me. I hope it can be of use
       to you know.

[CW05] REVEALING THE UNSEEN |==================================================
[The player tracks down Mirabelle Ervine.]

Dragonborn: Do you know anything about the Staff of Magnus?

Mirabelle: Well now that's an odd question. Why in the world would you be

           Arch-Mage Aren said you'd mentioned it recently.
            I see. Well yes, I suppose I did mention it, though I'm not sure
            what he expects me to tell you. I only brought it to his attention
            a few months back when the Synod showed up here looking for it.
            They were apparently under the impression we were keeping it in a
            closet somewhere.

           It may be connected to the Eye of Magnus.
            The "Eye of Magnus"? I can appreciate that this...thing, this
            Orb... It's very impressive. Very unique, and definitely worth
            studying. But let's not jump to any conclusions, or assign it
            importance beyond what we're certain of.

            The Augur referred to it as the Eye of Magnus, not me.
             The Augur? Just what have you gotten yourself involved in?
             Whatever is going on, whatever you're up to... Be very careful.

            Sorry. So, the Staff of Magnus?
             Well, it's said to be very powerful. Has the capacity to store an
             incredible amount of magical power, as the story goes. But it's
             more myth than anything at this point. I've no doubt it actually
             exists, but no one has seen it in what, decades? Longer? I'm not
             sure. The only time I've heard it mentioned was when those Synod
             characters showed up some months ago looking for it.

Dragonborn: Who are the Synod?

Mirabelle: Mages based out of Cyrodiil. They fancy themselves the Imperial
           Authority on magic these last few hundred years. My understanding
           is that all they really do is make noise in an attempt to curry
           favor from the Emperor. Lots of politics, little magic. I was quite
           surprised to find them on our doorstep. They seemed amiable enough,
           but their line of questioning made me...uneasy. It became clear
           they're trying to hoard powerful artifacts, looking to consolidate

Dragonborn: So no one knows the Staff's location?

Mirabelle: No one here does. The Synod seemed convinced it was somewhere here
           in Skyrim. They inquired about the ruins of Mzulft, but that's all
           I remember. It sounded like they were heading there, though they
           were rather secretive about why. I suppose if you're intent on
           looking for the staff, there's a chance they might be in Mzulft
           yet. Just don't expect them to be cooperative.

Dragonborn: What else can you tell me about the Staff of Magnus?

Mirabelle: I'm not really sure. Made and used by Magnus himself, if you believe
           those sorts of things. I believe I've heard it said that it's the
           only thing that could adequately contain his power. The sort of
           embellishment wizards of ancient times loved to make.

[The player enters the Dwemer ruins of Mzulft, finding a dying Synod mage just

Gavros Plinius: Crystal...gone... Find...Paratus...in Oculory... Gah...

[He dies. Later, they find a door with a voice behind it.]

???: G...Gavros? Is that you? I'd almost given up hope. Let me get the door...

[The Synod mage Paratus Dicimius opens the door to find newcomers.]

Paratus: What the... What are you doing here? What've you done with Gavros?

         Your friend Gavros is dead.
          It was the Falmer, wasn't it? Curse them! They've ruined everything!
          If Gavros is gone, there's no hope. He was supposed to return with
          the crystal... Without that, all our efforts are wasted. And you. If
          you're here for treasure, or wisdom, or anything, I'm afraid you've
          wasted your time.

         I came here looking for the Synod.
          And just why would you be doing that? Oh, it doesn't matter now.
          Gavros is never coming back, and he was supposed to have the crystal.
          Without that, we're lost. It's all been for nothing. So
          congratulations, whoever you are, you've found the Synod. Just me,
          alone, surrounded by angry machines and angrier Falmer.

Dragonborn: What's this about a crystal?

Paratus: It didn't work the first time. I tried to tell Gavros, but he wouldn't
         listen. "No, it won't be too cold" he said. Well, I was right, wasn't
         I? Focused completely wrong by the time we got here! The cold had
         warped it! Gavros had to cart it all the way back to Cyrodiil. Left
         the rest of us here to fend off the damnable Falmer.

         What's the crystal for?
          It was a brilliant idea, really. Mostly mine, though Gavros took the
          credit. Secret, though. Official Synod business. Can't talk about it.

         If I find this crystal you're looking for. Will you help me?²
          I don't know what sort of help you expect from me, but if you can
          actually find the crystal I'd certainly be grateful.

         I happen to have found a focusing Crystal. Is this what you were
         looking for?² |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
          You found...how in the world... That's it. That's it! I don't know
          who you are, but you may have just saved this little project... In
          fact, who are you, anyway?

          I'm with the College of Winterhold.
           You are, are you? Savos wouldn't even grant us an audience when we
           came to you, but now you come here expecting something from me? I
           don't much like this, I'll tell you. But you saved my skin, so maybe
           I can overlook the past for now. Come on, I'll explain on the way.

[If one lacks the crystal, further inquiries can be made.]

Dragonborn: What are you doing here?

Paratus: I am on official business of the Grand Council of the Synod. That's
         all you need to know. I might well ask the same of you, running around
         by yourself in this dangerous place.

Dragonborn: I'm looking for the Staff of Magnus.

Paratus: Are you? Well. I'm afraid I can't help you with that. I need the
         crystal to do anything useful, and I don't have it.

[If one goes to get the crystal after 1st meeting, there's extra dialogue.]

Paratus: Please, tell me you have the crystal. I've no wish to die in this

Dragonborn: I found your crystal.

Paratus: Ha! So you did. I was almost beginning to think Gavros had gone and
         gotten himself killed just to spite me. Well, with the Falmer skulking
         around I can't very well do this on my own. I guess you'll have to
         come with me. I'll explain on the way.

[Either way, Paratus leads one further inside.]

Paratus: No matter what Gavros said, this was my idea first. The Council is
         going to know that when I get back. I was the one who thought of using
         this...this Oculory. I don't know what the dwarves called it.
         Something unpronounceable, I'm sure. From all our research, it seems
         they were intent on discerning the nature of the divine. This
         machinery, all of it, was designed to collect starlight, and then...
         I'm not sure. Split it, somehow? It was my idea to replace one of the
         key elements with our focusing crystal. Months of enchantments went
         into it. Let's just hope they got it right this time.

[He leads them to a massive piece of dwarven machinery.]

Paratus: Here it is. Magnificent, isn't it? Took an incredible amount of work
         to get it running again. Now I'm hoping it'll all be worth it. Place
         the crystal in the central apparatus, and we can start the process
         for focusing it.

[The item is placed, causing the apparatus to flip upside-down.]

Dragonborn: What do I do?

Paratus: Now the crystal needs to be focused. It was created so far away, we
         knew that some adjustments would have to be made. Heating and cooling
         the crystal will cause it to expand or contract, which will change
         how the light passes through it. You'll need to use spells to do that.
         Being from the College, I assume you know them already. There should
         be a few basic tomes around here somewhere in case your training is
         even more substandard than I've heard.

[The player uses the suggested method to focus the starlight. When all beams
 are refracted properly, the main apparatus creates a projection of Skyrim on
 a wall. Two bright spots appear on the map.]

Paratus: Years of work, finally going to pay off... ...but what's this? These
         results... They're not at all what they should be. This projection
         should be lit up like the night sky... Something is creating an
         incredible amount of interference. Something in Winterhold, it looks
         like. What are you playing at? Is this some attempt to stall my work?!
         So, what is it? What have you done? Did you know what we were
         attempting? Are you here to make sure your plan worked, that our
         efforts have been for nothing? Well, explain yourself!

         You'd better calm down.
          You and your College have ruined years of my work, I've lost friends
          and colleagues to the Falmer, and you want me to calm down?

         Did something go wrong?
          Go wrong? Go wrong? Everything is wrong! Everything! Whatever you
          have at that College has completely interfered with our work here.

         I don't know what you're talking about.
          You show up here just as our work nears completion, and now I can't
          get any results from this because of something at your College. Do
          you think me a fool? Do you think I'm too stupid to make the
          connection? You've ruined my work!

         How did you do it?

         I haven't done anything, I swear.
          But it must be something you're doing. There's no other

         I truly have no idea what you're talking about.
          Either you're lying to me, or...

         I don't understand why you're so upset.
          Just look! This should be lit up brighter than the night sky, and
          it's not! Clearly you've interfered somehow. Or...

         You have something at your College, don't you? Something immensely
         powerful. Beyond anything I'd anticipated. What is it?

         You mean the Eye of Magnus?
          The Eye of Magnus? Well, I suppose if that means what I think it
          does... Well, that's interesting...

         We might have something, yes.
          Well, now. This I hadn't considered. If that's taken into account,
          these results make more sense.

         I'm not going to answer that.
          So you do have something, then. Whether this was intentional or not,
          it suggests some interesting results.

         Can you help me find the Staff of Magnus or not?
          Yes, the staff. Interesting...

         What are you talking about?
          You're looking for something, yes? The...Staff of Magnus. Well, even
          if you are trying to ruin my work, there's still something to be
          learned here.

         I can't explain the details. That would mean giving away many secrets
         the Synod have learned over the years. Also, I doubt you'd be able to
         comprehend the details. Have you seen the Orrery in the Imperial City?
         It was the inspiration for this idea. Instead of projecting the sky,
         we project all of Tamriel, and then harness the latent energies to
         overlay the positions of... What's important is that all of this work
         was designed to reveal to us sources of great magical power. Purely
         to help safeguard the Empire, of course. And yet, in the end, only
         two locations have been revealed to us. One is your College. The
         other... Well, that can only be Labyrinthian. So, mage from
         Winterhold, despite your intentions I've beaten your little game.
         Even if all you've said here is lies, I know you have something in
         Winterhold the Synod Council will be very interested in. So fine,
         trudge off to Labyrinthian in search of your Staff. I shall return to
         Cyrodiil and deliver my full report to the Council. This is not over,
         I assure you.

         So the Staff of Magnus is in Labyrinthian?
          Well, yes. Probably. I mean, yes. Certainly it is, but that doesn't
          matter now, because I know you're hoarding something even more
          important at your College. The Council will be informed of this. They
          will find out what you're up to.

         I think you've been in here too long. You're crazy.
          Am I? Am I? I think I've discovered more here than I could've hoped
          to. Your trickery won't confuse me!

         I think we're done here.

[After backtracking all the way out of Mzulft, it's finally time to report to
 the Arch-Mage. However, upon entering the Hall of the Elements, something is
 wrong: Ancano is apparently using the Eye of Magnus for a nefarious purpose.
 The Arch-Mage and Mirabelle stand near a barrier preventing them from getting

Mirabelle: I don't know. It's like a ward, but who's casting it? Ancano? How?

Savos: I don't care what it is, I want it down now! I want to know what he's
       doing in there!

Dragonborn: What's going on?

Savos: Ancano. He's in there, doing...something. We don't know what. We're
       trying to get in now. I will have his head for this, I assure you. Help
       take this down, will you? We're throwing everything we can at it.

Dragonborn: I know where to find the Staff of Magnus.

Savos: Now's not the time. We need to put a stop to whatever it is that's going

[With a magical assault, they destroy the giant ward to reach the Hall proper.]

Mirabelle: What's going on?!

Savos: Ancano! Stop this at once! I command you!

Mirabelle: Don't go near him!

[There's a massive magical explosion. The player is knocked unconscious, and
 comes to a short while later. The ward is back up again and Ervine is sitting

Mirabelle: Are you all right? Can you walk? I need you on your feet. We're in
           trouble here.

Dragonborn: I think I'm okay.

Mirabelle: Ancano is doing something with that thing...the Eye. We can't stop
           him! I haven't seen Savos since the explosion. He must've been blown
           clear, and he may have be injured. I need you to find the Arch-Mage,
           and I need you to do it quickly! Get moving!

Dragonborn: What happened?

Mirabelle: I'll be fine. I just need a minute to catch my breath. Find Savos...

[CW06] CONTAINMENT |===========================================================
[The player walks outside and finds the Arch-Mage's corpse, having been blown
 right out of the Hall to the courtyard statue. Other mages have gathered to
 see what occured.]

Sergius Turrianus: What's happened? He's not...

Phinius: Is he dead?

Tolfdir: Everyone please, stand back! Please remain calm! Are you all right?
         What happened in there?

         It's Ancano. He's done something with the Eye!
          By the Nine... Is he responsible for this? The Arch-Mage, dead?
          There's more. Something's happened to Winterhold. It must be whatever
          Ancano did. You need to get out there and make sure it's safe.
          Quickly now, quickly! I'll find Mirabelle and see if we can't put a
          stop to this!

         Arch-Mage aren is dead?
          I can hardly believe it. But there's no time. Whatever happened here
          has affected Winterhold as well. I need you to get out there and make
          sure everything's all right. I'll do what I can here. Go now, go!

[As Tolfdir rushes inside, the player tries exiting. Faralda is nearby.]

Faralda: What's going on? What happened in there?

         Something went wrong. Winterhold may be in danger. Can you help?
          It "may be" in danger? Take a look. I don't think there's much
          question. Let's get down there. We have to do something. Come on,
          Arniel. Let's go.

          Arniel: Do we have to? They'd never lift a finger to help us.

         There's no time. We have to make sure Winterhold is safe.
          We'll go with you, but when this is all over I want an explanation.

[The mages rush into town to protect the citizenry from strange wraith-like
 attackers. They defeat all ten of the curious creatures.]

Faralda: That looks like it was the last of them. We'll stay here. Get back to
         the College and let them know what's going on. Arniel, stay on your
         guard. We can't let harm come to these people.

[With that, it's back to the Hall of the Elements.]

Mirabelle: Well? Is everything out there all right?

Dragonborn: Winterhold is safe for now.

Mirabelle: Wish I could say the same for us. Tolfdir and I can try and keep
           this contained. You need to get your hands on the Staff of Magnus.

           Why me?
            I've got to stay here, to see if we can get to Ancano and stop
            this. I need someone I can trust to do it. Besides, you're the one
            having all of these visions, aren't you?

           You really think the Staff will help?
            You were told to find it, weren't you? If the stories about the
            staff are true, if it really can absorb a tremendous amount of
            power, maybe we can break through Ancano's magic.

           Then I'm off to Labyrinthian.
            What? Are you... Are you sure? The staff is there? That can't be
            a coincidence.

            What are you talking about?
             The Arch-Mage.

            I don't understand. What coincidence?
             Savos. Before...before he died.

            He... He gave me something just a little while ago. He told me it
            was from Labyrinthian, and that I would know what to do with it
            when the time came. I think...I think he meant this for you, then.
            I'm not sure why, but there was something very personal about it
            for him. Also, I think you should take this amulet. It belonged to
            Savos, but I think it would do you the most good now. Take it, and
            get out of here. Bring back that staff before Ancano brings the
            whole College down around us.

[CW07] THE STAFF OF MAGNUS |===================================================
[The player journeys to Labyrinthian, one of the largest barrows in the entire
 country. With the torc received from Savos Aren's body, the place is now free
 to be explored. On the steps, ghostly apparitions of the Arch-Mage and some
 old students are having a conversation.]

Savos: Come on, we're finally here! Let's not waste any more time!

Takes-In-Light: Are we truly sure this is a good idea?

Atmah: We'll be back at the College before anyone even knows we're gone.

Girduin: You would care about that, since you're the Arch-Mage's favorite!

Savos: Don't forget, this whole idea was Atmah's to begin with.

Hafnar: Let's just get inside, see what's in there.

[The player finally steps foot inside. The ghosts appear again.]

Elvali: I can't believe we're doing this.

Savos: Can you imagine the looks on their faces when we come back?

Hafnar: You keep talking like you're sure we'll find something useful in here.

Savos: Enchanted weapons, tomes of ancient knowledge, Shalidor's secrets
       themselves -- who knows what we could find!

Takes-In-Light: And what if... What if there are things guarding this place?

Atmah: Against six College-trained mages? I think we'll be fine.

[In a large arena, a skeletal dragon and its undead helpers crawl out of the
 woodwork. Just beyond is an etched tablet, offering another glimpse into the
 ghosts' conversation from years earlier.]

Elvali: We...we have to go back. We can't leave Girduin...

Hafnar: We barely made it out alive, and you want to go back in?

Takes-In-Light: What was that thing anyway?

Atmah: It's too late. There isn't enough of him left to back in after.

Takes-In-Light: Gods, what have we done?

Savos: We can't go back. Might as well go forward. We can still do this.

Atmah: Savos is right. We can make it if we just stay alert.

[Further on, a door is blocked by a magical force. An unearthly voice calls
 from beyond.]

???????: Wo meyz wah dii vul junaar?

[Melting the icy door to allows one to continue forward.]

???????: Nivahriin muz fent siiv nid aaz het. You do not answer... Must I use
         this guttural language of yours? Have you returned, Aren? My old

[The voice continues taunting the player as one delves further into the crypt.]

???????: Do you seek to finish that which you could not? You only face failure
         once more... You... You are not Aren, are you? Has he sent you in his
         place? Did he warn that your own power would be your undoing? That it
         would only serve to strengthen me?

[One breaks through the next enchanted door to find the ghosts again, the
 group now pared down to three.]

Takes-In-Light: Just another minute, please.

Savos: Come on, we can't stop now. We have to keep moving!

Atmah: Where's Elvali? She was right behind me.

Hafnar: Dead. Something grabbed her from behind. Gone before I could do

Atmah: You're right. This is all my fault. Should we turn around, head back?

Hafnar: I don't think going back is a good idea.

Savos: Going back would be the end of all of us. We keep pushing forward, and
       we'll make it. We will!

Atmah: Come on, you can make it. Let's go.

[One presses on as well.]

???????: Come. Face your end.

[Beyond, another conversation with the ghosts plays.]

Atmah: We shouldn't have left her there to die!

Savos: What else could we do? Stay there and die with her? She refused to go
       on, we didn't have a choice!

Hafnar: This is it, you know. Through this door. Can you feel it?

Atmah: We're not going to make it, are we?

Hafnar: We stay together, no matter what. Agreed?

Atmah: I'll be right with you.

Savos: Agreed. We all stay together.

[Finally, the deepest chamber is reached. There, the owner of the Staff and
 the taunting voice is found: Morokei, an undead dragon priest. On the way
 out, Savos' ghost appears one final time, revealing that his friends souls'
 were the wizards eternally bound to stop Morokei from escaping, and he was
 the one who did it.]

Savos: ...I'm sorry, friends. I'm so sorry! I had no choice! It was the only
       way to make sure that monster never escaped! I promise you, I'll never
       let this happen again! I'll seal this whole place away...

[On the way out, a Thalmor agent appears.]

Estormo: So, you made it out of there alive. Ancano was right...you are
         dangerous. I'm afraid I'll have to take that Staff from you now.
         Ancano wants it kept safe...oh, and he wants you dead. Nothing

         Get out of my way.
          You fool. You don't stand a chance.

         I have no quarrel with you.
          I'm afraid you do.

[After killing Estormo, it's back to the College. It's being attacked by more
 wraith-like anomalies. The Eye's barrier now envelops the entire College,
 pushing the teachers out onto the bridge.]

Arniel: I hope there aren't any more.

Tolfdir: You survived! You have it, then? Let's hope it's as powerful as the
         Psijics believe it to be.

         Where's Mirabelle?
          She... She didn't make it. When it was clear we were going to have
          to fall back, she stayed behind and made sure the rest of us were
          all right.

         Why are you all the way out here?
          Look for yourself. Ancano's power is growing. We can't crack whatever
          magic he's using to shield himself. I hope your trip to Labyrinthian
          was worth it.

         Let's get in there.
          I'll be right behind you!

Arniel: I'll be amazed if any of us survive this.

Faralda: We never should have brought that thing here.

[CW08] THE EYE OF MAGNUS |=====================================================
[With the other specialist mages following, the player leads everyone back to
 the Hall of the Elements, the seat of Ancano's powers.]

Ancano: You've come for me, have you? You think I don't know what you're up to?
        You think I can't destroy you? The power to unmake the world at my
        fingertips, and you think you can do anything about it?

Tolfdir: Spells have no effect!

Ancano: I am beyond your pathetic attempts at magic. You cannot touch me.

Tolfdir: The Staff! Use it on the Eye!

Ancano: Enough!

[He paralyzes Tolfir and, if applicable, the player's follower.]

Ancano: Still you persist? Very well. Come then. See what I can do now.

[The player caps the Eye's power with the Staff, robbing Ancano of all his
 newfound power. After that, it's a simple feat to slay him, ridding the world
 of his Thalmor ambitions.]

Tolfdir: I knew you could do it!

Dragonborn: What do we do now?

Tolfdir: I...I don't know. Ancano is gone, but whatever he's done to the Eye
         doesn't seem to have stopped. I have no idea what to do!

[Just then, their old Psijic friend teleports in.]

Quaranir: We knew you would succeed. Your victory here justifies our belief in
          you. You have proven yourself more than worthy to guide the College
          of Winterhold.

          What do we do now?
           The Eye has grown unstable. It cannot remain here, or else it may
           destroy your College and this world. It must be secured. Ancano's
           actions prove the world is not ready for such a thing. We shall
           safeguard it...for now. You now have the opportunity to maintain
           your College, and carry on with your lives. You have our gratitude,

          How did you know I'd be able to defeat Ancano?
           A great many things obscured to you are quite clear to us. We have
           long believed you would prevail.

[Tandil and Gelebros, two other Psijics, teleport in as well, and together they
 remove themselves and the dangerous Eye.]

Tolfdir: You've done it! The College is safe again, thanks to your work. I knew
         you had it in you. I daresay the Psijics are right. There's no one
         more deserving to be Arch-Mage, in my opinion. Here, consider these
         yours. And the Arch-Mage's quarters as well. I shall be here for
         advice, should you need me.

COMPANIONS                                                               [CMPN]

 01) Take Up Arms ....................................................... CMP1
 02) Proving Honor ...................................................... CMP2
 03) The Silver Hand .................................................... CMP3
 04) Blood's Honor ...................................................... CMP4
 05) Purity of Revenge .................................................. CMP5
 06) Glory of the Dead .................................................. CMP6

[CMP1] TAKE UP ARMS |==========================================================
[After escaping Helgen, the player comes upon Pelagius Farm, a small lot near
 Whiterun. Members of the Companions are fighting off a giant. One of the
 members, Aela the Huntress, runs over.]

Aela: • You handle yourself well. You could make for a decent Shield-Brother.
      • Well, that's taken care of. No thanks to you.

        You didn't look like you needed help.
         Certainly not. But a true warrior would have relished the opportunity
         to take on a giant. That's why I'm here with my Shield-Brothers.

        I tried my best.
         Ha. Another milk drinker crying about his effort. Glory only awaits
         those who triumph. And as Companions, our glory must always be
Dragonborn: • Who are the Companions?
            • What is a Shield-Brother?

Aela: An outsider, eh? Never heard of the Companions? An order of warriors.
      We are brothers and sisters in honor. And we show up to solve problems
      if the coin is good enough.

      Can I join you?
       Not for me to say. You'll have to talk to Kodlak Whitemane up in
       Jorrvaskr. The old man's got a good sense for people. He can look in
       your eyes and tell your worth. If you go to him, good luck.

      Sounds like a waste of time.
       Well nobody asked you. If you think you're better than we are, go talk
       to Kodlak Whitemane. See what a warrior of true mettle is like.

[The Dragonborn arrives at Jorrvaskur, the Companions' Whiterun-based mead
  hall. A friendly brawl between Njada and Athis is going on.]

Skjor: Are those two at it again? Strike when the shoulder turns. He's giving
       you openings!

Farkas: This should be good.

Brill: Just keep swinging!

Njada: Going to enjoy killing you!

Athis: Azura curse you!

[After the fight, one finds Kodlak Whitemane downstairs.]

Vilkas: But I still hear the call of the blood.

Kodlak: We all do. It is our burden to bear. But we can overcome.

Vilkas: You have my brother and I, obviously. But I don't know if the rest will
        go along quite so easily.

Kodlak: Leave that to me.

Dragonborn: I'd like to join the Companions.

Kodlak: Would you now? Here, let me have a look at you? Hmm. Yes, perhaps. A
        certain strength of spirit.

Vilkas: Master, you're not truly considering accepting him?

Kodlak: I am nobody's master, Vilkas. And last I checked, we had some empty
        beds in Jorrvaskr for those with a fire burning in hearts.
Vilkas: Apologies. But perhaps this isn't the time. I've never even heard of
        this outsider.

Kodlak: Sometimes the famous come to us. Sometimes men and women come to us to
        seek their fame. It makes no difference. What matters is their heart.

Vilkas: And their arm.

Kodlak: Of course. How are you in a battle, boy?

        I can handle myself.
         That may be so. This is Vilkas. He will test your arm.

        You dare question my skill?
         Calm down there, whelp. Don't feel like you need to show off for our
         sake. Vilkas, here, will be the one testing your mettle.

        I have much to learn.
         That's the spirit. Vilkas, here, will get started on that.

        Vilkas, take him out to the yard and see what he can do.

Vilkas: Aye.

[The player goes to the training grounds.]

Vilkas: The old man said to have a look at you, so let's do this. Just have a
        few swings at me so I can see your form. Don't worry, I can take it.

[If one uses magic or magic-enchanted weapons:]

Vilkas: What do you think this is? We don't do battle with magic around here,
        new blood. Now come at me.

[After some swings:]

Vilkas: There you go! Not bad. Next time won't be so easy! You might just make
        it. But until then, you're still just a whelp to us, new blood. So you
        do what we tell you to. Here's my sword. Go take it up to Eorlund to
        have it sharpened. And be careful, it's probably worth more than you

[Up at the forge...]

Eorlund Gray-Mane: What brings you here?

Dragonborn: Vilkas sent me with his sword.

Eorlund: I'm guessing you're the newcomer then?

         Does Vilkas always send newcomers on errands?
          Oh, don't worry about that. They were all whelps once. They just
          might not like to talk about it. And don't always just do what you're
          told. Nobody rules anybody in the Companions.

         I'm just doing what I'm asked.
          That attitude will get you far, if you were some stuffy merchant or a
          Jarl's footstool. Around here, you'll want to live your own life.
          Remember, nobody rules anybody in the Companions.

Dragonborn: Someone has to be in charge, though.

Eorlund: Well, I'm not sure how they've managed it, but they have. No leaders
         since Ysgramor. Kodlak is the Harbinger, and he's a sort of advisor
         for the whole group, but every man is his own. Every woman, her own.

Dragonborn: I'll need to be going.

Eorlund: I have a favor to ask.

Dragonborn: What is it?

Eorlund: I've been working on a shield for Aela. My wife is in mourning and I
         need to get back to her soon. I'd be much obliged if you could take
         this to Aela for me.

         Didn't you just tell me not to be a servant?
          This isn't a command...just decency. Help out an old blacksmith. I've
          got to get back to my work.

         I'm happy to lend a hand.
          That's a good man.

[Aela can be found with Skjor downstairs.]

Dragonborn: I have your shield.

Aela the Huntress: Ah, good. I've been waiting for this. Are you new around

Skjor: I told you, this is the whelp that Vilkas mentioned.

Aela: Ah, yes. I heard you gave him quite a thrashing.

Skjor: Don't let Vilkas catch you saying that.

Aela: Do you think you could handle Vilkas in a real fight?

      I don't care for boasting.
       Ah, a man of action.

      I would kill him before he drew his sword.
       Whoa, ease up there. We're rough, but there's no need to kill a 
       Shield-Brother over a dispute. I like your fire though. You'll make a
       fierce Companion. Let us hunt together sometime.

      Here, let's have Farkas show you where you'll be resting your head.

Skjor: Farkas!

[Vilkas' brother comes down the hall.]

Farkas: Did you call me?

Aela: Of course we did, icebrain. Show this new blood where the rest of the
      whelps sleep.

Farkas: New blood? Oh, hello. I'm Farkas. Come, follow me.

[They walk down the hall while Farkas gives a rundown on the place.]

Farkas: Skjor and Aela like to tease me, but they're good people. They
        challenge us to be our best. Nice to have a new face around. It gets
        boring here sometimes. I hope we keep you. This can be a rough life.
        The quarters are up here. Just pick a bed and fall in it when you're
        tired. Tilma will keep the place clean; she always has. Alright, so
        here you are. Looks like the others are eager to meet you. Come to me
        or Aela if you're looking for work. Once you've made a bit of a name
        for yourself, Skjor and Vilkas might have things for you to do. Good
        luck. Welcome to the Companions.

[CMP2] PROVING HONOR |=========================================================
 [After completing 1 odd job...]

Dragonborn: I'm looking for work.

Farkas: Skjor was looking for you earlier.

Dragonborn: What does he want?

Farkas: Don't know. He just said he needed to talk to you before you do
        anything else. I don't like making him angry, but there is some work
        for you if you want it.

[Dragonborn finds Skjor.]

Skjor: Ah, there you are.

Dragonborn: You wanted to see me?

Skjor: I did. Your time, it seems, has come.

Dragonborn: What do you mean?

Skjor: Last week a scholar came to us. He said he knew where we could find
       another fragment of Wuuthrad. He seemed a fool to me, but if he's right,
       the honor of the Companions demands we seek it out.

       What does this have to do with me?
        This is a simple errand, but the time is right for it to be your Trial.
        Carry yourself with honor, and you'll become a true Companion.

       I would be honored to retrieve it.
        There is a fine line and respect and bootlicking, new blood. But I like
        your spirit. We've decided this will be your Trial. DO well, and you'll
        be counted among the Companions.

       Farkas will be your Shield-Sibling on this venture, whelp. He'll answer
       any questions you have. Try not to disappoint...or get him killed.

[Farkas is nearby.]

Farkas: I hope you've readied yourself.

Dragonborn: You're going to be my Shield-Brother?

Farkas: So I'm told. Let's see if you impress.

        Who was this scholar?
         A smart man came and told us about a blade piece. Skjor thinks you
         should find it, and I'm supposed to watch you.

        What is Wuuthrad?
         Ysgramor was the hero who stared the Companions. Wuuthrad was his
         weapon. He came from the ancient homeland and killed all the elves.
         But not all of 'em, because some of 'em are still here.

        Why did Skjor call this my Trial?
         I watch you to make sure you're honorable. If you are honorable and
         strong, I can call you brother.

        I'll meet you at Dustman's Cairn.
         Don't delay, Shield-Brother.

[The two go to Dustmain's Cairn, a crypt in Whiterun's western plains. Inside
 is evidence of someone messing up the place.]

Farkas: Looks like someone'd been digging here. And recently. Tread lightly.
        Be careful around the burial stones. I don't want to haul you back to
        Jorrvaskr on my back.

[In one of the rooms, Dragonborn flips a switch, locking him in an alcove.]

Farkas: Now look what you've gotten yourself into. No worries. Just sit tight.
        I'll find the release.

[At this moment, several Silver Hand mercenaries rush in, surrounding Farkas.]

Silver Hand: It's time to die, dog.

Silver Hand 2: We knew you'd be coming here.

Silver Hand 3: Your mistake, Companion.

Silver Hand 4: Which one is that?

Silver Hand 5: It doesn't matter. He wears that armor, he dies.

Silver Hand 4: Killing you will make for an excellent story.

Farkas: None of you will be alive to tell it.

[Farkas transforms into a werewolf, slaughtering the bunch before releasing
 the gate lever.]

Farkas: I hope I didn't scare you.

Dragonborn: What was that?

Farkas: It's a blessing given to some of us. We can be like wild beasts.

Dragonborn: You're going to make me a werewolf?

Farkas: Oh, no. Only the Circle have the beastblood. Prove your honor to be a
        Companion. "Eyes on the prey, not the horizon." We should keep moving.
        Still the draugr to worry about.

        Who are the Silver Hand?
         Bad people who don't like werewolves. So they don't like us either.

        The Companions are werewolves?
         Not everyone, but all the Circle are. It's a secret to everybody.

[Deeper in the crypt is a piece of Wuuthrad. They take it, defeat all the
 draugr assailants and make it back to Skjor. A ceremony is about to occur
 at the training grounds.]

Kodlak: Brothers and sisters of the Circle, today we welcome a new soul into
        our mortal fold. This man has endured, has challenged, and has shown
        his valor. Who will speak for him?

Farkas: I stand witness to the courage of the soul before us.

Kodlak: Would you raise your shield in his defense?

Farkas: I would stand at his back, that the world might never overtake us.

Kodlak: And would you raise your sword in his honor?

Farkas: It stands ready to meet the blood of his foes.

Kodlak: And would you raise a mug in his name?

Farkas: I would lead the song of triumph as our mead hall reveled in his

Kodlak: Then the judgment of this Circle is complete. His heart beats with fury
        and courage that have united the Companions since the days of the
        distant green summers. Let it beat with ours, that the mountains may
        echo and our enemies may tremble at the call.

Companions: It shall be so.

Kodlak: Well, boy, you're one of us now. I trust you won't disappoint.

        Is it true that the Companions are werewolves?
        I see you've been allowed to know some secrets before your appointed
        time. No matter. Yes, it's true. Not every Companion, though. Only
        members of the Circle all share the blood of the beast. Some take to
        it more than others.

         What about you?
         Well, I grow old. My mind turns towards the horizon. To Sovngarde. I
         worry that Shor won't call an animal to glory as he would a true Nord
         warrior. Living as beasts draws our souls closer to the Daedric Lord
         Hircine. Some may prefer an eternity in his Hunting Grounds, but I
         crave the fellowship of Sovngarde.

          You're looking to cure yourself?
          Yes, but it's no easy matter. But you don't need to share the worries
          of an old warrior. This day is to rejoice in your bravery! And speak
          to Eorlund if you want a better weapon than...whatever that is.

[The player goes to Eorlund.]

Dragonborn: I was told you would have a weapon for me.

Eorlund: Yes, lad, you've been raised into the Companions, I hear. I can forge
         whatever kind of weapon you want. Finest forge in Skyrim, right here
         before you.

         I'd like a sword.
          A blade! It'll be as sharp as Fralia's tongue!

         I'd like a dagger.
          Ah, the sneaky type, eh? I think we can fix you right up.

         I'd like a battleaxe.
          Just like Ysgramor himself.

         I'd like a greatsword.
          Sure you can handle that? Hahaha. Of course you can.

         I'd like a waraxe.
          Now that's a smart weapon: light, strong, useful. Crack some skulls
          for me.

[CMP3] THE SILVER HAND |=======================================================

[After doing another job, the quest-giver directs one to Skjor.]

Skjor: Yes, I have something special for you. But it's not for everyone to
       hear. Meet me in the Underforge tonight. We will speak more.

Dragonborn: Where is this Underforge?

Skjor: I forget that you've never seen it. Beneath the Skyforge, where Eorlund
       works. The door is hidden, but I will show you the way.

[That night, they meet as directed.]

Skjor: Are you prepared?

       What is this place?
        Here's all you need to know. Jorrvaskr is the oldest building in
        Whiterun. The Skyforge was here long before it was. And the Underforge
        taps an ancient magic that is older than men or elves. We bring you
        here to make you stronger, new blood. Now, let's move.

       I'm ready for whatever test is next.
        This is no test, new blood. This is a gift. Come inside.

[In the Underforge, Aela is already waiting in her werewolf form.]

Skjor: I'm glad you came. It's been a long time since we've had a heart like
       yours in our numbers. That pitiful ceremony behind the hall does not
       befit warriors like us. You are due more honor than some calls and
       feasting. I would hope you recognize Aela, even in this form. She's
       agreed to be your forebear.

       We do this in secret because Kodlak is too busy trying to throw away
       this great gift we've been granted. He thinks we've been cursed. But
       we've been blessed. How could something that gives this type of prowess
       be a curse? So we take matters into our own hands.

       To reach the heights of the Companions, you must join with us in the
       shared blood of the wolf. Are you prepared to join your spirit with the
       beast world, friend?

        What if I don't want to be a werewolf?
         That is your choice. We will not force you. But to join the Circle,
         your blood must be as ours. Meet us here when you're ready.

        I'm ready.
         Very well.

[Skjor cuts Aela's hand, letting it bleed into the stone fountain. The player
 drinks deeply, awakening some time later in werewolf form. Eventually, the
 transformation subsides, the player finding him/herself accompanied by Aela
 out in the wilderness.]

Aela: Are you awake? I was starting to think you might never come back. Yours
      was not an easy transformation, but you're still alive. Congratulations.
      We even have a celebration planned for you. There's a pack of werewolf
      hunters camped nearby, at Gallows Rock. The Silver Hand. I think you've
      met them before. We're going to slaughter them. All of them. Lead on.
      Skjor's already scouting ahead.

      What just happened?
       You were born into the pack, brother. I almost envy you, that first
       time is always the most...intense. You gave us even more trouble than
       Farkas did in his first turning.

      Am I a werewolf now?
       You have the blood in you. You'll need to build up your strength before
       you're able to call on it again, though. Just be careful where you do
       it. Some cowards in this land can't stand the sight of glory before

      What does it mean to be a werewolf?
       Nothing, until you choose to use it. Then, well...you got a taste.
       Stronger, faster. It doesn't last long, though. The blood of your foes
       can sustain you. If you're willing to feed. The more we feed, the
       greater our prowess will grow. We could perhaps discover even more gifts
       than Hircine.

      Is there a cure?
       Cure? Ha. You're sounding like the old man. I...I shouldn't say that. I
       love Kodlak. I respect and follow him. But he's wrong on this. It's no
       curse. We're made into the greatest hunters in the land. If he's worried
       about some mead-swilling afterlife in Sovngarde, he's free to pursue it.
       I'll take the glories of the hunt right here.

      Where are we going?
       The Silver Hand have taken over the old fort at Gallows Rock. They
       always make such easy prey.

[Aela and her wolfy companion enter the fort.]

Aela: Look at this. Cowards must have locked the place down after Skjor charged
      in. You can taste the fear.

[They proceed onward, finding a dead werewolf chained up.]

Aela: There's a dead one, isn't there. Thought so. Nobody we know, by the
      smell. Some can't separate the animal from themselves, go feral. This
      poor sod could have been anyone. We should keep moving.

[Rats are nearby.]

Aela: No surprise they keep vermin around. Filthy squalor.

[More werewolves are seen caged.]

Aela: Nothing we can do for these ones now. Don't even want to think about what
      those cretins did to them before they died.

[They near the deepest sanctum.]

Aela: We're getting close now, be careful. Their leader is a tricky one. They
      call him "The Skinner". I don't think I need to tell you why.

[They defeat Krev the Skinner and his cohorts, but find Skjor's body nearby.]

Aela: The bastards...somehow they managed to kill Skjor. He's one of the
      strongest we had, but numbers can overwhelm. He should not have come
      without a Shield-Brother. Get out of here. I'm going to make sure we got
      the last of them, and see if there's any information to be gotten from
      the bodies. You and I have work to do. The Silver Hand will tremble at
      our sight.
[CMP4] BLOOD'S HONOR |=========================================================
 [After two radiant quests for Aela, in which a Wuuthrad piece is claimed,
 it's time to make good on an earlier vow.]

Dragonborn: I'm looking for work.

Aela: And there is more work to be done, but I fear that Kodlak has gotten wind
      of our recent efforts. He's asked to see you. My advice? Always be honest
      with the old man, but don't tell him anything he doesn't need to know.

[Down in Kodlak's quarters...]

Kodlak: Thank you for coming.

Dragonborn: You wanted to see me.

Kodlak: Yes, youngling. Have a seat. I hear you've been busy of late.

        Aela and I work to avenge Skjor's death.
         Your hearts are full of grief, and my own weeps at the loss of Skjor.
         But his death was avenged long ago. You have taken more lives than
         honor demanded. The cycle of retaliation may continue for some time.

        I work for the honor of the Companions.
         Lad, I know what you've been up to. Mind you, it's no business of what
         each Companion does . But this sneaking around. It doesn't befit
         warriors of your stature. Aela knows this, and so should you.

        In any case, I have a task for you. Have you heard the story of how we
        came to be werewolves?

        Skjor said it was a blessing of Hircine.
         Aye, that sounds like him. As in all matters of faith, though, the
         reality is more complicated than one believer would tell you.

        Vilkas said it was a curse laid upon the ancient Companions.
         The boy has a nugget of truth, but the reality is more complicated
         than that. It always is.

Dragonborn: So what is the truth, then?

Kodlak: The Companions are nearly five thousand years old. This matter of
        beastblood is only troubled us for a few hundred. One of my
        predecessors was a good but short-sighted man. He made a bargain with
        the witches of Glenmoril Coven. If the Companions would hunt in the
        name of their lord Hircine, we would be granted great power.

Dragonborn: And they became werewolves?

Kodlak: They did not believe the change would be permanent. The witches offered
        payment, like anyone else. But we had been deceived.

        But aren't you more powerful now?
         The witches didn't lie, of course. But it's more than our bodies.

        The witches should be hunted down for their trickery.
         We'll get to that. It's not so simple as just killing them, though.

        The disease, you see, affects not just our bodies. It seeps into our
        spirit. Upon death, werewolves are claimed by Hircine for his Hunting
        Grounds. For some, this is paradise. They want nothing more than to
        chase prey with their mastery for eternity. And that is their choise.
        But I am a true Nord. I wish for Sovngarde as my spirit home.

Dragonborn: Is there a way to cure yourself?

Kodlak: That's what I've spent my twilight years trying to find out. And now I
        think I've found an answer. The witches' magic ensnared us, and their
        magic can release us. They won't give it willingly, but we can extract
        their foul powers by force. I want you to seek them out. Go to their
        coven in the wilderness. Strike them down as a true warrior of the
        wild. And bring me their heads. The seat of their abilities. From
        there, we may begin to undo centuries of impurity.

        Am I to do this alone?
         You shall have no Shield-Brother this time. But the spirit of Ysgramor
         goes with you, to restore the honor of his legacy. Talos guide you,

        It shall be done.
         Good. Now move quickly. And don't leave any of them alive. Talos guide
         you, lad.

        I don't wish to remove this blessing.
         This is not about your desires, lad. Your own fate will be your own
         choice, just as always. Now be gone.

[The player travels to the coven in Falkreath and slays all the hagravens. On
 return to Jorrvaskr, it seems the Silver Hand attacked in the one's absence,
 as their carcasses lay at the mead hall's steps. Inside lies a motionless

Vilkas: Where have you been?

        I was doing Kodlak's bidding.
         I hope it was important, because it means you weren't here to defend

        What happened here?
         One of the fiercest battles I've ever seen.

        The Silver Hand. They finally found enough courage to attack Jorrvaskr.
        We fought them off, but...the old man...Kodlak...he's dead.

Dragonborn: Was anyone else hurt?

Vilkas: No, but they made off with all our fragments of Wuuthrad. But you and I
        are going to reclaim them. We will bring the battle to their chief
        camp. There will be none left living to tell their stories. Only songs
        of Jorrvaskr will be sung. We will avenge Kodlak...and they know will
        terror before the end.

[CMP5] PURITY OF REVENGE |=====================================================
 [Vilkas and the Dragonborn venture to Driftshade Refuge, kill the 3 leaders
 and reclaim Wuuthrad's pieces. After, they return to Whiterun.]

Vilkas: The others have probably prepared Kodlak's funeral by now. Come up to
        the Skyforge to pay your respects.

[CMP6] GLORY OF THE DEAD |=====================================================

[Kodlak's pyre sits atop the Skyforge. The other Companions stand nearby.]

Eorlund: Who will start?

Aela: I'll do it. Before the ancient flame...

Companions: We grieve.

Eorlund: At this loss...

Companions: We weep.

Vilkas: For the fallen...

Companions: We shout.

Farkas: And for ourselves...

Companions: We take our leave.

[Aela lights the pyre.]

Aela: His spirit is departed. Members of the Circle, let us withdraw to the
      Underforge, to grieve our last together.

Eorlund: Do you have the fragments of Wuuthrad still? I'll need to prepare
         them for mounting again.

         I return them with honor. (Give fragments)
          Don't get too flowery on me, lad.

         Here, take them. (Give fragments)
          Careful with those. Don't want even more fragments, do we?

         Of course, I have a small favor to ask of you. There is another piece
         that Kodlak always kept close to himself. Would you go to his chambers
         and bring it back for me? I'm not sure I'm the best one to go through
         his things.

         It would be my pleasure.
          Thank you. I'll be here.

         I guess I'll have to.
          I appreciate it.

[The Dragonborn claims the final piece and returns to Eorlund.]

Eorlund: You're back.

Dragonborn: I have Kodlak's fragment.

Eorlund: Thank you. Your Shield-Siblings have withdrawn to the Underforge. I
         think they're waiting for you.

[Aela, Vilkas and Farkas are all in the 'Forge, talking about Kodlak's legacy.]

Vilkas: The old man had one wish before he died. And he didn't get it. It's as
        simple as that.

Aela: Being moon-born is not so much of a curse as you might think, Vilkas.

Vilkas: That's fine for you. But he wanted to be clean. He wanted to meet
        Ysgramor and know the glories of Sovngarde. But all that was taken
        from him.

Aela: And you avenged him.

Farkus: Kodlak did not care for vengeance.

Vilkas: No, Farkus, he didn't. And that's not what this is about. We should be
        honoring Kodlak, no matter our own thoughts on the blood.

Aela: You're right. It's what he wanted, and he deserved to have it.

Vilkas: Kodlak used to speak of a way to cleanse his soul, even in death. You
        know the legends of the Tomb of Ysgramor.

Aela: "There the souls of the Harbingers will heed the call of northern steel."
      We can't even enter the tomb without Wuuthrad, and it's in pieces, like
      it has been for a thousand years.

[Eorlund enters.]

Eorlund: And dragons were just stories. And the elves once ruled Skyrim. Just
         because something is, doesn't mean it must be. The blade is a weapon.
         A tool. Tools are made to be broken...and repaired.

Vilkas: Is that...? Did you repair the blade?

Eorlund: This is the first time I've had all the pieces, thanks to our
         Shield-Brother here. "The flames of a hero can reforge the shattered."
         The flames of Kodlak shall fuel the rebirth of Wuuthrad. And now it
         will take you to meet him once more. As the one who bore the
         fragments, I think you should be the one to carry Wuuthrad into
         battle. The rest of you, prepare to journey to the Tomb of Ysgramor.
         For Kodlak.

[The Circle journeys to the aforementioned tomb in Winterhold.]

Vilkas: This is the resting place of Ysgramor. And his most trusted generals.
        You should be careful.

        Are you not coming?
         Kodlak was right. I let vengeance rule my heart. I regret nothing of
         what we did at Driftshade. But I can't go any further with my mind
         fogged or my heart grieved.

        Why do we need to be cautious?
         The original Companions. Their finest warriors rest with Ysgramor.
         You'll have to prove yourselves to them. It's not that you're
         intruding; I wager they've actually expected us. They just want to be
         sure that you're worthy. Be ready for an honorable battle.

        How do we get inside?
         Return Wuuthrad to Ysgramor. He should open the way.

[The player puts the axe in the statue's hands, revealing a new passage. They
 come to a spider's den eventually.]

Farkas: I can't go any further, Shield-Brother.

Dragonborn: What's the matter?

Farkas: Ever since Dustman's Cairn, the big crawly ones have been too much for
        me. Everyone has his weakness, and this one is mine. I'm not proud, but
        I will stay back with Vilkas. Give my regards to Ysgramor.

[Eventually, Aela and the player find the hall containing Kodlak's spirit.]

Kodlak: Greetings, Shield-Brother.

Dragonborn: Kodlak, is that you?

Kodlak: Of course. My fellow Harbingers and I have been warming ourselves here.
        Trying to evade Hircine.

Dragonborn: But there's nobody else here.

Kodlak: You see only me because your heart knows only me as the Companions
        leader. I'd wager old Vignar could see half a dozen of my predecessors.
        And I see them all. The ones in Sovngarde. The ones trapped with me in
        Hircine's realm. And they all see you. You've brought honor to the name
        of the Companions. We won't soon forget it.

Dragonborn: Vilkas said you could still be cured.

Kodlak: Did he now? I can only hope. You still have the witches' heads?
        Excellent. Throw one of them into the fire. It will release their
        magic, for me at least.

[The player tosses a coven witch's head in, releasing Kodlak's wolf spirit.
 With Aela's help, they slay it.]

Dragonborn: We've killed your beast spirit.

Kodlak: And so slain the beast inside of me. I thank you for this gift. The
        other Harbingers remain trapped by Hircine, though. Perhaps from
        Sovngarde, the rest of the heroes of old can aid me in their rescue.
        The Harrowing of the Hunting Grounds. It would be a battle of such
        triumph. And perhaps someday, you'll join us in that battle. But for
        today, return to Jorrvaskr. Triumph in your victory. And lead the
        Companions to further glory.

[Kodlak's spirit disappears.]

Aela: Did I hear right? Did he say you were to lead the Companions?

      He did indeed.
       You've earned the right. Your strength and honor are apparent to all.

      Does this upset you?
       I'm just surprised. But your strength and honor are apparent to all.

      And it's my honor to be first to address you as Harbinger. Let's go tell
      the others.

DAEDRIC QUESTS                                                           [DDRC]

 A Daedra's Best Friend ............................ [Clavicus Vile] ... DQ01
 A Night to Remember .................................... [Sanguine] ... DQ02
 Boethiah's Calling ..................................... [Boethiah] ... DQ03
 The Black Star ............................................ [Azura] ... DQ04
 The Break of Dawn ....................................... [Meridia] ... DQ05
 The Cursed Tribe ....................................... [Malacath] ... DQ06
 Discerning the Transmundane ....................... [Hermaeus Mora] ... DQ07
 The House of Horrors .................................. [Molag Bal] ... DQ08
 Ill Met By Moonlight .................................... [Hircine] ... DQ09
 The Mind of Madness .................................. [Sheogorath] ... DQ10
 The Only Cure ........................................... [Peryite] ... DQ11
 Pieces of the Past ............................... [Mehrunes Dagon] ... DQ12
 The Taste of Death ....................................... [Namira] ... DQ13
 Waking Nightmare ....................................... [Vaermina] ... DQ14
 The Whispering Door ..................................... [Mephala] ... DQ15

 Nocturnal's quests tie into the Thieves Guild questline, so check there for
 the full lowdown.
[DQ01] A DAEDRA'S BEST FRIEND |================================================
[Upon arrival in Falkreath, a guard approaches.]

Guard: Did you see a Dog out there?

       No. Some wolves, but no dogs.
        Ah, well.

       I've seen whole packs of dogs.
        No, this was a specific one. 

       What sort of dog?
        I don't know really.

       The blacksmith is offering a reward for a dog he saw on the road. I was
       hoping you'd seen it. I guess I'll stay on the lookout. Keep your nose
       clean while you're here, outsider.

[One goes to the blacksmith.]

Lod: Did you see a hound on the road? A fine, strong creature that's been
     wandering near town.

     No, sorry. I didn't see a dog.
      There's one out on the road. 

     The guard at the gate mentioned a dog.²
      I asked the gate guards to look for him.

     I've seen whole packs of dogs.
      No, no, this one's alone on the road outside of town.

     I can't afford to chase him down but I could use a fierce, loyal beast to
     keep me company. If you were willing to retrieve him for me, I'd give you
     some fresh meat to attract him out on the road.

     Sure, I can catch him.
      Good! There's some gold in it for you if you succeed. Here's the meat --
      check the road just outside of town.

     I could be convinced to catch him. (Persuade)
      It's a smart man that demands something up front for his work. Some gold
      now and some when I have my dog. Here's the meat.

[A ways west of Falkreath, the player finds a dog sitting on the road. It
 approaches and...begins speaking?!]

Barbas: You are exactly what I was looking for.

        You were looking for me?
         Yeah, I think you'll be just what I need.

        Did you just talk?
         Skyrim is now host to giant, flying lizards and two-legged cat-men
         ...and you're surprised by me? Yes. I just talked. And am continuing
         to do so.

        You see, my name is Barbas. And I have a problem I think you can help
        sort out.

        I've got things to do.
         I know, I know... Wars to fight, dragons to confront, guild business
         to conduct. Sheesh! Listen, when you're ready to do something useful,
         find me outside Haemar's Shame, in Falkreath.

        So, what could a dog need my help with?
         My master and I had a bit of a falling out. We got into an argument
         and it got rather...heated. He's kicked me out until I find someone
         who can settle our disagreement. That's where you come in.

         Sounds easy enough. Let's go find him.
          Thank you. Now, since he banished me, Vile's been rather weak. He
          can't manifest very far from one of his shrines. I know there's a
          cult that worships him at Haemar's Shame. We should be able to talk
          to him there. If this works out, I'll make sure you're rewarded.
          Just don't trust any offer he makes you...okay?

         So you're a lost little puppy?
          Very funny. My master is Clavicus Vile, Daedric prince of wishes. As
          you can imagine, he's quite the important person.

[Barbas leads the player to Haemar's Shame, a cave east of Helgen. At the
 back of the vampire den is a sheltered shrine to Clavicus.]

Dragonborn: Lord Vile, I have a request of you.

Clavicus: By all means, let's hear it. It's the least I could do, since you
          already helped me grant one final wish for my last worshippers...
          They were suffering so from vampirism, and begged me for a cure.
          Then you came and ended their misery! I couldn't have planned it
          better myself. So, what's your heart's desire? What kind of deal
          can we strike?

          I'm just here to reunite you with Barbas.
           Ugh. That insufferable pup? Forget it. Request denied. No deal.
           I'm glad to be rid of him. Even if it does mean I'm stuck in this
           pitiful shrine, in the back end of...nowhere. Well...perhaps there
           is a way he could earn his place back at my side. Maybe. But no

          An end to the civil war that plagues my land.
           Oh, if I had my full power, granting that would be trivial. I'd
           simply snap my fingers and everyone in Skyrim would die. War

          The power to crush all before me!
           • Really? Power? Haven't you already killed enough of your foes
             using the more mundane means at your disposal? Swords, magic,
             etc.? How...uninspired. As much as I hate to say it, you're almost
             as powerful as I am right now. But that's just because half of my
             power resides in that mutt, Barbas. Come to think of it, I know of
             a win-win situation for both of us.

           • Really? Power? You're a Dragonborn; you already have more power
             than most people who aren't immense, fire-breathing monsters. [It
             continues from "As much as I hate..."]

Dragonborn: What's your offer?

Clavicus: There's an axe. An incredible powerful axe. An axe powerful enough
          for me to have quite a bit of fun, indeed. If you bring it to me,
          I'll grant you my boon. No strings attached. No messy surprises. At
          least, not for you. As I recall, it's resting in Rimerock Burrow.
          Barbas can lead you right to it. The little mutt might even earn
          his place back at my side.

[One can actually talk to Clavicus again.]

Dragonborn: What did you want, again?

Clavicus: In Rimerock Burrow, there's an artifact called the Rueful Axe. Bring
          it to me, and I'll take Barbas back. Simple as that.

[The player can talk to Barbas at this time.]

Dragonborn: So what's the story behind the Rueful Axe.

Barbas: One of Clavicus's little jests. A wizard named Sebastian Lort had a
        daughter who worshipped Hircine. When the daughter became a werewolf
        it drove Sebastian over the edge. He couldn't stand to see his little
        girl take on such a bestial form. The wizard wished for the ability to
        end his daughter's curse. Clavicus gave him an axe.

[After slaying Sebastian Lort and retrieving the axe, it's back to Vile.]

Clavicus: Ah, you've got the axe! And my dog. Splendid.

Dragonborn: We're back. Now fulfill your end of the bargain.

Clavicus: Excellent work. A hero and his faithful companion, retrieving the
          ancient artifact for the prince. It's almost...storybook. Ah, but
          it almost seems a shame to give a weapon like that away, doesn't it?
          I suppose I could be persuaded to let you keep it... But only if you
          use the axe to kill Barbas. Simple as that.

          I sure would like to keep this axe...
           And I could absorb the spirit of poor, dead Barbas. He'd still be
           reunited with me. And I'm sure Barbas doesn't want me to have that
           axe. He'd want it this way. The choice is yours, friend. We're all
           counting on you to make the right decision. Put him out of our

          No deal. Take the axe and take back Barbas!
           Hrmph. You're not fun at all. Guess I'll have to make my own fun
           elsewhere. And with the pup back, I'll be restored to my full power.
           There's a whole world just waiting for me!

[If one goes to kill Barbas...]

Barbas: Wait a second, there's another option here.

Dragonborn: I think I want to keep the axe.

Barbas: The axe isn't the only item dear old Clavicus has. Give him the Rueful
        Axe and once we're reunited the Masque of Clavicus Vile will be yours.

[If the player kills Barbas...]

Dragonborn: He's dead. Are we done here?

Clavicus: Absolutely! Now I can reabsorb his body, and return to full power.
          All without having to listen to his whining! Oh, sure, he'll be back
          in a century or two, but think of the fun I can have 'til then.
          Enjoy that axe! And don't worry about poor old Barbas. After all, he
          really should have picked a better friend...

[If the player forces Clavicus to take back Barbas...]

Barbas: I knew I could trust you.

Clavicus: Yeah, yeah, dog gets master, master gets cosmic axe, everyone's
          happy. Just get over here, mutt.

Barbas: Don't worry, I'll make sure he sees the light. I trusted you, now you
        trust me.

[Barbas disappears, then manifests as part of Clavicus' statue.]

Clavicus: Ah, that feels so much better! You forget how nice supreme power
          feels until you've been stuck in a cave for a few years.

          • It's a shame you wished for something so dull as me taking back
            the mutt. Quite a lack of imagination on your part. A lack of
            ambition like that really ought to be punished. Perhaps by turning
            you into a worm, or maybe a few decades of...

          • Now, as for your wish... An end to the war, was it? I'll make sure
            this war ends, all right. Just as soon as the dragons swarm across
            Skyrim and wipe out all of you puny...

          • Now, as for your wish... Power, was it? You can be a part of a
            tremendous power -- all you have to do is let your soul be absorbed
            by this axe. I never said it would be your power...

          Oh, fine. Have my boon and be done with it. I've got more interesting
          deals to make anyway.

[Clavicus, having changed his mind, gives his Masque as a reward.]

[DQ02] A NIGHT TO REMEMBER |===================================================
[In one of the city's bars, the player encounters Sam Guevenne.]

Sam: If you're looking for a challenge, you've come to the right place. A few
     drinks, a few laughs and a contest. What could be better?

     I don't really feel like drinking...
      Well come back when you do, my friend. Come back when you do.

     A drinking contest? You don't stand a chance!
      Ha! We'll see about that. This is a special brew, very strong stuff.
      Let's get started. I'll start round one. Down the hatch! Your turn.

      Here we go.
       One down, my friend. One down.

      This was a bad idea.
       Sorry to hear that.

[The player takes a drink.]

Sam: And another one for me. And how about you?

     A second drink. Easy enough.
      So says you. I think I've hit my limit on these things. Tell you what,
      one more and you win the contest.

     I'm done now.
      Awww, well, maybe next time.

[The player drinks a second brew.]

Dragonborn: One more. No problemsh.

Sam: Wow. You've really done it. The staff is yours.

Dragonborn: Thash grape!

Sam: You know, you're a fun person to drink with. I know this great little
     place where the wine flows like water. We should head there. Hey, you
     don't look so good...

[The player blacks out and awakens the next day...in Markarth. At the Temple
 of Dibella. An angry priestess serves as a wake-up call.]

Senna: Wake up! That's right, it's time to wake up, you drunken blasphemer!

       Where am I?
        Of course! You don't remember getting here.

        I see. So you don't remember fondling the statuary, then?

       Unh, my head.
        Yes, your head hurts and you don't remember where you are.

       I'm guessing you also don't remember coming in here and blathering
       incoherently about marriage or a goat. Which means you don't remember
       losing your temper and throwing trash all over the temple.

       Was a man named Sam with me?
        Dibella teaches love and compassion, but that doesn't mean we're just
        going to tell you what you want to know and let you walk away from
        this. Pick up your mess, then apologize, and if we think you're sincere
        we'll consider lending you aid.

       I'm sorry, I don't even remember how I got here. (Persuade)
        • Well, you were deep in your cups when you got here. You were ranting
          but most of it was slurred. You said something about Rorikstead.

        • Oh, I'd love to help you figure it out, but I'm so busy cleaning up
          the mess you made of our temple... Now if you were to help tidy up
          and perhaps apologize afterwards...I might be able to help you.

       Tell me how I got here and I'll pay for the damages. (### gold)
        • Well, we can always use contributions. You were ranting but most of
          it was slurred. You did say something about Rorikstead. Maybe you
          should take a look there.

        • Oh you must be nobility of some sort. Running around partying and
          paying others to clean it up. I don't think so. Clean up your own

[If the player cleans up the Temple:]

Senna: I suppose that'll do. Dibella teaches us forgiveness, after all. Even
       for a drunk like you.

Dragonborn: So do you remember anything I said when I got here?

Senna: You were ranting when you got here, but most of it was slurred. You
       did say something about Rorikstead. Maybe you should take a look there.

[The next step is visiting Rorikstead, the tiny farming community between
 Markarth and Whiterun. An angry farmer is nearby.]

Ennis: You! You've got a lot of nerve showing yourself in this town again. What
       do you have to say for yourself?

       I'm sorry?
        Sorry's not good enough! Not while my Gleda is still out there, alone
        and afraid. You kidnapped her and sold her to that Giant!

       I have no idea what you're talking about.
        Is that so? Does the name Gleda ring a bell? The star beauty of my
        farm? Kidnapped by a drunk lout and sold to a Giant?

       You'd better remember her right fast, before I call the guards and have
       you hauled away.

Dragonborn: That sounds pretty bad...

Ennis: You're damned right it does. I'll never breed another prize-winning goat
       like Gleda! And don't you think of coming back to Rorikstead until you
       get her back from that Giant.

       What happened with Gleda again? I'm a little fuzzy on that.
        You really don't remember stealing a goat and selling her to a Giant?
        Are you thick? Go get her! At least she's bound to follow you back --
        you smell just like the fermented feed she likes.

       Did I say anything about where I left a staff?
        You mentioned something like that... when you were running off with my
        goat! Tell you what -- you bring back my goat, and maybe I'll give a
        damn about your staff.

       Help me retrace my steps and I'll pay you for the goat. (1000 gold)
        • Fine, but I'll still be missing my Gleda. Doubt I'll ever have a
          prize winning¹ goat again. Most of what you said was gibberish but
          you left a note. The only bit I could read was "after repaying Ysolda
          in Whiterun."

        • There's not enough money in the world to replace Gleda.

       I need to find Sam and the staff, in order to get Gleda back. (Persuade)
        • I suppose that makes sense. You didn't mention a Sam and nothing you
          said about the staff made sense. You left a note but it was mostly
          gibberish, the only bit I could make out was "after repaying Ysolda
          in Whiterun."

        • You didn't seem to need either to sell Gleda to the Giant in the
          first place. I think you'll figure it out.

       Tell me everything and you won't end up like your goat. (Intimidate)
        • Okay, okay. Most of what you said didn't make sense but you left a
          note. The only bit that I could read said "after repaying Ysolda in
          Whiterun." That's all I know.

        • Do what you have to do, I'm not giving up on Gleda.

[One can go kill the giant to bring Gleda back.]

Dragonborn: Here's your goat. Now can you help me retrace my steps?

Ennis: Gleda! And not a scratch on her! Happy day! I still can't figure out
       why you stole her. You left a note explaining it, but half of it was
       gibberish and the rest had mead spilled on it. Only bit I could make out
       was "repaying Ysolda in Whiterun," and even that's mostly scribbles.
       Guess you could try there.

[The player visits the merchant Ysolda in Whiterun.]

Ysolda: So, you're finally back. Look, I've been patient, but you still owe me.

        Okay, how much do I owe you?
         It's not about the money, really. I wouldn't have given you the
         wedding ring on credit if you weren't so obviously in love. But if
         there isn't going to be a wedding, the least you can do is give the
         ring back. That was one of my best pieces.

        Yeah, I've been getting that a lot.
         Aw, what's wrong? Did the engagement fall through? Look, how about we
         call it even, as long as you bring back the wedding ring? That's
         really a shame -- I was so looking forward to the wedding. You said
         you'd have all the most interesting guests.

Dragonborn: Do you know what I did with it?

Ysolda: You went right out to give it to your fiancee¹! Don't you even remember
        where you left her? And after you told me that sweet story of how you
        met in Witchmist Grove! I can see why she left you.

        Seriously, let me pay you for the ring. (2000 gold)
         • Decided to go through with it then? I knew you couldn't have
           forgotten about your fiance¹. You spoke of her so glowingly. I don't
           know much about Morvunskar but it sounded like a lovely place for
           the ceremony. Congratulations.

         • I think I would prefer my ring back. I put a lot of time into
           making it and you just gave is¹ away as a joke.

        I just need to get to the wedding. Please. (Persuade)
         • You must have had a wild night if you can't remember that. But I
           suppose everyone gets the jitters before their wedding. And I did
           say you could take a bit of time paying me back. You said the
           ceremony was going to be at Morvunskar. Don't forget you still owe

         • I'm sure your bride-to-be will tell you when¹ you¹ where the
           ceremony will be. If she still wants to marry you when you tell her
           you can't afford the ring.

        I don't care about the ring! Tell me what else I said! (Intimidate)
         • All right, all right. You're mean when you're sober. You said you¹
           the ceremony was going to be in Morvunskar. You said your friend
           Sam was going to be your best man.

         • You think you can bully me. I grew up with five brothers. Go...

        What was that story about my fiancee¹?
         How could you forget? It was the sweetest story I'd ever heard. You
         met at the full moon, under the biggest tree in Witchmist Grove,
         surrounded by fireflies. It was straight out of a storybook.

[The player can go to Witchmist Grove, finding the fiancée: a hagraven...]

Moira: Darling! I've been waiting for you to return, to consummate our love!

Moira: What? You want it for that hussy Esmerelda, with the dark feathers –-
       don't you? I won't let her have you!

[Now dead, the player takes the ring back to Ysolda.]


[Eventually, the player heads to Morvunskar, a mage-run fortress. Inside, a
 portal leading to the Misty Grove, a magical dimension. There, Sam and some
 revellers are waiting.]

Sam: You're here! I was beginning to think you might not make it.

Dragonborn: It was quite a trip. Where are we?

Sam: I thought you might not remember your first trip here. You had a big
     night. I think you've definitely earned the staff.

Dragonborn: I have all the things needed to repair it.

Sam: Oh, the Hagraven feather and so on. You can throw all those out. You

[Sam transforms, revealing himself as the Daedric Lord Sanguine.]

Sanguine: I really just needed something to encourage you to go out into the
          world and spread merriment. And you did just that! I haven't been so
          entertained in at least a hundred years!

          So all of this was just a prank?
           Just a prank? Just a prank? The Daedric Lord of Debauchery does not
           deal in mere "pranks." This may have begun as a minor amusement, but
           it wasn't long before I realized you'd make a more interesting
           bearer of my not-quite-holy staff.

          Who are you?
           I am Sanguine, Daedric Prince of Debauchery! I know, I know, how
           could I lie to you? Well, how could I trust you until we've shared
           a few drinks? But it wasn't long before I realized you'd make a more
           interesting bearer of my not-quite-holy staff than this waste of

          Thanks, I guess.
           My pleasure. But I think it's time for you to go. No fun keeping you
           locked up in here with the staff.

          Why did you choose me?
           Let's be honest, here. I don't always think my decisions through.
           But you...you're going places. Maybe a little influence from your
           old uncle Sanguine could help adjust your course a bit...

[He teleports the player back to the bar they first bumped glasses at, with
 his Dremora-summoning staff as a parting gift.]           

[DQ03] BOETHIAH'S CALLING |====================================================
[In one's travels, a Boethiah cultist attacks the player, leaving behind a
 book that notes the shrine's location. The player goes to the Sacellum to
 find a small arena hosting deathmatches. A priestess of Boethiah stops the

Priestess: We are Lord Boethiah's faithful. Have you come to test your mettle?

           Is this some kind of cult?
            We are forged by Boethiah's example. We carve our will upon the
            world through our tongues and our blades. You? You are nothing.
            An empty vapor, dispersed by the slightest breeze.

            I'm not afraid of you.
             Good. Perhaps I've misjudged.

           Who is Boethiah?
            The Lord of Plots, Deceiver of Nations, Devourer of Trinimac. The
            Queen of Shadows, Goddess of Destruction, He-Who-Destroys and
            She-Who-Erases... Many are our lord's lofty names, but they befit
            only us mortals. Intone her mighty names from now until the end
            of time -- it is for naught. Names mean nothing to our Lord. She
            only cares for those who care for themselves, whose hearts are
            full of purpose, whose lives are full of deeds.

            My heart is full of purpose, and my life is full of deeds.
             If you desire a glimpse of our Dark Mistress, then this is what
             you must do. First, prove your tongue can wield a lie. Find
             someone. Gain his trust. Lead him to the shrine above. Next,
             instruct your thrall to touch the Pillar of Sacrifice. Its magic
             will ensnare him, rendering him helpless. Then, girded with
             certitude, plant the ceremonial blade deeply, so that the waters
             of his heart wash over you. If your will is strong enough, it
             will stir Boethiah in her Dark Mansion, and she will appear before

             I'll do it.
              That remains to be seen. But if it is so, and if Boethiah
              appears, then we will welcome you as one of us.

             I'll do nothing of the sort.
              Then you are weak and inconsequential.

[Alternately, if one kills all the cultists, Boethiah herself manifests by
 bodyjacking one of the corpses.

Boethiah: Ahhhhgh. Wearing flesh is so...distasteful. You have caught my
          attention, mortal. That is most unwise. Tell me, why have you slain
          those who profess to follow in my ways?

Dragonborn: My reasons are my own.

Boethiah: I abide only those whose will is aligned with my own. Those who
          oppose my desires perish in the most dreadful of ways. I have a
          purpose for which you might prove useful. But first I must test the
          deftness of your guile, and the strength of your purpose. Make a
          thrall. Lure him to my shrine. Prove your will is stronger. Convince
          him to embrace the Pillar of Sacrifice, and then slay him without
          mercy. Do this and I shall remember you and bestow an important task
          upon you. Do this not, and I shall forget you, and your soul will
          waste in obscurity.

[Either way, the player sacrifices someone on the Pillar, summoning Boethiah.
 If the cultists are still alive:]

Boethiah: Ahhhhgh. Wearing flesh is so...distasteful. You have caught my
          attention, mortal. That is most unwise. Tell me, why have you slain
          this one, who trusted you, here upon my shrine?

          Who are you?
           I am called Boethiah. Many names have mortals given to me. But I am
           not interested in names. I am interested only in deeds.

           Are you some kind of god?
            A god? Assuredly not! When was the last time you saw evidence of
            Aedra in the world? No, we Daedra are more powerful than any god.
            And among my brethren, I am the most feared.

          I have slain Cosnach to gain your favor.
           My favor? My good pleasure is not some trophy for mortal sport! I
           should slay you for such insolence!

          My reasons are my own.
           Indeed. But I abide only those whose will is aligned with my own.
           Those who oppose my desires perish in the most dreadful of ways.

           I didn't mean to offend.
            Were you certain in your purpose, you would have no need to
            apologize. You have much to learn... But you have proven your will
            is strong and your heart is devoid of pity. So, perhaps you are not
            entirely useless... We shall soon find out.

           I'm not afraid of you.
            Is that so? You should be. Though a heart without fear is something
            I can use... Perhaps you are the one I seek. We shall soon find

          Listen. All of you! Hear me! I have need of a warrior. Only the most
          ruthless, cunning, and agile will do. You have gathered here night
          after night, sacrificing fools upon my shrine, and sparring aimlessly
          with yourselves. But which among you truly exceeds the rest? Prove
          yourselves to me! I have a special task for whichever of you is left

[Once the player kills the cultists at Boethiah's behest, or if they were all
 killed previously to get her attention:]

Boethiah: Well done. You have proven the strength of your will and your
          tongue's gift for lies. You have shown ferocity and prowess in
          combat. Now the time has come for a final proving. Are you able to
          cast aside your honor and strike with the hidden blade?

          "Honor" is a coward's tool.
           An astute observation. Skyrim is a beautiful and harsh mistress, but
           her people cling to such a petty notion of honor.

          I'll do whatever you ask.
           I have little need for mindless thralls. My servants serve their own
           purposes. But, if their will is insufficient, nor suitably aligned
           with mine, I simply destroy them. Which brings me to my present

          My previous champion displeases me. It is time he is replaced -- in
          the traditional fashion.

          Who is he?
           I am loath to utter his name...one cannot erase a thing if it has a
           name to be remembered.

          Where can I find him?
           You will find him holed up at Knifepoint Ridge, where he plays king
           to bandits and highwaymen.

          What has he done to displease you?
           For a time he served his purpose, but that time has ended. He uses
           my gifts for his own amusement, and the only amusement I tolerate
           is my own. 

          Say no more. He's as good as dead.
           Kill every single member of his band. Do so as silently and
           invisibly as you can, for this is not about you. You are to be my
           instrument in this. Slay him in the coldest of blood. Do not give
           him the dignity of defending himself. Once his corpse lays cold
           upon the ground, and all trace of his followers erased, retrieve
           my Ebony Mail. A gift fit only for my true champion.

[The player goes to Knifepoint Ridge and slays the ex-champion and his merry
 band of highwaymen. The player reclaims the Ebony Mail and dons it.]

Boethiah: You have done well, my Champion. You have earned my respect, a feat
          few manage and live to tell about. I shall write your name upon the
          Tablet of Absolute Darkness. You may keep my Ebony Mail, a token of
          my appreciation to my new champion. Its gifts will resonate with
          your talents. Now go. I have strings to pull that require my full
          attention. You may pursue your own course wherever it leads you.
          Remember always this: As you will, so it shall be.

[DQ04] THE BLACK STAR |========================================================
[Many people in Skyrim will direct the player to a famous landmark, the Shrine
 to Azura, atop a snowy peak in Winterhold. If one climbs, they'll find just
 one worshipper -- Aranea Ienith -- in attendance.]

Aranea: Azura has seen your coming, traveler. It was not curiosity, but fate,
        that has lead you here.

        "Seen my coming"? What do you mean?
         Azura has given me the gift of foresight. I had a vision of you
         walking up the steps to this altar long before you were born. You
         have been chosen to be her champion. I know it is unexpected, but do
         not worry. It will all unfold as she has predicted.

        What is this place? Who's Azura?
         This shrine was built by the Dunmer. As our land was scorched by fire
         and brimstone, Azura's prophecies led us to safety. She is a Daedra,
         a powerful being who watches from beyond our mortal plane. She has
         chosen you to be her champion.

        I don't believe in fate.
         Perhaps that is what you are meant to believe. To better serve your
         role as Azura's champion. Do not fight it. Azura's prophecies always
         come to pass. To deny them is to go headlong into the darkness with
         no light to guide you.

        Very well. What does Azura need?
         You must go to a fortress, endangered by water, yet untouched by it.
         Inside, you will find an elven mage who can turn the brightest star
         as black as night. It is crytic, I know, but Azura's signs are never
         wrong. I believe the fortress may refer to Winterhold. Ask if they
         know this elven enchanter.

        I'm not anyone's champion. Find someone else.
         There is no one else, but very well. I cannot force you to accept
         your destiny.

        Twilight guide your path.

[The player can inquire further about Azura.]

Dragonborn: I'd like to know more about Azura.

Aranea: She is the Goddess of Dawn and Dusk. Azura sees into the Twilight of
        the future, and guides her followers through it.

Dragonborn: Where did this shrine come from?

Aranea: My people, the Dunmer, built it. We fled from Morrowind after
        Vvardenfell erupted almost 200 years ago. Those of us who were
        faithful to Azura were given a vision that led us away from the island
        before the worst came. This shrine is our thanks to her. That none will
        forget she watches over us all.

Dragonborn: Are you all alone here?

Aranea: Yes. There were others at first, but Azura's visions tested everyone's
        faith. One by one, they left. Afraid to know their own future. But I
        refused to abandon the shrine. The visions are a gift. Azura warns me
        of tragedy, war, death before it happens. I won't leave her guidance.

[In Winterhold, the player goes to the inn to inquire about an enchanter.]

Dragonborn: Is there an elven mage here that studies stars?

Dagur: The Mages are up in the college. You can ask them, if they'll let you
       in. Then again, Nelacar might know. He's an old-timer from the College,
       but he has a room here.

[The player goes to Nelocar.]

Nelacar: I don't deal with any College applicants these days, so don't bother

Dragonborn: I'm looking for an elven mage who studies stars.

Nelacar: Who sent you? Was it the College? The Jarl? We agreed there would be
         no more questions.

         A priestess of Azura sent me. (Persuade)
          • Azura? Gods, it's all finally coming back to haunt me.
          • You're working with the Daedra? Right. Now tell me the one about
            the Argonian Maid and the lusty baron.

         Look, I'm willing to pay. (### gold)
          • A few coins for my soul? If only you understood the irony.
          • I don't think you understand. I'm not answering questions.

         I didn't agree to anything. Talk. (Intimidate)
          • Just calm down. I'll tell you everything.
          • Do you think muscling me is going to work? I'm a wizard. An old.
            Elven. Wizard. Think about it.

         I misspoke. Forget I asked.
          That's for the best.

[The player convinces him.]

Nelacar: What do you know about soul gems?

         They're for enchanting, correct?
          They are. Except the gem is always consumed. They're frail. Except
          for one.

         Soul gems? Why are you asking?
          That's what caused all the trouble. Soul gems are used in enchanting,
          but they break afterwards. Except one.

         Don't change the subject.
          Soul gems are the subject, friend. They're used in enchanting, then
          they break. Except one.

         Azura's Star. A Daedric artifact that allows any number of souls to
         pass through it. Some of us wanted to find out how. I was working
         under Malyn Varen, then. If only we knew what he was really planning.

          Get to the point.
          What did Malyn do?
           Malyn wanted to alter the Star. He was dying. Disease. He thought he
           could store his own soul inside. Become immortal. It drove him mad.
           Students started dying. Eventually, the College exiled him. He took
           a few loyal disciples to Ilinalta's Deep and vanished.

          Look, I don't care who asked you to find the Star, but don't take it
          back to Azura. The Daedra are evil. They're the reason Malyn went

[The player can inquire further about Nelacar's subjects.]

Dragonborn: How does Azura's Star work?

Nelacar: I mentioned how the Star is a soul gem, only it never gets depleted?
         There's another rule the artifact follows. You can only store white
         souls in the Star, belonging to the lesser creatures. Azura's magic
         won't allow black souls to enter it. As a mortal, Malyn's soul was
         black, so part of his work was breaking past Azura's rules. He was
         close before...well, I already told you.

Dragonborn: How did the Daedra drive Malyn insane?

Nelacar: Azura is no ordinary Daedra. She commands an entire realm in of
         Oblivion. The more Malyn worked on the Star, the more she was able to
         damn him. It started slowly at first. Malyn would see things that
         weren't there. Then he would yell at students over words they hadn't
         said. Then one day I walked in and Malyn had...killed a student, and
         in a horrific moment of inspiration, he started using her soul for his

Dragonborn: It sounds like Malyn got what was coming to him.

Nelacar: The College would agree with you, but do you have any idea how many
         innocent lives were cut short, just so Azura could have revenge? We're
         nothing to the Daedra. Pawns to move around, praise, and punish as
         they see fit.

[The Dragonborn makes for Ilinalta's Deep, an old ruin along Lake Ilinalta
 that's halfway submerged. After slaying the mages inside, one recovers the
 Star...only it's been desecrated and broken. The player can determine which
 person to give the Star to.]

############################### NELOCAR'S PATH ###############################

Nelocar: Stendarr's Mercy. You found it. Azura's Star. Maybe this is my chance
         to make things right. I can finish Malyn's work, the way we had meant
         to before his madness. It would mean cutting the Star off from Azura.
         Only black soul would be able to enter it once we finished.

         Let's do it.
          Give me a minute to examine the Star. I'll see what we need to do.

         I'd like to think about it.
          All right, but hurry. Who knows if Azura is watching us?

         These fissures and cracks aren't encouraging. Malyn was obviously
         growing more desperate once he left the College. He did it. He
         actually managed to trap his own soul inside the Star, but it's
         falling apart. It needs more and more souls to sustain itself. The
         Star is being used to sustain Malyn's soul. I can't fix it while that
         fragment of him is inside.

         So we need to deal with Malyn somehow.
          Precisely. But it's not as simple as enchanting Malyn away. He's put
          up barriers. Souls are only allowed in, not out. If we were to...
          somehow...send a soul inside the Star. One that was ready to
          overpower Malyn from the inside...

          I don't like where this is going.
           I could soul trap you. Place you inside the Star. Then bring you
           back once Malyn has been dealt with.

          You want to send my soul inside, don't you?
           A special type of soul trap. Placing you within the Star without
           fully killing you. Once Malyn has been dealt with, I'll bring you

         I understand if you need some time to prepare. Let me know when
         you're ready.

         Won't that kill him?
          He's already dead. Worse, the enchantment keeping him intact requires
          black souls. I don't know how many people he must have killed. If we
          don't do something, the enchantment will eventually fade, and the
          Star will slip back into Oblivion. Azura will have the last laugh.

[The player can ask Malyn further about what will happen:]

Dragonborn: What do I do once I'm inside?

Nelacar: Malyn's soul should be in the Star. Theoretically, purging him will
         be just like killing a ghost anywhere else. I'll have a magical tether
         to your soul while you're inside. Once you're done, it'll be as simple
         as pulling you back into your body.

Dragonborn: What's to keep me from ending up like Malyn?

Nelacar: Malyn's soul is beyond home because his body is dead. But I'll be
         keeping you just slightly alive on this end. But be careful. If you
         die inside the Star, your soul will be disrupted. There's nothing
         anyone can do for you if that happens.

[When one has the determination to proceed...]

Dragonborn: I'm ready to enter the Star.

Nelacar: Okay. Stand still. This might sting. First, I'll need to grab hold of
         your soul. Now, take a deep breath.

[The player arrives in the Star.]

Malyn: Ah, my disciples have sent me a fresh soul. Good. I was getting...
       hungry. Wait. There's something different about you.

       This experiment of yours is over!
       You can't escape your fate, Malyn.
        And who are you to challenge me? I have conquered mortality itself.
        I've spat in the eyes of the Daedric Lords. This is my realm now. I've
        sacrificed too much for let you take it from me!        

[The player kills Malyn.]

Malyn: No. Not like this.

[Nelacar can be heard.]

Nelacar: Malyn's enchantments are broken. Hold on. I'm going to pull your soul
         out of there. Brace yourself.

[The player is put back in his/her own body.]

Nelacar: Easy there. The numbness will pass. Just don't strain yourself. We've
         done it. The Star has been cut from Azura, and Malyn's soul finally
         has some measure of peace, even if it is in non-existence.

         What do we do with it now?
          Now? You could use it for what we meant it for. Using black souls
          for enchanting. The Black Star will never decay, but it can no longer
          hold the white souls of lesser creatures. You keep it. 

         If it's fixed, then it's mine.
          Go ahead. Take it.

         I'd sooner finally put this chapter of my life behind me.
         Congratulations. You've altered the fate of a Daedric artifact and

############################## AZURA'S PATH ##################################

[The player returns the fractured Star to Aranea.]

Aranea: Azura's Star! I knew the Lady of Twilight had sent you for a reason.
        Hand it over to me. I will ask Azura to restore teh Star to its
        original purity.

        Here. Take it.
         I will commune with Azura.

        I need a moment. I'll be back later.
         I understand. Speaking to a goddess is overwhelming for many. Return
         when you're prepared.

[The player hands over the Star.]

Aranea: Azura. Mother of Roses. Goddess of Dusk and Dawn. Your chosen champion
        has returned your Star to you. She wishes to speak to you herself.
        Please. Place your hands on the altar, and you will hear her voice.

[One does so.]

Azura: Greetings, mortal. You have followed my guidance through the veils of
       Twilight and rescued my Star from Malyn Varen. But his soul still
       resides within, protected by enchantments. Until he is purged, my
       artifact is useless to you.

       Is there any way to cleanse the Star?
       Then why don't you remove it? Aren't you a daedra?
        Eventually, the Star will fade into my realm in Oblivion, but I doubt
        you have the hundred or so years it would take to wait. No, only one
        option remains. I will send you inside the Star. You will banish
        Malyn's soul there. Tell me when you are ready, mortal.

Dragonborn: I'm ready to enter the Star.

Azura: Have faith, mortal. I will be watching over you.

[The player is sent inside. The dialogue within is the same as on Nelocar's
 path, so I won't repeat it. After slaying the rogue mage:]

Azura: The Star is free to purify itself. Don't worry, mortal. I will return
       you before you are cleansed.

[The player is returned to the shrine.]

Azura: My Star has been restored and Malyn's soul has been consigned to
       Oblivion. You have done well, mortal. As was destined, you are free to
       use my Star as you see fit.

       Thank you, Lady Azura.
        Farewell, mortal. Know that Azura will be guarding over the threads of
        your fate in the Twilight.

       I dislike the daedra looking into my future.
        Oblivion has been watching you since the day you were conceived,
        mortal. Do not think that your life has been served by your will alone.
        Go now. I have seen the threads of your fate in the Twilight, and you
        still have much to accomplish.

[If one talks to Aranea:]

Aranea: While you were in the Star, Azura gave me a vision. Her last, she said.
        I have never been without Azura's guidance since escaping Morrowind. I
        don't know what to do. If you need me, I'd be honored to accompany you,
        Guardian of the Star. It would give me a purpose.

        Thank you, Aranea.
         Twilight watch over you, Guardian.

        What use would you be?
         I was a sorceress of no small skill before I came into Azura's faith.
         Afterwards, her magic sustained me. I could easily provide my spells
         to your cause. Protect you from harm. Defeat your enemies.

        So, Azura isn't giving you any more visions?
         No. She said my part was over. That my fate had moved beyond the
         Twilight, and I was on my own. I will tend Azura's shrine when you do
         not need me. I still have my duties, but for the first time I feel...

[DQ05] THE BREAK OF DAWN |=====================================================
[While spelunking in one of Skyrim's many caves, the player finds an odd, round
 object. Picking it up reveals it as the stolen beacon of Meridia's temple; she
 immediately speaks to the player.]

Meridia: A new hand touches the Beacon. Listen. Hear me and obey. A foul
         darkness has seeped into my temple. A darkness that you will destroy.

[Or, if one was given the quest by Meridia.]

Meridia: You have found my beacon. But it is not time for rejoicing. The
         defiler continues to profane my temple. Return to my figure on Mount
         Kilkreath, and I shall make you the instrument of my cleansing light.

[Alternately, the player may encounter the shrine before the beacon, in which
 case inspecting it give a similar order:]

Meridia: A new supplicant approaches. Listen. Hear me and obey. A foul darkness
         has seeped into my temple. A darkness that you will destroy. But
         first, you must restore to me my beacon. I shall guide you unto it.
         Find it and return here. And great shall be your reward.

[The player returns the beacon to Mount Kilkreath, west of Solitude.]

Meridia: Look at my temple, lying in ruins. So much for the constancy of
         mortals, their crafts and their hearts. If they love me not, how can
         my love reach them?

[Restoring the beacon to the statue levitates the player high above the temple,
 where Meridia holds her dialogue. She manifests as a ball of light.]

Meridia: It is time for my splendor to return to Skyrim. But the token of my
         truth lies buried in the ruins of my once great temple, now tainted
         by a profane darkness skittering within. The Necromancer Malkoran
         defiles my shrine with vile corruptions, trapping lost souls left in
         the wake of this war to do his bidding. Worse still, he uses the power
         stored within my own token to fuel his foul deeds. I have brought you
         here, mortal, to be my champion. You will enter my temple, retrieve my
         artifact, and destroy the defiler.

         Tell me more about this artifact.
          Mortals call it Dawnbreaker, for it was forged in a holy light that
          breaks upon my foes, burning away corruption and false life. You will
          enter my shrine, destroy Malkoran, and retrieve this mighty blade.

         It doesn't really sound like I have a choice in the matter.
          But a single candle can banish the darkness of the entire Void. If
          not you, then someone else. My beacon is sure to attract a worthy
          soul. But if you are wise, you will heed my bidding.

         I'll do it.
          Of course you will. I have commanded it!

         Go now, the artifact my be reclaimed and Malkoran destroyed. Malkoran
         has forced the doors shut. But this is my temple, and it responds to
         my decree. I will send down a ray of light. Guide this light through
         my temple and its doors will open.

[The player enters the temple, progressing by diverting Meridia's purifying
 light through prisms. Eventually, the player slays Malkoran and the shade he
 becomes afterward.]

Meridia: It is done. The defiler is defeated. Take Dawnbreaker from its

[Reclaiming the 1H sword teleports the player high above the shrine again.]

Meridia: Malkoran is vanquished. Skyrim's dead shall remain at rest. This is
         as it should be. This is because of you. A new day is dawning. And
         you shall be its herald. Take the mighty Dawnbreaker and with it
         purge corruption from the dark corners of the world. Wield it in my
         name, that my influence may grow.

         I'll keep the sword. But find someone else to spread your religion.
          It matters not. The plant cares nothing for the rays that bring it
          the warmth of the sun. As you carry Dawnbreaker, so will my light
          touch the world.

         I'll wield this mighty blade in your name.
          May the light of certitude guide your efforts.

[The player is returned to ground level.]

[DQ06] THE CURSED TRIBE |======================================================
[The player encounters the orc stronghold of Largashbur, and helps them fight
 off a giant at their gates.]

Ugor: Halt! You have no business here, outsider. Leave at once.

Lob: By the Ashpit, we can't go on like this.

Atub: Forgive Ugor's harsh words. She is merely doing as she has been told.

      What's going on here?

      It seems like I shouldn't be here.
       No, don't go!

      Please, our tribe suffers and we need help. Our chief, Yamarz, was once
      a strong and proud warrior. Now he is stricken, cursed. He is weak, so
      our tribe is weak. The giants sense this, and intrude on our territory.
      Now they assault our very home. Yamarz refuses help, but I sense you may
      be just what we need.

      What can I do?
       Yamarz has demanded we stay inside the walls. We cannot leave. I must
       petition Malacath for relief. This curse must be lifted. But I cannot
       travel to Malacath's shrine. The ritual must be done here, and I do not
       have the materials I need. I beg of you, can you bring me Troll Fat and
       a Daedra Heart? I have no wish to depend on a stranger, but I have no

      Deal with your own curses.
       We have been on our own for some time now. I fear we will not survive.

      I will stay right here and wait for you to bring me what I need.

[One soon returns with the needed ingredients.]

Dragonborn: Here are the things you asked for.

Atub: Excellent. Now, you must come with me. You've become a part of this. You
      must be present for the ritual.

[They go to the chief.]

Atub: It is time, Yamarz.

Yamarz: You bring an outsider here, and now insist I call on Malacath for help,
        when he has clearly forsaken me? You try my patience, Atub.

Atub: Doing nothing will not grant our tribe relief from this curse. We must

Yamarz: Grrr. Fine, let's get this over with.

[Everyone assembles at the courtyard shrine, scattered with Orc equipment as

Atub: Now, we begin the ritual... Great Malacath, we beseech you, aid us in
      our time of need...

Yamarz: Why are we bothering with this?

[A voice rings out from somewhere.]

Malacath: You pathetic weakling!

Yamarz: What's that?

Atub: Malacath has heard my pleas! He speaks to us!

Malacath: You dare summon me, Yamarz? 

Yamarz: What? What is this?

Malacath: You don't deserve to call yourself an Orc! You're weak, you're small,
          and you're an embarrassment. You let giants...Giants!...overrun my
          shrine! Bring me their leader's club, as an offering and I might
          release you from this curse!

Atub: So it will be. Malacath has spoken, Yamarz. Your path is clear.

Yamarz: Very well. You, outsider, come here! I want a word. This is all your
        fault, you know. I'm stuck fighting a giant, thanks to you. So you're
        going to help me. You're going with me, and you're going to make sure
        I don't have any trouble reaching that giant. Don't worry, I'll make
        it worth your while.

        Fighting the giant isn't my job.
         Thanks to you, I've been issued a challenge in front of my whole
         tribe, by a Daedric Prince, no less. I can't ignore that. I didn't
         say I wouldn't fight the giant. I just said you're going to help me
         get to it. Meet me outside Fallowstone Cave. You clear the way to the
         giant for me, and I'll make sure you get paid for it.

        What do you want me to do?
         This giant... It's not the only thing in Fallowstone Cave. Getting to
         it isn't going to be easy. You're going to clear a path to the giant,
         so I can conserve my strength. I'll make sure you're paid for it. So,
         you meet me at Fallowstone Cave, and I'll get this over with. I can
         have my tribe back, and you can... You can leave us alone.

[The two journey to the cave in the eastern Rift.]

Yamarz: Let's just get this over with.

        How long has this been going on?
         Weeks? Longer? it feels like an age has gone by. I haven't slept in
         so long.

        I'm just here to help.
         Oh, of course! Because Malacath would take pity on us if only a
         useless outsider would lend us a hand.

        Let's get this over with.

[They proceed inside, fighting off giants and woodland critters, to reach the
 grove where the giant leader's at.]

Yamarz: All right, I'll go kill this giant. Unless, of course, you'd like to
        make some extra gold.

        What do you mean?
         I'm tired, I haven't slept well in weeks. You kill the giant, bring
         me the hammer. We go back to Largashbur, I tell everyone I did it.
         You keep your mouth shut, and I pay you. Handsomely.

         Okay, I'll do it.
          Good. I'll be waiting right here.

        No, you're supposed to do it.
         Fine, then wait here. This should only take a second.         

[If the player kills the giant in Yamarz' place.]

Yamarz: Excellent work. You have a true fighting spirit. Did that better than
        I could have. Of course, I can't let you leave here alive. Wouldn't
        want anyone finding out.

[Either way, Yamarz perishes.]

Malacath: Yamarz was a fool. Always trying to scheme his way out of
          responsibility. But, you took care of him and the giants. Two
          problems solved at once. Now, take Shagrol's hammer back to
          Largashbur, and we'll see about whipping the rest of them into shape.

[Upon returning to the stronghold...]

Atub: Largashbur will not soon forget what you have done. We have a second
      chance thanks to you.

Dragonborn: I have returned with Shagrol's hammer.

Atub: But... What of Yamarz? I see. He did not survive. He... He died well?

      He fought bravely, but the giant overwhelmed him.
       Ah, that is good to hear, then.

      He asked me to kill the giant, then attacked me.²
       What? Why would he do such a thing?

Malacath: Yamarz was a coward and a weakling. His deceitful ways have cost you
          all greatly.

Atub: So he has been punished? And what of us? What fate shall we suffer?

Malacath: You'll have to prove yourselves, but I'm willing to give you a
          chance. Gularzob's in charge now. Let's hope he's a better chief.
          You, place that hammer on the shrine. You're the only one who's
          proven worthy in all this...

[Placing the giant's hammer on the shrine turns it into the ancient artifact
 Volundrung, Malacath's reward from ages past.]

[DQ07] DISCERNING THE TRANSMUNDANE |===========================================
[While exploring Winterhold, one finds an iceberg at sea where a man, Septimus
 Signus, has made his home. Inside is a magnificent dwarven mechanism.]

Septimus: Dig, Dwemer, in the beyond. I'll know your lost unknown and rise to
          your depths. When the top level was built, no more could be placed.
          It was and is the maximal apex.

          I heard you know about Elder Scrolls.²
           Elder Scrolls. Indeed. The Empire. They absconded with them. Or so
           they think. The ones they saw. The ones they thought they saw. I
           know of one. Forgotten. Sequestered. But I cannot go to it, no poor
           Septimus, for I...I have arisen beyond its grasp.

          What brings you to this remote place?
           The ice entombs the heart. The bane of Kagrenac and Dagoth Ur. To
           harness it is to know. The fundaments. The Dwemer lockbox hides it
           from me. The Elder Scroll gives insight deeper than the deep ones,
           though. To bring about the opening.

           You have an Elder Scroll? Here?
            I've seen enough to know their fabric. The warp of air, the weft of
            time. But no, it is not in my possession.

          So, where is the Scroll?
           Here. Well, here as in this plane. Mundus. Tamriel. Nearby,
           relatively speaking. On the cosmological scale, it's all nearby.

           Can you help me get the Elder Scroll or not?
            One block lifts another. Septimus will give you what you want, but
            you must bring him something in return.

           Don't make me hurt you. Just tell me where it is.
            Oh, a brutish one. Septimus has no fear of you. But as one block
            raises another, perhaps ourselves could help us each.

          Are you...all right?
           Oh, I am well. I will be well. Well to be within the will inside the

Dragonborn: What do you want?

Septimus: You see this masterwork of the Dwemer. Deep inside their greatest
          knowings. Septimus is clever among men, but he is but an idiot child
          compared to the dullest of the Dwemer. Lucky then they left behind
          their own way of reading the Elder Scrolls. In the depths of
          Blackreach one yet lies. Have you heard of Blackreach? "Cast upon
          where Dwemer cities slept, the yearning spire hidden learnings kept."

Dragonborn: Where is this "Blackreach"?

Septimus: Under deep. Below the dark. The hidden keep. Tower Mzark. Alftand.
          The point of punture, of first entry, of the tapping. Delve to its
          depths, and Blackreach lies just beyond. But not all can enter there.
          Only Septimus knows the hidden key to loose the lock to jump beneath
          the deathly rock.

Dragonborn: How do I get in?

Septimus: Two things I have for you. Two shapes. One edged, one round. The
          round one, for tuning. Dwemer music is soft and subtle, and needed
          to open their cleverest gates. The edged lexicon, for inscribing. To
          us, a hunk of metal. To the Dwemer, a full library of knowings.
          But...empty. Find Mzark and its sky-dome. The machinations there
          will read the scroll and lay the lore upon the cube. Trust Septimus.
          He knows you can know.

[The player can inquire further.]

Dragonborn: What do I do with this sphere?

Septimus: The deepest doors of Dwemer listen for singing. It plays the attitude
          of notes proper for opening. Can you not hear it? Too low for

Dragonborn: What do I do with this cube?

Septimus: To glimpse the world inside an Elder Scroll can damage the eyes. Or
          the mind, as it has to Septimus. The Dwemer found a loophole, as they
          always do. To focus the knowledge away and inside without harm. Place
          the lexicon into their contraption and focus the knowings into it.
          When it brims with glow, bring it back and Septimus can read once

Dragonborn: What do you want with the Elder Scroll?

Septimus: Ooooh, an observant one. How clever to ask of Septimus. This Dwemer
          lockbox. Look upon it and wonder. Inside is the heart. The heart of
          a god! The heart of you. And me. But it was hidden away. Not by the
          Dwarves, you see. They were already gone. Someone else. Unseen.
          Unknown. Found the heart, and with a flair for the ironical, used
          Dwarven trickery to lock it away. The Scroll will give the deep
          vision needed to open it. For not even the strongest machinations of
          the Dwemer can hold off the all-sight given by an Elder Scroll.

Dragonborn: What is an Elder Scroll?

Septimus: You look to your left, you see one way. You look to your right, you
          see another. But neither is any harder than the opposite. But the
          Elder Scrolls...they look left and right in the stream of time. The
          future and past are as one. Sometimes they even look up. What do they
          see then? What if they dive in? Then the madness begins.

[The player explores the dwemer ruins of Alftand, encountering two bickering
 spelunkers near the exit.]

Umana: Sulla, let's just get out of here. Hasn't there been enough death?

Sulla: Oh, of course you want me to leave. Just waiting for me to turn my back!
       So you can have all the glory for yourself!

[They fight; after, the player picks off the short-lived winner. One activates
 a nearby console, finding the massive subterranean cavern of Blackreach. The
 Tower of Mzark is off in the distance. There, the lexicon can be inscribed
 for Signus' eyes.]

Dragonborn: I've inscribed the lexicon.

Septimus: Give it, quickly. Extraordinary. I see it now. The sealing structure
          interlocks in the tiniest fractals. Dwemer blood can loose the hooks,
          but none alive remain to bear it. A panoply of their brethren could
          gather to form a facsimile. A trick. Something they didn't
          anticipate, no, not even them. The blood of Altmer, Bosmer, Dunmer,
          Falmer, and Orsimer. The elves still living provide the key. Bear you
          hence this extractor. It will drink the fresh blood of elves. Come
          when the set is complete.

Dragonborn: Why are you so eager to open the box?

Septimus: The box contains a heart. The essence of a god. I have devoted my
          life to the Elder Scrolls, but their knowledge is a passing awareness
          when compared to the encompassing mind of divinity. The Dwemer were
          the last to touch it. It was thought to have been destroyed by the
          Nerevarine, but my lord told me otherwise.

Dragonborn: Who is your lord?

Septimus: The Daedric prince of the unknown. Hermaeus Mora. I thought there
          were no secrets left to know. Until I first spoke to him. He asks a
          price -- to work his will. A few murders, some dissent spread, a
          plague or two. For the secrets I can endure. In time, he brought me
          here. To the box. But he won't reveal how to open it. Maddening.

[On the way out, Hermaeus Mora appears himself, appearing as an abyss with
 tentacles and floating eyeballs emerging from its portal.]

Hermaeus Mora: Come closer. Bask in my presence.

Dragonborn: Who are you?

Hermaeus Mora: I am Hermaeus Mora.

               • I am the guardian of the unseen, and knower of the unknown. I
                 have been watching you, mortal. Most impressive.

               • I have been watching you since you defeated Miraak. Your
                 progress is most impressive.

Dragonborn: What do you want of me?

Hermaeus Mora: Your continuing aid to Septimus renders him increasingly
               obsolete. He has served me well, but his time is nearing its
               end. Once that infernal lockbox is opened, he will have
               exhausted his usefulness to me. When that time comes, you shall
               take his place as my emissary. What say you?

               I am your servant, my lord.
                Indeed. Speak with me when the box has been opened, and all
                shall be revealed.

               I'll never join you, vile demon!
                Be warned. Many have thought as you do. I have broken them all.
                You shall not evade me forever.

[After the blood collection's done, one returns to the outpost.]

Dragonborn: I've brought all the blood you require.

Septimus: I can almost...hear them. I feel their life energy. Come, I will
          make the mixture.

[He injects himself with the blood, opening the magnificent Dwemer lock. They
 rush into the lockbox to see what was kept so hidden. On a pedestal is a

Septimus: What is this...it's...it's just a book?! I can see. The world beyond
          burns in my mind. It's marvelous...

[Septimus' body turns to ash after reading the book. The player takes it, now
 knowing it to be the Oghma Infinium, Hermaeus Mora's powerful artifact.]

Hermaeus Mora: Come, my champion.

               What now?

               I am not your champion, monster.
                Who do you think brought Septimus here? Who do you think
                protected you on your journey to open the box and loose my
                knowledge on this world? Your free will is an illusion. Whether
                you acknowledge me or not is your own business. But I will be
                in your mind.

               Now you have my Oghma Infinium. It contains the knowledge of
               the ages as revealed to Xarses, my loyal servant. For hundreds
               of years it's been shut away from the world. Septimus was a
               useful tool for unleashing it. Now it is in your hands. Let us
               work wonders together...

[DQ08] THE HOUSE OF HORRORS |==================================================
[In Markarth, the player finds a Vigilant of Stendarr, Tyrannus, loitering in
 front of an abandoned house.]

Tyrannus: Excuse me, but do you know anything about this house? Seen anyone
          enter or leave?

          Why are you asking?
           I'm with the Vigil of Stendarr. We believe this house might have
           been used for Daedra worship. Evil rites and so forth.

          No, I haven't.
           Seems no one in this city has.

          I'm not sure.
           Damn. It's like everyone in this city has amnesia.

          Do you need any help?
           I was actually just about to head on inside. Be good to have someone
           watch my back. Follow me, and keep your eyes open. Daedra are
           powerful creatures and tricksters. Never know what you'll find.

          Sorry. I don't know anything.
           Thank you for your time.

[Together, they enter the house.]

Tyrannus: Fresh food. No wood rot on the furniture. Someone's been here.
          Recently. But the people I asked say no one enters or leaves...
          Wait? Did you hear that? I think it came this way. That's it.
          Something's inside the house. Come on, we're getting to the bottom
          of this. Come out! We know you're here! There's another door. See
          if you can get it open.

[The door is locked. Touching it makes furniture fly around and the atmosphere
 suddenly change to a more...evil one.]

Tyrannus: Stendarr's mercy! This isn't an ordinary Daedra. We have to get help.

[A voice speaks to the player's mind.]

?????????: Weak. He's weak. You're strong. Crush him.

Tyrannus: You first. Come on, let's go.

[They find the front door is now also locked by supernatural forces.]

Tyrannus: Get out of my head, Daedra!

?????????: You will kill. You will kill, or you will die!

Tyrannus: I don't want to die. I can't die here! The Daedra has us. It's you
          or me!

[The player kills the attacking Vigilant, which stops the disturbances.]

?????????: Yes. Your reward is waiting for you, mortal. Further down. Yes.
           Further. Into the bowels. So close. Your prize is waiting.

[Deep inside the basement, through an old tunnel, is the prize: a mace stuck
 in an altar. Reaching for it traps the player in a demonic-looking cage.]

Molag Bal: Fool! Did you think Molag Bal, the Lord of Domination, would so
           easily reward you? What do you see from that little cage? Speak.

           It's an altar.
            Yes. It's an altar. Men would come and sacrifice the wretched in
            my name. The weak would be punished by the strong. But a Daedric
            Lord has his enemies, and my rival Boethiah had her priest
            desecrate the altar. Until you came.

           A mace. It's rusted.
            Rusted. Dry. There was a time when this mace dripped with the blood
            of the feeble and the worthless. But a Daedric Lord has his
            enemies, and my rival Boethiah had her priest desecrate it. Left it
            here to decay. Until you came.

           I only see the spikes of this trap.
            Sharp, aren't they? This was the last thing many saw before they
            were sacrificed in my name. But a Daedric Lord has his enemies,
            and my rival Boethiah had her priest desecrate it. So long since
            it's tasted blood. Until you came.

           You want revenge on Boethiah?
            Revenge? No. I want submission. I want the priest who did this to
            bend his knee and give me his soul. He comes by to perform
            Boethiah's insulting rites at my altar, but he's been missing.
            Captured and bound. Left to rot. Save him. Let him perform his
            rite one more time. And when he does, we will be waiting for him.

           I never wanted to help you. Let me go!
            Fine. I offered you a reward. You'll get the freedom your kind
            enjoys so much. But Boethiah's priest is imprisoned as well. But
            not by me. He is hurt. Suffering. Save him. Let him perform his
            rites one more time. And when he does, I will be waiting for him.

[The player finds Boethiah's priest, Logrolf the Willful, captured in the
 designated location.]

Logrolf: You there. Are you here to kill me? Slay the mighty Logrolf while he
         sits tied and helpless?

         I'm here to rescue you.
          Rescue? No one knew where I was, when I was taken. Who sent you?

          Boethiah has sent me. (Persuade)
           • The Dark Mistress? She sent you? Wait. Molag Bal's altar. Of
             course. I have to get to Markarth at once. Cut me loose.

           • The Dark Mistress? Sent you? Ha. Now tell me the one about the
             Troll who gives gifts to good little boys and girls.

          Does it matter? Here. (### gold)
           • Fine. I won't ask questions. Cut me loose.
           • You think it's money I need? I'm a prisoner, not a beggar.

          Molag Bal. (Intimidate)
           • So. The King of Corruption sends his messenger to challenge me.
             Very well. I will meet with Molag Bal, and I will venerate his
             altar in Boethiah's name, as I did before. Cut me loose, minion
             of the Hated One. I need to get to Markarth.

           • You? A servant of the King of Corruption? Has the beast's
             standards fallen so far? Tell me another one.
          Never mind. Stay here.
           I have a choice?

          Here. Let me untie those binds.
           Ah, freedom. Now get out of my way. I have a task to attend to.

          Wait here a moment.
           That's all I can do, you idiot. What are you waiting for?

         You'll stay that way for now.
          Coward. You're nothing. Nothing!

[The two journey back to Molag Bal's altar in Markarth. As promised, the Lord
 of Corruption traps Logrolf as he attempts to desecrate the altar for the
 umpteenth time.]

Logrolf: Molag Bal. You think you can best Boethiah's faithful? I have won
         this contest before!

Molag Bal: Ah. But I have my own champion this time, Logrolf.

Logrolf: What? You!

Molag Bal: Mortal. I give you my mace, in all its rusted spitefulness. Crush
           the spirit from Logrolf's bones. Make him bend to me.

[The player is enlisted to beat the man with the rusted, barbed mace, while
 Molag Bal coaxes submission out of the curmudgeon. The player ends up killing

Molag Bal: Ah ha ha! You mortals and your frail, limp, pathetic bodies. Try it

[Molag Bal revives the priest for another beatdown session.]

Logrolf: No more... No more... I submit, Molag Bal. I submit!

Molag Bal: You bend to me?

Logrolf: Yes!

Molag Bal: You pledge your soul to me?

Logrolf: Yes!

Molag Bal: You forsake the weak and pitiful Boethiah?

Logrolf: Yes!

Molag Bal: You're mine now, Logrolf. Kill him.

[The player slays Logrolf on the altar.]

Molag Bal: The Mace of Molag Bal! I give you its true power, mortal. When your
           enemies lie broken and bloody before you, know that I will be

           Thank you, Lord Molag Bal.
            Now, I have a soul in Oblivion that needs claiming. Take care of
            the house while I'm gone. Ha ha ha!

           A mace? This is hardly a fitting prize.
            Know your place, mortal. Or Molag Bal may just send another
            challenger to reclaim his mace from your broken corpse.

[DQ09] ILL MET BY MOONLIGHT |==================================================
[In Falkreath, one comes upon a funeral. A man and woman are with a priest.]

Runil: The god Arkay was once like us, bound to winding mortality. But he
       willingly gave up this existence that we might better understand the
       vagaries of life and death. It is through the ebb and flow of this
       cosmic tide that we find renewal and, in the end, peace. May the spirit
       of Lavinia and all those who have left this world and its suffering know
       the beloved serenity of Aetherius...and may we one day join them in

[The service ends.]

Mathies: A sad time.

Dragonborn: Who died?

Mathies: Our daughter. Our little girl. She hadn't seen her tenth winter.

         How did she die?
          She was...he ripped her apart. Like a sabre cat tears a deer. We
          barely found enough of her bury. 

         Who did this?
          Sinding. Came through as a laborer. Seemed like a decent man. He's
          stewing in the pit while we figure out what to do with him, if you've
          got the stomach to look at him. What could drive a man to do
          something like this? I just don't understand what kind of man does

[The player visits Sinding in the barracks' jail.]

Sinding: Come to gawk at the monster?

Dragonborn: I heard you attacked a little girl.

Sinding: Believe me, it wasn't anything I ever intended to do. I just...lost
         control. I tried to tell them, but none of them believe me. It's all
         on account of this blasted ring.

Dragonborn: What ring?

Sinding: This is the Ring of Hircine. I was told it could let me control my
         transformations. Perhaps it used to. But I'll never know. Hircine
         didn't care for my taking it, and threw a curse on it. I put it on...
         and the changes just came to me. I could never guess when. It would
         be at the worst times. Like...with the little girl.

Dragonborn: What kind of transformations?

Sinding: I don't suppose there's a point in keeping the secret if I'm going to
         die in here anyway. I'm sure you've heard of men who shift to beasts
         under the influence of the moons. I am one of them. A werewolf. It's
         my secret, and my shame. That's why I wanted the ring...it was said
         to give men like me control. Now I may look like a man, but I still
         feel the animal inside me, as strong as ever.

         What will you do now?
          I've been looking for a way to appease Hircine. There is a certain
          beast in these lands. Large, majestic. It's said that Hircine will
          commune with whoever slays it. I tracked it into these woods, but
          then had my...accident with the child. I want to beg his forgiveness.
          Give him back the ring. But while I'm stuck in here, the beast
          wanders free.

          I'll take the ring to Hircine.
           Oh my. You would do this for me? Here, take it. I don't want
           anything to do with this wretched thing anymore. Seek out the beast.
           He wanders these woods. Bring him down and...well, the Lord of the
           Hunt should smile on you. I wish you luck, but should leave here
           while I still have my skin. Should our paths cross again, I will
           remember your kindness. Farewell.

         Who is Hircine?
          Do you not know the Daedric Lord of the Hunt? He revels in the chase,
          and also gave the "gift" of lycanthropy to mortals. A powerful force,
          not to be crossed. As I learned too late.

         Why did this make you attack the girl?
          I had just come into Falkreath. They needed some help working the
          mill, and I thought that would be something safe. Something I could
          do. When I saw the little girl, I was just...I could feel it coming
          on. I could taste the...I needed to hunt. But this pitiful, limited
          body wasn't meant for hunting. Slow. No claws. Weak, mashing teeth
          for chewing cud. I held in my rage as long as I could. But it boiled
          inside of me. She looked so fragile. Helpless prey. And then... I...
          I feel terrible about what happened. About what I did. It would
          probably be best for everyone if I just went away.

[The player takes the cursed ring, which equips itself automatically. After
 one tracks down the "great beast" Sinding mentioned -- a white stag -- the
 Daedric Lord manifests as its spirit.]

Hircine: Well met, hunter. 

         Are you Hircine?
          I am the spirit of the hunt, just one glimpse of the glorious stalker
          that your kind calls Hircine.

          What would you ask of me?
           Your fealty is precious to me. I will make good use of it. You bear
           my ring.

          Will you remove the curse from this ring?
           I may consider it. But you must first do a service for my glory.

          The one who stole it has fled to what he thinks is his sanctuary.
          Just as a bear climbs a tree to escape a hunt, but only ends up
          trapping himself. Seek out this rogue shifter. Tear the skin from
          his body, and make it an offering to me.

          It shall be done as you ask.
           Fly, my hunter. There are others who vie for my favor. A bit of
           competition. Don't dally while the prey flees.

          He's done me no wrong. I won't kill him.
           There is no retribution in the hunt. It is not vengeance I seek, but
           the blood course of a living hunt. There are others who would gladly
           accept my favor. They will hunt him while you delay. Your choice.

         Didn't I just kill you?
          And skillfully, too. I've been watching you for ages, it seems. You
          have the makings of a fine hunter. You may even be my champion.

[The player arrives at the sanctuary, Bloated Man's Grotto. A wounded hunter's
 near the entrance bonfire; his companions lays eviscerated.]

J'Kier: Has the Bloodmoon called you, fellow hunter?

Dragonborn: What happened here?

J'Kier: The prey is strong. Stronger than the hunters. But more will come.
        Bring him down, for the glories of Lord Hircine.

[After the Khajiit hunter dies, one sees the transformed Sinding nearby.]

Sinding: ...You! Why?

Dragonborn: I've been told to kill you.

Sinding: And I would deserve it, wouldn't I? I can't stop you if that's what
         you want to do. Hircine is too powerful. But if you spare me, I can
         be a powerful ally to you. And I would promise to never return to
         civilized life. I know now that I can't live among people.

         I will spare your life.
          Thank the gods. Now let's deal with these hunters. We hunt together!

         I cannot defy Hircine. You have to die.
          So be it.

[If one agrees to spare Sinding:]

Rissing: What the...we've been betrayed! Look out!

[Soon after...]

Dragonborn: The last of the hunters is dead.

Sinding: Thank you for your help. I will make my home here, away from anyone I
         might hurt.

[If one kills Sinding:]

Hircine: You've done well, hunter.

Dragonborn: I did as you asked.

Hircine: And found my favor. That skin will serve you well, child. Look more
         closely at it. My glories shall protect you from all this world's
         grievances. Good hunting.

[If Sinding is spare, the aspect of Hircine approaches after exiting the cave.]

Hircine: Well met again, Hunter.

         I failed to bring down Sinding.
          Not a failure, my servant.

         I defy you and your vile tasks.
          So you may think.

         By bringing down my other Hunters, you turned the chase inside out¹.
         And they were no base prey. You continue to amuse and impress. Go
         forth, with my blessing.

[DQ10] THE MIND OF MADNESS |===================================================
[While walking in Solitude, the player encounters a strange old man.]

Dervenin: Wait, here my plea! My master, he is lost between worlds and I cannot
          bring him back!

Dragonborn: What do you need?

Dervenin: My master has abandoned me! Abandoned his people. And nothing I say
          can change his mind. Now he refuses to even see me. He says I
          interrupt his vacation! It's been so many years... Won't you please

          How can I find your master?
           Last I saw him, he was visiting a friend in the Blue Palace. But no
           one as mundane as the Jarl. No, no...such people are below him. No,
           he went into the forbidden wing of the palace, to speak with an old
           friend. Said it had been ages since they had last had tea. Oh and
           you'll need the hip bone...it's very important. No entering
           Pelagius' Wing without that.

          Why don't you leave your master?
           Oh, you just don't understand. Without him, I am not free! Without
           him, I am doomed! All of his empire shall fall into chaos...

[The player can question Dervenin more afterwards.]

Dragonborn: How can I get to your master?

Dervenin: He stays in the Pelagius Wing of the Blue Palace. The doors are
          locked, and only Falk Firebeard can grant entry. But I hear the
          maids, Una and Erdi, know how to enter it for cleaning. Surely they
          can help for such an important matter?

Dragonborn: Why do you need him back?

Dervenin: Without his guidance, our homeland is falling apart. North wages war
          against south! The holy flame flickers and dies! We need his return.
          Oh, but...I'm sure he'll repay you when he comes to his senses! His
          favor is a powerful, powerful thing. And so very worth any...

Dragonborn: Who is your master?

Dervenin: He is a great man, but one rarely praised! He rules twin empires that
          span the length and breadth of our minds! All know him, but few can
          name him! But...he has forbidden me from saying his name. He says it
          distracts him, and woe to those who draw his ire. But you will know
          him when you see him. He's the one who made me like this!

[If one seeks out Una:]

Una: Got lots of things to take care of. What do you need?

Dragonborn: I need to get into the Pelagius Wing.

Una: Not on your life. It's dangerous in there, and Falk doesn't even like me
     and Erdi going in every year to clean out the spiders.

Dragonborn: Falk asked me to check it out.

Una: If you really want to... Just be careful of the ghost! He snuck up on me
     once and scared me sick. It took me a week for me to feel better... You
     can catch me at the Blue Palace later, if you want to talk again.

[If one seeks out Erdi:]

Erdi: Are you my gallant hero? Have you come to whisk me away, to a life of
      adventure and romance?

Dragonborn: I need to get into the Pelagius Wing.

Erdi: Oh, I'd get in trouble for that. It's not allowed. Besides, it's scary
      in there!

Dragonborn: Falk asked me to check it out.

Erdi: Well...I suppose in that case, it's okay to let you in. But only briefly.
      Be careful, and come right back!

[If one seeks out Falk Firebeard:]

Falk: Absolutely not. That wing has been sealed for hundreds of years, and for
      good reason. They say the ghost of Pelagius the Mad still haunts it.
      Ghost or not, there are reminders of his dark rule that are best left
      buried away.

[Eventually, the player gains access to the wing. While walking the halls, one
 is suddenly transported to another realm...one inhabited by Sheogorath, the
 "master" Dervenin spoke of. He's having tea with Pelagius the Mad.]

Sheogorath: More tea, Pelly my dear?

Pelagius: Oh, I couldn't. Goes right through me. Besides, I have so many things
          to do... So many undesirables to contend with. Naysayers. Buffoons.
          Detractors. Why, my headsman hasn't slept in three days!

Sheogorath: You are far too hard on yourself, my dear, sweet, homicidally
            insane Pelagius. What would the people do without you? Dance? Sing?
            Smile? Grow old? You are the best Septim that's ever ruled. Well,
            except for that Martin fellow, but he turned into a dragon god,
            and that's hardly sporting... You know, I was there for that whole
            sordid affair. Marvelous time! Butterflies, blood, a Fox, a severed
            head... Oh, and the cheese! To die for.

Pelagius: Yes, yes, as you've said, countless times before...

Sheogorath: Hafrumph! Well then, if you're going to be like that... Perhaps
            it's best if I take my leave. A good day to you sir. I said good

Pelagius: Yes, yes, go. Leave me to my ceaseless responsibilities and

[Pelagius vanishes as the player walks over.]

Sheogorath: How rude! Can't be bothered to host an old friend for a decade or

            I'm here to deliver a message.
             Reeeaaalllyyyy? Ooh, ooh, what kind of message? A song? A summons?
             Wait, I know! A death threat written on the back of an Argonian
             concubine. Those are my favorite. Well? Spit it out, mortal. I
             haven't got an eternity! Actually...I do. Little joke. But
             seriously. What's the message?

              I was asked to retrieve you from your vacation.
               Were you now? By whom? Wait! Don't tell me. I want to guess! Was
               it Molag? No, no...Little Tim, the toymaker's son? The ghost of
               King Lysandus? Or was it... Yes! Stanley, that talking 
               grapefruit from Passwall. Wrong on all accounts, aren't I? Ha!
               No matter! Honestly, I don't want to know. Why ruin the
               surprise? But more to the point. Do you -- tiny, puny,
               expendible little mortal -- actually think you can convince
               someone like me to leave? Because that's...crazy. You do realize
               who you're dealing with here?

              I think I made a mistake coming here...
               Oh, no no no! No mistake at all. What you made was a choice.
               Granted, not a very wise choice, but these things happens. Ah,
               the folly of youth... You know, you remind me of myself at a
               young age. All I cared about was riding narwhales and sleeping
               in honeycombs and drinking babies' tears... Word of advice if
               you ride a Narwhale. Mind the pointy end. Ah, but there I go,
               waxing poetic about my misspent youth. Now where were we? Ah
               yes.  You're the mortal messenger. An¹ I am...? Honestly. Have
               you any idea?

              I'm afraid I don't know, sir.
               Wrong! Actually, you do. Sort of. I am a part of you, little
               mortal. I am a shadow in your subconscious, a blemish on your
               fragile little psyche. You know me. You just don't know it.
               Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Madness. At your service.

              All I know is that your people need you to return.
               Yaaawwwnn.... Oh, pardon me. Were you saying something? I do
               apologize, it's just that I find myself suddenly and
               irrevocably... Bored! I mean, really. Here you stand, before
               Sheogorath himself, Daedric Prince of Madness, and all you deem
               fit to do is...deliver a message? How sad.

              You're a madman.
               Jolly good guess! But only half right. I'm a mad god. The Mad
               God, actually. It's a family title. Gets passed down from me to
               myself every few thousand years. Now you. You can call me Ann
               Marie. But only if you're partial to being flayed alive and
               having an angry immortal skip rope with your entrails. If not...
               Then call me Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Madness. Charmed.

            Who were you talking to?
             Emperor Pelagius III. Now surely even you know about Pelagius'
             decree? On his deathbed -- oh, and this was inspired -- he
             forbade...death! That's right! Death! Outlawed!

            Wait, where are we?
             Inside the mind of Pelagius, silly. Oh. Is it your...first time?

[The player delivers the message.]

Dragonborn: So does that mean you'll leave? Or not?

Sheogorath: Now that's the real question, isn't it? Because honestly, how much
            time off could a demended Daedra really need? So here's what I'm
            going to do. I'm going to leave. That's right. I'm done. Holiday...
            complete. Time to return to the hum drum¹ day-to-day. On one
            condition. You have to find your way out first. Good luck with

             Is it?

            Okay, what's the catch?
             Ha! I do love it when the mortals know they're being manipulated.
             Makes things infinitely more interesting.

            Care to take a look around? This is not, I dare say, the Solitude
            botanical gardens. Have you any idea where you are? Where you truly
            are? Welcome to the deceptively verdant mind of Emperor Pelagius
            III. That's right! You're in the head of a dead, homicidally insane
            monarch. Now, I know what you're thinking. Can I still rely on my
            swords and spells and sneaking and all that nonsense? Sure, sure.
            Or...you could use...The Wabbajack! Huh? Huh? Didn't see that
            coming, did you?

[He hands the player his artifact for the journey. One picks a path, earning a
 brief narration from the Mad God.]

Sheogorath: You've headed down the path of dreams. Unfortunately for you,
            Pelagius suffered night terrors from a young age. All you need to
            do is find something to wake our poor Pelagius up. You'll find his
            terrors easy to repel...but persistent.

[The player fends off his wicked dreams, using the Wabbajack to turn them into
 adorable things, like goats and pretty girls.]

Sheogorath: Well, now that's something to crow about. With Pelagius up and
            about you're moving right along. We'll both be home in no time.

[One goes down the next, ice-filled path.]

Sheogorath: Ah, now this is a sad path. Pelagius hated and feared many things.
            Assassins, wild dogs, the undead, pumpernickel... But the deepest,
            keenest hatred was for himself. The attacks he makes on himself
            can be seen here fully. They are always carried out on the weakest
            part of his fragile self. The self-loathing enhances Pelagius'
            anger! Ah, but his confidence will shrink with every hit. You must
            bring the two into balance.

[The player finds two Pelagius, one big and one small; the former attacks the
 latter. The Wabbajack tips the battle's scales.]

Sheogorath: Wonderfully done. Pelagius is finally ready to love himself...and
            continue hating everyone else.

[One traverses the final path.]

Sheogorath: Oh, good choice. Well, good for me. I find everyone being out to
            get you so terribly entertaining. You might find it...less so. You
            see, Pelagius' mother was...well...let us say "unique." Although,
            I suppose in the grand scheme of things, she was fairly average for
            a Septim. That woman wielded fear like a cleaver. Or did she wield
            a cleaver and make people afraid? I never get that part right...
            Oh, but she taught her son well. Pelagius learned at a very young
            age that danger could come from anywhere. At any time. Delivered...
            by anyone.

[He finds a small arena where Pelly is fighting an atronach.]

Sheogorath: The objective here is simple, you simpleton! Use your Wabbajack to
            defeat the enemy, while they do the same!

[The player transforms the fighters, then uses the 'Jack on some spectators,
 turning them into participants too.]

Sheogorath: Oho! I thought you'd never figure it out. With the threat gone,
            Pelagius is under the delusion that he is safe, which means you've
            helped him out...sort of. And we're that much closer to home.

[With all trials done, it's back to Sheogorath.]

Dragonborn: I've done it. I've fixed Pelagius' mind.

Sheogorath: Hmmmm... "Fixed" is such a subjective term. I think "treated" is
            far more appropriate, don't you? Like one does to a rash, or an
            arrow in the face. Ah, but no matter. Heartless mortal that you
            are, you've actually succeeded and survived. I am forced to honor
            my end of the bargain. So congratulations! You're free to go! I...
            have been known to change my mind. So...go. Really.

[The player goes to leave.]

Sheogorath: Pelagius Septim the III, once the Mad Emperor of Tamriel, now so
            boringly sane. I always knew he had it in him! Well, I suppose it's
            back to the Shivering Isles. The trouble Haskill can get into while
            I'm gone simply boggles the mind... Let's make sure I'm not
            forgetting anything. Clothes? Check. Beard? Check! Luggage?
            Luggage! Now where did I leave my luggage?

[The "luggage," Dervenin, teleports in.]

Dervenin: Master! You've taken me back! Does this mean we're going home? Oh,
          happy times! I can't wait to...

Sheogorath: Yes, yes, that's quite enough celebration. Let's send you ahead,
            shall we?

[He teleports Dervenin out.]

Sheogorath: And as for you, my little mortal minion... Feel free to keep the
            Wabbajack. As a symbol of my... Oh, just take the damn thing. You
            take care of yourself, now. And if you ever find yourself up in
            New Sheoth, do look me up. We can share a strawberry torte. Ha ha!
            Ta ta!

[The player is teleported back to the Blue Palace.]

[DQ11] THE ONLY CURE |=========================================================
[Atop a mountain the Reach, one encounters Peryite's shrine. Kesh the Clean, a
 Khajiit acolyte, is the only one who lives here.]

Kesh: Ah, a wanderer, yes? No? Pilgrim, perhaps? You have come to commune with
      Peryite, Taskmaster and blighted Lord, yes?

      May I commune with Peryite?
       Not everyone has the stomach required to entreat my Lord. But Kesh
       likes you, friend. There is a way Peryite may speak to us who will take
       Him in. If you wish to commune with Him, we'll need the incense.

       Tell me about this incense.
        Yes, the incense. Fetch for me a deathbell flower, one silver ingot,
        a flawless ruby, and some vampire dust. Then I will show you how.

      Tell me about Peryite.
       He is the pus in the wound. Oh, proper ones curl their noses, but it's
       pus that drinks foul humors and restores the blood. I worship Peryite,
       yes, because sometimes the world can only be cleansed by disease.

[The player later returns with the ingredients.]

Dragonborn: I have the items you requested.

Kesh: Ah, have you? Let Kesh have them. Yes, yes. This will create a fine fume.

[He creates a batch of green liquid in a large dwarven container.]

Kesh: That should do. Now -- inhale deeply.

[The player inhales and their vision blurs; they see strange colors all around.
 Rat familiars is crawling around, representing the Aspect of Peryite.]

Peryite: Breath deep, mortal. I would have you hear me well, so let these
         vapors fill your lungs.

         What do you want with me?
          I have watched you for some time, you know. The decisions you've made
          intrigue me, and I wonder if you are the proper agent for a task of

         What is this? Have I been poisoned?
          In a sense, but no more poisoned than a fool after too much wine.

Dragonborn: What task?

Peryite: I sent a blessing to Mundus, a wasting plague that infected a
         scattering of Breton villages. One of my monks, the elf Orchendor,
         was sent to gather these Afflicted. He shepherded them into Bhtardamz
         for me, but has since lost his way. I will not stand for betrayal. I
         want you to go to Bthardamz and kill Orchendor, in my name.

         What would I gain from this?
          The pettiness of mortals. I had almost forgotten. I can grant you a
          powerful token for this task. An escutcheon of Dwemer make, capable
          of shielding you from both the spell and sword. Return when the elf
          lies dead and it will be yours.

         Why does Orchendor deserve to die?
          An impertinent question. The elf must die. Either carry out my will
          or do not. You are not the only mortal agent I could choose.

         I heard your request. Release me.
          So you have, mortal. Go now. Kill Orchendor.

[The gas evaporates. Kesh can be asked about the task.]

Dragonborn: Who is Orchendor?

Kesh: Orchendor? Kesh knew him. He's an Overseer. Shepherd. Gathers the
      Afflicted, contains the festering wound. Orchendor and his Afficted are
      meant to stand ready, awaiting Peryite's command to cover the world with
      his blessing.

Dragonborn: Where is Bthardamz?

Kesh: Not far, not far. This one looks upon it on clear days. Look to the west,
      at the foot of the mountain. The Dwarven ruins there. Bthardamz.

[Orchendor is located deep within the forgotten city. After killing the man,
 one returns to Peryite.]

Peryite: Well done, mortal. All things are in their order, and Orchendor roams
         the Pits. His betrayal will be punished, and your obedience is

         What happens now?
          Go, seek your fate. I will be watching, and perhaps we will meet
          again -- afterwards.

         What will become of the Afflicted?
          Did you leave any alive? The Afflicted are mere vessels for my
          Blessing. It will spread to others through their touch and my own.
          Another Overseer will replace Orchendor, when the time comes. For
          now all is cleansed and ordered.

         I don't relish being a Daedra's puppet.
          And yet you have done my bidding. Why, I wonder?

         Very well. Goodbye.
          Embrace order and hard truth, mortal. Good bye.

[The player receives the Spellbreaker shield, which puts up a 50-point ward
 when blocking.]

[DQ12] PIECES OF THE PAST |====================================================
[When a certain level is reached, a courier delivers a notice about a museum
 opening in Dawnstar. The owner and a friend are arguing on the front steps
 when the player arrives.]

Madena: Your ancestors wouldn't want this, Silus!

Silus Vesuius: Why should I hide from it? This is my family's legacy!

Madena: It's the past! Dead oaths on dead lips. Let it stay there.

Silus: The museum is opening, Madena.

[She walks off.]

Silus: And here comes my first visitor. The Museum of the Mythic Dawn is open,

       Museum of the Mythic Dawn?
        Yes. My collection of artifacts from a group that toppled an Empire.

       What was that argument about?
        Never mind that. Madena is a good woman, but I have my own reasons for
        opening this museum, and I'm not changing my mind. I have a collection
        of artifacts from the group that toppled an Empire. Their importance to
        history cannot be forgotten.

       Why don't you come in? You can browse the displays, and we can talk. I
       have a job you look perfect for.

       Sounds good.
        Let's talk inside.

       Not interested.
        Your loss, but if you change your mind, I'll be here.

[His home is now partially renovated to show Mythic Dawn trinkets and curios.]

Silus: Feel free to look around. Come talk to me when you're ready to discus
       that job I mentioned.

[The player can look at the cases, drawing comments from the owner.]

Silus: The tapestries hung here and outside were found in hideouts where
       members of the Mythic Dawn would meet and plot. The cult's greatest
       accomplishment was the assassination of the Septim Dynasty and the
       opening of the Oblivion Gates.

Silus: Those robes were worn during the Mythic Dawn's secret meetings, where
       they plotted to bring the Daedra Mehrunes Dagon into Tamriel. Each bolt
       of yarn used to make the robe was colored with a dye made from
       sacrificial blood.

Silus: That burned paper is all that remains of the fabled Mysterium Xarxes.
       The blasphemous book written by Mehrunes Dagon himself. It's said that
       Mankar Camoran used the book to open a portal to a Paradise where all
       his followers would live forever.

Silus: The commentaries on the Mysterium Xarxes were written by the Mythic Dawn
       cult leader, Mankar Camoran. He promised a paradise awaited his
       followers when they died, that they would be reborn by Mehrunes Dagon's

Silus: Ah, yes. That scabbard. Notice the insignia? An Oblivion Gate. A key
       symbol of Mehrunes Dagon, the patron Daedra of the Mythic Dawn. 

[Eventually, all the displays are observed.]

Silus: Did you have any questions about the museum, or would you rather talk

       Let's talk about this job you want done.
        A little history, first. After the Oblivion Crisis, a number of groups
        cropped up dedicated to wiping out the remnants of the Mythic Dawn. One
        of these groups found Mehrunes' Razor, the artifact of Dagon. They
        split it into three fragments and pledged to keep them apart forever.
        That was almost 150 years ago, and the pieces are still being kept by
        the descendants of that group. And they're right here, in Skyrim.

        You want me to get those fragments?
         At least two of the owners, Ghunzul and Drascua, are dangerous
         marauders. And the third owner, Jorgen, I only know he lives in
         Morthal. Here are my notes about them. I'll gladly pay you for
         getting the pieces any way you can. No questions asked.

        Stop right there. I'm not interested.
         Fine. I can't force you to help me, but the offer is open.

       Why did you open this museum?
        It's no secret that my family were once members of the Mythic Dawn.
        One of my forefathers was even chosen to assassinate Uriel Septim
        himself. We hid from our past for years, became tradesmen, people of
        coin and influence. But I realized that the Mythic Dawn's importance
        -- our importance -- to history cannot be denied. I'll see everyone in
        Tamriel remember that for a moment, we held the fate of the world in
        our hands, for good or ill.

       So what is this Mythic Dawn cult?
        They were worshippers of Mehrunes Dagon, the Daedric Lord of
        Destruction and Change. The Mythic Dawn killed Uriel Septim VII and
        his heirs, triggering the events that lead to the Oblivion Crisis,
        when the Daedra invaded Tamriel. All that remains of the infamous cult,
        I've gathered in my museum.

       Who is Mehrunes Dagon?
        Ah, an excellent question. Mehrunes Dagon is the Daedric Lord of
        Change, Destruction, and Ambition. Dagon's Mythic Dawn cult killed the
        Septim Dynasty and opened the Oblivion Gates into Tamriel. They called
        it the Oblivion Crisis.

       I want to know more about the Razor.
        The Razor is Mehrunes Dagon's personal artifact. It has always heralded
        bloody change and carnage. It's held many names: Dagger of Final
        Wounds, Bane of the Righteous, the Kingslayer. The Mythic Dawn 
        worshipped Dagon as a god. Having his Razor would be invaluable to my

       Good luck finding the fragments.

[The player gets two pieces from marauders. The third piece is held by a mill
 worker in Morthal.]

Dragonborn: I'm looking for pieces of Mehrunes' Razor.

Jorgen: Don't know what you're talking about, stranger.

Dragonborn: Really? Silus Vesuius says otherwise.

Jorgen: I've heard of him. My father had suspicions about his connection to
        the Mythic Dawn. Guess they were true. I don't need this. My family
        wasted 8 generation keeping that Razor safe from a dead cult. As far
        as I care, it can stay locked in my house.

        You won't miss it, then. (Persuade)
         You want the hilt that bad? Fine. Here's the keys. It's locked in a
         chest inside my house.

        I'll pay for the hilt. (### gold)
         Divines know the mill could use some new blades. All right. It's
         yours. Here's the keys. It's locked in the chest inside my house.

        Give me the hilt, or things get ugly. (Intimidate)
         Easy. Here. These are the keys. The hilt is in a chest in my house,
         just don't hurt anyone.

        Never mind, then.
         Best leave the past buried, I say.

[The player revisits Silus after all pieces are reclaimed.]

Silus: What is it? Do you have one of the Razor fragments?

       I have all the pieces of the Razor.²
        All at once! You're efficient. I like that. Here's your reward.

       The hilt of Mehrunes' Razor, as promised.
        Did you try the grip? Isn't it eerie how it seems to mold itself into
        your hand? Here's your gold.

       Here's the pommel stone of Mehrunes' Razor.
        Our master craftsman are nothing compared to the perfection of the
        Daedra. Look how it shines. Here's your gold, as promised.

       I have the blade shards of Mehrunes' Razor.
        Look at them. The legendary sharpness of the deadric¹ weapon.
        Marvelous. And here's your payment for the shards.

[If pieces are given over individually, Silus will have additional comments
 after each is given. They depend on the order delivered:]

 • We just need the hilt and pommel now.
 • We just need the shards of the blade and the hint, now.
 • We just need the pommel and the shards of the blade, now.
 • There's only the hilt left to collect. Exciting, isn't it?
 • There's only the pommel left to collect. Exciting, isnt it?
 • There's only the shards of the blade left to collect. Exciting, isn't it?

[After all are given...]

Silus: Finally, all the pieces of Mehrunes' Razor are in my hands. It's time I
       let you in on something. There's a fourth piece. That scabbard in the
       display case. Built to house the Razor. And there's more. I know how to
       put all the pieces together. We just need to take them to Dagon's shrine
       and contact the Lord of Change directly.

       You think Dagon will repair the Razor?
        Ever since I was a boy, I felt this strange sense of destiny
        surrounding the Mythic Dawn cult, and now I know what it is. Don't you
        see? Fate has led you to me and to the pieces. Dagon has to answer our
        call. We're so close. I'll meet you at the shrine.

       This sounds like a terrible idea...
        You don't want to be part of history? Fine. I'll be at the shrine if
        you change your mind.

[They find the Dagon shrine high up on a snowy peak, south of Dawnstar.]

Silus: Good. You're here. I'll place the pieces on the altar, and Dagon should
       speak to us. Mehrunes Dagon, the Lord of Change, we have brought your
       Razor to you. We beg you, please bring the blade's full glory to Tamriel
       again! It's not working. Why don't you give it a try? Just put your
       hands on the altar.

[Doing so causes Dagon's voice to ring out.]

Mehrunes Dagon: You. Mortal. You are worthy of speaking to. You have claimed
                the pieces of my Razor. It has been an amusing game to witness.
                But Dagon does not declare a winner while there is a pawn on
                the board. Kill Silus. He and his family have served their

                It will be done, Lord Dagon.
                 Kill him. Take your rightful place as my champion, or I will
                 crush you.

                He helped me find the pieces. He deserves to live.
                 Only Dagon can declare if a pawn is worth keeping. I. Have.
                 Spoken. Kill him. Take your rightful place as my champion, or
                 I will crush you.

Silus: Wait. Wait. Don't kill me. There's another way. I can take the pieces
       back to my museum. Seal them in a display case. You get a generous
       amount of gold, I get to complete my collection, and nobody has to die.

       Dagon has spoken.
        Fine. I'm not dying without a fight!

       Fine. Get out of here.
        Thank you. Here's your gold. I'll make a run for it back to Dawnstar.

[If the player kills Silus:]

Mehrunes Dagon: I am pleased, mortal. I will give you my Razor. Use it to
                wreak havoc on Tamriel!

                Thank you, Lord Dagon.
                 You have been a worthy tool. Fill the world with destruction
                 in my name.

                I will use the Razor as I see fit, Dagon.
                 Spare me your pitiful pride. You are but a tool for my
                 ambitions, mortal. Never forget that.

                Place your hands on my altar one last time, and you will
                witness the power of Mehrunes Dagon for yourself.

[When the reforged Razor is acquired, or Silus flees, the player must contend
 with summoned Dremora lackeys to fight. Dagon's parting shot will differ:]

Mehrunes Dagon: Before you go, mortal. One final challenge. Ha ha ha.

Mehrunes Dagon: You think to betray Mehrunes Dagon? Suffer!

[DQ13] THE TASTE OF DEATH |====================================================
[In Markarth, one learns the Hall of the Dead is closed, much to the city's
 chagrin. A priest, Brother Verulus, is arguing in Understone Keep.]

Thongvor Silver-Blood: What are you hiding, priest?

Verulus: I'm not hiding anything. It's closed for a reason.

Thongvor: Typical Imperial lies. First you take away Talos, now you're keeping
          us from seeing our honored dead? You and the Jarl will answer for any
          desecration of my ancestors' bodies.

Verulus: That's enough, Thongvor. We're done.

[Verulus goes to stand guard at the Hall's entrance.]

Verulus: If it's about the Hall of the Dead, no, you can't go in there.

         Why not?
          I can't talk about it. Rest assured, the Jarl hears everyone's
          concerns. You will be able to visit the dead again soon.

          I could help if you tell me. (Persuade)
           All right. I was going to suggest the Jarl hire someone to sort
           this mess out, anyway.

          Would some coin help? (### gold)
           • Well, the Priesthood of Arkay always accepts generous donations.
           • That's not going to work.

          I don't like being ignored. (Intimidate)
           Then my answer is the Hall of the Dead is closed. By order of the
           Jarl. Understand?

          I'll come back later, then.
           Arkay keep you and protect you.

         What's the Hall of the Dead?
          New to Skyrim? I was confused, too, at first. The Nords call their
          mausoleums the Hall of the Dead. It's where people in the city are
          buried. Fathers. Forefathers. Mothers. Foremothers.

         Who's Arkay?
          Arkay. One of the Eight Divines. God of the Cycle of Birth and Death.
          It is his shrine people pray to when they visit the Hall. That his
          divinity will watch over their ancestors on the way to the next life.

[The player convinces the priest to discuss more.]

Verulus: We've discovered that some of the dead have been...eaten. Flesh has
         been chewed off, bones were snapped to get at the marrow inside. We
         haven't caught anyone or anything yet. It's like it knows when I'm
         there. If you can get to the bottom of this, the Priesthood of Arkay
         will reward you. Take my key and be careful... Tread lightly in the
         Hall. We don't know what's in there.

[The player enters the crypt within the dwemer ruins. A voice rings out.]

????: Not many would walk blindly into a crypt, smelling of steel and blood,
      but not fear. I feel the hunger inside of you. Gnawing at you. You see
      the dead and your mouth grows wet. Your stomach growls. It's all right.
      I will not shun you for what you are. Stay. I will tell you everything
      you have forgotten.

[Soon a woman runs up.]

Eola: You were young when you first tasted human flesh, weren't you? A brother
      or sister had died? An accident, of course. Then the hunger set in.
      Curiosity. What's the harm in just one bite? It's okay, now. You've found
      a friend who understands you. You can let go of your guilt.

      Guilt? What are you talking about?
      I'm not a cannibal. What are you trying to do to me?
       A lot of our kind block out the memory of their first meal. The shame
       is too much. But you don't need to hide anymore. Namira, the Lady of
       Decay, accepts you for what you are. She has a place for us, where we
       can sate our appetite without judgment.

       Where is this place?
        It's inside Reachcliff Cave. But the dead have stirred from their
        slumber recently, and I was forced here. Meet me there. We will fight
        our way to Namira's embrace together. Until then, tell the people of
        Markarth that their dead won't be disturbed, anymore. We have bigger
        plans ahead.

       I want no part of this.
        Very well. But should the hunger call out to you, I'll be waiting
        outside Reachcliff Cave. Tell the people of Markarth that their dead
        are safe. My work is done here.

      Your tricks won't help you, monster!
       To Oblivion with you then!

[After the encounter, the player can report to Verulus.]

Verulus: You've returned. What happened in the Hall of the Dead?

         Your cannibal has been taken care of.²
          I don't need to know the details. Blessings of Arkay to you for your

         The Hall of the Dead is now safe.
         The Hall of the Dead is safe now.
          Divines preserve you, you're a hero. We'll re-open the Hall right

         Here. Take my amulet as a reward. Arkay protect you.

[If Eola is alive, the player goes to Reachcliff Cave to join up.]

Eola: You've come. The draugr infesting Namira's sanctuary are inside.

      I could use a hand.
       I was hoping you would say that.

      Wait here. I'll take care of them.
       Then I'll wait.

[They all head inside.]

Eola: Draugr are below. Foul¹ tasting. The shrine of Namira is further inside.
      Keep going.

[Together, the draugr are wiped out.]

Eola: You've done it. The shrine is ours again. Now we need to prepare a grand
      feast to welcome you to Namira's coven. You will have the honor of
      bringing a fresh kill for the main course. And I know the perfect person.

      Who is it?
      Just tell me who needs to die.
       A priest, filled with the taste of an easy life. Brother Verulus, from
       Markarth. Give him this gold. Tell him you need Arkay's help exploring
       an old cavern for treasure. And when he stands in Namira's presence,
       she will take care of the rest.

      Say hello to Verulus for me.

[One returns to the rump roast...err, priest.]

Dragonborn: I have need of a priest in my travels.

Verulus: You are looking for Arkay's protection while you delve some dank
         tomb, I take it? My duties keep me busy in Markarth. I don't know if
         I can help you.

         There would be treasure to share... (Persuade)
          • Treasure, you say? I suppose the Jarl won't mind if I'm gone for a
            little while. Lead on.

          • You know, in the Priesthood of Arkay, we have a joke about an empty
            pocket being better than a full grave.

         I'm willing to pay. (### gold)
          • That's no small amount of coin, friend. I suppose I can come with
            you for a short adventure. Lead on.

          • I'm just not up for it, sorry. I'd rather stay here, have a glass
            of wine, and perform my rites to Arkay in peace.

         You're coming with me. Now. (Intimidate)
          • I think you need to calm down before I summon the guards.

         Never mind, then.
          Arkay watch over you.

[They return to Namira's shrine. In the short time the player's been gone, the
 walls have been smeared with blood and citizens from town -- Banning, Hogni
 Red-Arm, Nimphaneth, Sanyon, Lisbet -- are waiting for the cannibal feast.]

Verulus: Who... who are you? What's going on?

Eola: Priest of Arkay. I'm your friend.

Verulus: You're my... friend....

Eola: Yes. I'm your friend, and I've invited you to dinner.

Verulus: I've been invited to dinner.... I'm so hungry....

Eola: Why don't you lay down and rest, while we get the meal ready?

Verulus: I need to lay down. I'll just be a minute....

Eola: Come with me. Our feast is about to begin.

[The player can talk to the other citizens before proceeding, which reveals
 how cannibalism has secretly informed their lifestyles.]

Lisbet: I'm so glad Eola invited you to dinner.
Dragonborn: Wait. I know you.
Lisbet: One of my customers? Did you know I inherited the store from my late
        husband? Shame what happened to him. He had such good taste.

Banning: I remember my first feast. I envy you.
Dragonborn: Wait. I know you.
Banning: Ah, yes. The courier. I guess you know my secret ingredient for that
         spiced beef, now.

Hogni Red-Arm: Now this is going to be a good feast.
Dragonborn: Wait. I know you.
Hogni Red-Arm: "The bloodiest beef in the Reach!" Ha ha ha.

Nimphaneth: You've brought us quite the meal.

Sanyon: Ah, the new disciple. I hear you have quite the appetite.

[The player goes over to where Eola has led the hypnotized priest.]

Eola: The meal is on Namira's table. Go ahead. Carve.

[As instructed, the player kills Verulus.]

Eola: He looks so...sweet. Go ahead. Have the first bite.

System: Brother Verulus's still warm¹ body lies before you.

[The player eats. This elicits a chat with the Daedric Lord herself.]

Namira: Mortal. I am Namira, the Lady of Decay. Your consumption of the blood
        and bile of Arkay's own is pleasing to me. I give you my ring. Wear it,
        and when you feast on the flesh of the death, I will grant you my

        Thank you, my Lady.
         Wallow in your wretchedness, my newest champion.

        That's a lot of work for such a little thing...
         Your mockery will be the end of you. And on that day, another servant
         will feast on your entrails and discover a ring clenched in her
         teeth. Be grateful for what time I give you until then.

Eola: I knew when you walked into the Hall of the Dead that you were special.
      And here you are. Champion of Namira. Keeper of her ring. You're
      everything I hoped you would be.

      Thank you, Eola. For everything.
       It's an honor, Champion. Feel free to stay and mingle with your new

      I feel sick.
       There, there. It will pass. Going too long without a proper meal can
       make the stomach weak. Feel free to stay and mingle with your new coven,
       if you have the strength.

      You started the coven of Namira?
       No. This coven has existed for thousands of years. Namira is a goddess.
       She has been worshipped since time began. I'm honored to be leading the
       latest generation of Namira's faithful. Those who have embraced what
       they are.

[DQ14] WAKING NIGHTMARE |======================================================
[The city of Dawnstar is having trouble sleeping, and eventually, one learns a
 Priest of Mara at the inn may be doing something about it. Said priest is
 talking with villagers.]

Irgnir: It's a curse! It has to be! I've got to get out of this town.

Fruki: Irgnir, get a hold of yourself. They're just dreams. Please tell her,

Erandur: Listen to your friend, Fruki. They are just dreams, my dear. I assure
         you that it is quite normal.

Irgnir: It's the same dream over and over. You think that's normal? It's evil
        I tell you!

Fruki: Erandur, she has a point. You keep telling us no harm will follow these
       dreams, but they must be an omen.

Thoring: Give him a chance to speak. He's trying to help us.

Erandur: Everyone, please. I'm doing what I can to end these nightmares. In the
         meantime all I ask is you remain strong and put your trust in Lady

Irgnir: I...I will. Thank you...

[The player approaches.]

Erandur: What troubles you, my son?

Dragonborn: What's wrong with everyone around here? 

Erandur: The entire town is being plagued by horrible nightmares. They're in
         serious danger but I'm afraid there's little I can do about it.

         What could you do, anyway? Dreams aren't real.
          These dreams are manifestations created by the Daedric Lord Vaermina.
          She has an awful hunger for our memories. In return, she leaves
          behind nightmares not unlike a cough marks a serious illness. I must
          end her terrible influence over these people before the damage
          becomes permanent.

         Don't be ridiculous. Dreams are harmless.
          In any other circumstance, I'd agree with you. However, these aren't
          normal dreams. The Daedric Lord Vaermina's voracious hunger for
          memories is responsible for these visions. The nightmares are an
          echo of her presence as she feeds.

         Then leave. This isn't your problem.
          Turn my back on these people when their lives could be at stake? I
          should say not. Those dreams are not just visions, they're a
          footprint left by the Daedric Lord Vaermina as she drains these
          people of their memories!

Dragonborn: What's your plan?

Erandur: I need to return to the source of the problem, to Nightcaller Temple.
         Perhaps you'd be willing to assist me in that regard?

Dragonborn: What do you mean, "return"? You've been there?

Erandur: I've already said too much. If anyone overhears what we're saying, it
         could start a panic. I would simply ask that you trust me and help me
         end Dawnstar's problems.

         I trust you. How can I help?
          Wonderful! My lady Mara will be quite pleased! Nightcaller Temple is
          only a short walk from Dawnstar. Come, we must hurry.

         I can't trust you. You're hiding something.
          Your concerns are understandable; trust is a very difficult
          commodity to come by these days. I can only give you my word as a
          Priest of Mara that my intentions are honorable.

          Sorry, I can't.
           I understand. If you should change your mind, I'll be here.

         Who is the Daedric Lord Vaermina?
          Vaermina resides in a strange realm known as Quagmire...a nightmarish
          land where reality shifts upon itself in seemingly impossible ways.
          From her citadel at the center, she reaches forth to collect our
          memories, leaving nothing in return apart from visions of horror and

          What does she do with the memories?
           Who can say? Perhaps she collects them for display like works of
           art in a nonsensical art gallery. Whatever the case may be, her
           intentions are far from benevolent.

         I promise to answer all of your questions. Follow me.

[The two walk outside. The destination looms on a nearby cliff.]

Erandur: Follow me, it's this way. It feels good to finally have a chance to
         help these people. Helplessly watching them suffer's been difficult.
         The tower on that hill is our destination. People around here call it
         the Tower of the Dawn. I'm not familiar with the tower's history, but
         it was deserted for quite a long time before Nightcaller Temple was
         established inside. When the temple was active the priests would
         rarely be seen in Dawnstar. They preferred to live a solitary
         existence. The temple's been abandoned for decades now. Ironic isn't
         it...a ruin within a ruin? There's a small shrine to Mara I
         established inside the tower's entry hall. I was hoping to seek
         spiritual guidance from Her.

[They arrive outside the temple.]

Erandur: Before we enter, I must warn you about the dangers that could be
         lurking within. Years ago, this temple was raided by an orc war party
         seeking revenge...they were being plagued by nightmares just like the
         people of Dawnstar.

Dragonborn: Were they successful?

Erandur: No. Knowing they could never defeat the orcs, the priests of Vaermina
         released what they call "The Miasma," putting everyone to sleep.

Dragonborn: Why is it dangerous if they're asleep?

Erandur: I'm concerned that when this place is unsealed, the Miasma will
         dissipate and they'll awaken; both orcs and priests alike.

Dragonborn: What does the Miasma do?

Erandur: The Miasma was created by the priests of Vaermina for their rituals.
         It's a gas that places the affected in a deep sleep. Because the
         rituals would last for months or even years, the Miasma was designed
         to slow down the aging process.

Dragonborn: Is the gas dangerous?

Erandur: Sadly, yes. The longer an individual is exposed to the Miasma, the
         more the mind can become damaged. Those who've been under the effect
         of it for extended periods of time have been known to lose their
         minds entirely. In some cases, a few never awoke at all. Once we get
         inside, all will become clear.

[They enter the vestibule.]

Erandur: Give me just a moment, and I'll have this open.

[He burns part of the wall, revealing the sealed portion of the temple.]

Erandur: Now I can show you the source of the nightmares. Over here.

[At the bottom of the temple, they spy Vaermina's relic still active after
 the last few decades.]

Erandur: Behold the Skull of Corruption, the source of Dawnstar's woes. We
         must reach the inner sanctum and destroy it. Come, there's no time
         to lose.

[In the stairwell, only to find a mystical barrier blocking passage downward.]

Erandur: Damn it. The priests must have activated this barrier when the Miasma
         was released.

Dragonborn: Looks difficult to breach.

Erandur: Impossible actually. Hmm, I wonder... There may be a way to bypass the
         barrier, but I must check their library and confirm it can be done.

Dragonborn: You seem to know an awful lot about this place.

Erandur: I suppose there's no point in concealing the truth any longer. My
         knowledge of this temple comes from personal experience. I was a
         priest of Vaermina.

         Why keep it a secret?
          When the orcs invaded the temple, I fled. I left my brothers and
          sisters here to die.

         You should have told me the truth.
          Yes, you're right. I should have, but I didn't know what to say.
          When the orcs raided the temple, I fled. I left my brothers and
          sisters behind to die.

         I knew it! You're a liar!
          And what would you have me say? Sorry for following the misguided
          teachings of a mad Divine? Sorry for stealing memories from children?
          Do you realize when the orcs attacked, I was only concerned for
          myself? I fled...and left my brothers and sisters behind to die.

         I've spent the last few decades living in regret and seeking
         redemption from Mara. And by Her Benevolence, I will right my wrongs.

Dragonborn: All right. I'm ready.

Erandur: I still have my key to the library. Whenever you're ready, let's move

         How can the Skull be affecting Dawnstar?
          Lore holds that the Skull of Corruption holds a constant hunger for
          the memories of others. The Skull has been out of touch for so long,
          I fear it's gained the ability to reach out on its own and try to
          feed. What it does with these memories is just conjecture and an
          argument for scholars and historians to this very day.

         We mustn't tarry...the Skull needs to be destroyed as soon as

[They head back upstairs.]

Erandur: It's just up here. Be careful...we're certain to find more of the
         awakened within.

[They unlock the library...]

Erandur: This library used to be filled with arcane volumes. Now look at it;
         almost everything's been burned. I hope the tome we need is still

[...and clear out the Miasma-addled sleepyheads.]

Erandur: Barring any more interruptions, perhaps we can locate the information
         I need.

Dragonborn: What am I looking for?

Erandur: We're looking for a book of alchemical recipes called "The
         Dreamstride." The tome bears the likeness of Vaermina on the cover.
         It should be here somewhere.

[It's on a pedestal upstairs.]

Dragonborn: Found it.

Erandur: Let me take a look... Mara be praised! There is a way past the barrier
         to the inner sanctum. It involves a recipe for a liquid known as
         Vaermina's Torpor.

Dragonborn: Is that some kind of potion?

Erandur: Yes. The Torpor grants an ability the priests of Vaermina called "The
         "Dreamstride"; using dreams to travel distances in the real world.

         That's impossible.
          I assure you, the Dreamstride is well known in Vaerminian Lore.

         That's amazing!
          Quite amazing, yes. Alchemy and the blessings of a Divine distilled
          down into an ingestible liquid.

         Sadly, I have yet to see it function in person.

Dragonborn: I'm going to be the test subject, then?

Erandur: As a sworn priest of Mara, the elixir won't work for me. The Torpor
         will only work for Priests or Vaermina, or the unaffiliated.

         Sounds dangerous. How can you be sure?
          I will not lie to you, there is some risk involved. The last time
          the Torpor was imbibed could have been decades ago. But I swear upon
          Lady Mara that I will do everything within my power to prevent any
          harm from befalling you.

         Forget it! It could kill me!
          No, all my research points in the opposite direction. This is the
          exact liquid the priests would drink. The only question in my mind
          is whether you will be granted The Dreamstride. Otherwise, the worst
          that could happen is a bad aftertaste. I swear upon Lady Mara that I
          would never let any harm befall you.

         Do you know where we can find the Torpor?
          I believe there is a laboratory in the east wing. If we proceed
          there, we should be able to locate a sample.

         The laboratory adjoins the library. I'm hoping we'll find a sample of
         the Torpor left undamaged.

[The player can inquire further...]

Dragonborn: What will the Dreamstride feel like?

Erandur: You'll be viewing the memory of another through your own eyes and
         with your own body. Those around you will perceive you as normal and
         you will find the words you utter may not be your own. Thanks to all
         of these odd principles, there is quite a lot of debate about whether
         this is really a dream or just the machinations of Vaermina.

Dragonborn: How will I know when to awaken?

Erandur: I will watch over you as you slumber to ensure your safety. If I
         deduce anything is amiss, I will use my arts to bring you back.
         Otherwise, I am uncertain what will end your Dreamstride. Perhaps
         when Vaermina's curious appetite has been filled.

[They clear out the lab.]

Erandur: Now that they've been dealt with, we need to find the Torpor.

Dragonborn: How will I know what it looks like?

Erandur: It should be in a small bottle, very similar to a potion. I'll begin
         searching up here. The Torpor should be in a tall bottle with a dark
         liquid. If you find it, bring it to me.

[The Torpor is on a shelf nearby.]

Dragonborn: I found the Torpor.

Erandur: I'm relieved you found a bottle intact; this place looks as though
         it were ransacked by the orcs. So...I've taken us this far, but you
         need to guide us the rest of the way. Drink.

Dragonborn: Here? Now?

Erandur: Dawnstar's fate rests in that tiny bottle. The longer we wait, the
         more damage Vaermina could be doing to those poor people. I understand
         your hesitation, but I promise you that it works.

[The player drinks and sees through the eyes of a priest, decades earlier,
 before everyone was put to sleep. The orc raid is ongoing; two other priests
 stand near the Skull of Corruption.]

Thorek: The orcs have breached the inner sanctum, Brother Veren.

Veren Duleri: We must hold. We can't allow the Skull to fall into their hands.

Thorek: But...no more than a handful of us remain, brother.

Veren: Then we have no choice. The Miasma must be released.

Thorek: The Miasma? But, brother...

Veren: We have no alternative. It's the will of Vaermina. And what about you,
       Brother Casimir? Are you prepared to serve the will of Vaermina?

Casimir: I've made my peace. I'm ready.

Veren: Then it's decided. Brother Casimir, you must activate the barrier and
       release the Miasma. Let nothing stop you. Brother Thorek, we must remain
       here and guard this Skull with our lives, if necessary.

Thorek: Agreed. To the death.

Veren: Then let it be done. Farewell, my brothers!

[As Casimir, the player bolts upstairs through the fighting, pulling the chain
 to release the Miasma. Doing this ends the Dreamstride, letting one see that
 the Torpor has indeed worked as it should. The barrier is deactivated.]

Erandur: It...it worked. Mara be praised! You vanished after drinking the
         Torpor and materialized on the other side. I've never seen anything
         quite like it.

         It was remarkable... As if I were really there.
          How I envy you. I can only imagine the excitement of seeing history
          through the eyes of another! Sadly, I am resigned to just reading of
          its wonders through my research of the Skull.

         It served a purpose.
          After what you just experienced, are you not amazed? I am at a loss
          for words.

         Are you mad? I could have died!
          I thought I was clear regarding the dangers that awaited you within
          the Dreamstride. However, this hardly matters any longer as you
          appear to have exited unscathed.

Dragonborn: We can discuss it later. We need to proceed.

Erandur: Indeed. My reverence for Vaermina's machinations should not take
         precedence over our mission. My apologies. The inner sanctum lies
         ahead. We must reach the Skull and put an end to Dawnstar's troubles.
         Lead on, my friend.

[They reach the final room. Thorek and Veren appear.]

Erandur: Veren...Thorek...you're alive!

Veren: No thanks to you, Casimir.

Erandur: I no longer use that name. I'm Erandur, Priest of Mara.

Veren: You're a traitor. You left us to die and ran before the Miasma took

Erandur: No. I...I was scared. I wasn't ready to sleep.

Veren: Enough of your lies! I can't allow you to destroy the Skull, Priest of

Erandur: Then you leave me no choice!

[They kill the two.]

Veren: How could you, Erandur...

[They walk to

Erandur: I...knew Veren and Thorek. They were my friends. Is this punishment
         for my past? Is it Mara's will to torment me so?

         We had no choice.
          Yes. You're right. If they needed to die so that Dawnstar could
          live, then it was worth the price.

         They were trying to kill us.
          And had they succeeded, Dawnstar's fate would have been sealed. You
          have a unique way of looking at things, my friend.

         Maybe they were right. Don't destroy the staff.
          No! You mustn't listen to them. They speak only lies and deception.
          Had we aided them in releasing the Skull, they would use it to wreak
          havoc across Skyrim. They...they had to die.

         It's time. The Skull must be destroyed. If you'll stand back, I'll
         perform the ritual granted to me by Lady Mara. First, an incantation
         to remove the barrier... I call upon you Lady Mara! The Skull hungers.
         It yearns for memories and leaves nightmares in its wake. Grant me
         the power to break through this barrier and to send the Skull to the
         depths of Oblivion!

[Vaermina speaks to the player's mind after the barrier is removed.]

Vaermina: He's deceiving you. When the ritual's complete, the Skull will be
          free and then Erandur will turn on you. Quickly! Kill him now. Kill
          him and claim the Skull for your own! Vaermina commands you!

[The player can kill Erandur and take the Skull, but there's no extra chatting
 with the Daedric Lord. If the ritual goes off without a backstabbing hitch,
 the Skull is destroyed.]

Erandur: Forgive me if I don't appear relieved...this temple has taken its
         toll on me.

         Are you going to be all right?
          In time, I believe I will.

         So we're done, then?
          Yes. The Skull has been destroyed and Dawnstar is safe.

         How about some compensation?
          Being a humble servant of Mara, I have little in the way of gold or
          coin, but perhaps I could offer you something better...companionship.

         I'd constructed a meager shrine to Mara in the antechamber where we
         entered. My intention was to spend the rest of my years here, burying
         the past and praying for forgiveness. But instead, I wish to offer
         my services to you. If you ever with to journey with me, I'll be

Dragonborn: Thank you.

Erandur: There's no need to thank me. What you did was for the people of
         Dawnstar. If anyone should be thanked, it should be you.

[DQ15] THE WHISPERING DOOR |===================================================
[In Whiterun, the player overhears a rumor from the Bannered Mare barkeep.]

Hulda: Been hearing some strange tales of the Jarl's children. Say the one's
       turning wicked, and the others have an ill-favored look to them. Best
       to keep clear.

[Jarl Balgruuf is spoken to on the matter.]

Dragonborn: I heard there's trouble with your children.

Balgruuf: Yes, my youngest son. He's a dark child. I don't know what to do with
          him. He was always a quiet lad, but lately...something has changed.
          He's become brooding. Violent. He won't say a word to me, but I don't
          know how I upset him. If you could speak with him. Draw out the
          truth. I would be immensely grateful.

[The son, Nelkir, is nearby.]

Dragonborn: Your father said to speak to you.

Nelkir: So the disgusting pig sent you to bother me? One day, I'll tear his
        face apart so he can leave me alone. My father doesn't know anything
        about me. But I know about him. And about the war. More than he might

        What sorts of things?
         I know that he still worships Talos. That he hates the Thalmor almost
         as much as the Stormcloaks do. That he worries about being chased from
         Whiterun. That he...that I'm...that I don't have the same mother as my
         brother and sister.
        How do you know these things?
         This castle is old. Lots of places nobody's been in a long while.
         Places where you can overhear things. See things. And the Whispering

Dragonborn: Who's the Whispering Lady?

Nelkir: She won't tell me her name. I've gotten good at listening to keyholes.
        At the door in the basement, I hear her talking to me. I thought I was
        caught, but she started telling me even more secrets. But I can't open
        the door.

Dragonborn: Where is this door?

Nelkir: In the basement. Trust me, you'll see it. I bet she'll talk to you,

[One searches the pantry, finding a half-hidden door near the shelves, faded
 with age. One tries to open it; a woman's voice speaks from beyond.]

Dragonborn: (Listen at the door)

???????: At last. I've been waiting for someone more fit to carry out my will.
         The child is spirited, but lacks...agency.

         Is there someone behind the door?
          Regrettably, I cannot reach your plane so directly. But I forgive
          you for not knowing who I am. Few hear my whispers anymore. I am
          Mephala, the Lady of Whispers. I tug at the web of connections
          between mortals. Love, hatred, loyalty, betrayal. The boy was good
          at sussing out secrets. You, I expect to take a more active role.

         What could the boy not do?
          The boy is good at sussing out secrets, but the corruptibility of
          children is ultimately too limited for my purposes. You, though, I
          expect will prove far more malleable.

          Who are you to expect anything?
           I forgive your not knowing my name. Few can hear my whispers
           anymore. I am Mephala, the Lady of Whispers. I tug at the web of
           connections between mortals. Love, hatred, loyalty, betrayal.

          I'm not so easily molded.
           You may think so. But in the end, you mortals will always flit like
           fire with the winds of your desires and conveniences. And those
           winds issue from my whispers.

         What do you want me to do?
          First, you must open this door. A piece of my power has been locked
          away behind it, and even my eyes cannot see past the seals. I'd much
          rather it be in the hands of an ambitious and talented person such
          as yourself.

         I don't want to help you.
          Suit yourself. But those who listen at doors always wonder what is
          beyond them. Eventually your curiosity will drive you back to me.

Dragonborn: How do I open the door?

Mephala: The whole of Whiterun is ripe with paranoia and tensions. The Jarl's
         court is right to fear the power I hold behind this door. The Jarl
         trusts few, and they will be his undoing. The dark child knows of what
         I speak. Let him guide your path.

[Nelkir is sought out again.]

Nelkir: You...you know the Whispering Lady, don't you. I can tell.

Dragonborn: Do you know how to open the Whispering Door?

Nelkir: I told you, I know everything about this castle. For some reason that
        door is special. Only two people can open it, Balgruuf and Farengar,
        the court wizard. How you get it from them is up to you. Nobody would
        notice if Farengar went missing, I promise you.

[After getting the key, one returns to the door. Behind it is a small room
 with nothing but a table, an old katana and a book warning people from using
 the blade. The Dragonborn picks it up.]

Mephala: Excellent work. Now, I trust you're sharp enough to see that the sword
         doesn't match the description of the Ebony Blade you may know. It has
         languished too long outside the winds of alliance and betrayal. To
         return to its past glory, it must first drink the blood of deceit.
         Your world is admirably seeped in lies and inclinations. My blade is
         a darling leech that feeds on deceptions, and nourishes its master.
         Seek out those closest to you. The final pluck of their misguided
         heartstrings will accompany my blade in a song of your grandeur.

DARK BROTHERHOOD                                                         [DRKB]

 01) Innocence Lost .................................................... DB01
 02) With Friends Like These... ........................................ DB02
 03) Sanctuary ......................................................... DB03
 04) Mourning Never Comes .............................................. DB04
 05) Whispers in the Dark .............................................. DB05
 06) The Silence Has Been Broken ....................................... DB06
 07) Bound Until Death ................................................. DB07
 08) Breaching Security ................................................ DB08
 09) The Cure for Madness .............................................. DB09
 10) Recipe for Disaster ............................................... DB10
 11) To Kill an Empire ................................................. DB11
 12) Death Incarnate ................................................... DB12
 13) Hail Sithis! ...................................................... DB13
 14) Destroy the Dark Brotherhood! ..................................... DB14

[DB01] INNOCENCE LOST |========================================================
[Through many means, usually overhearing, one can learn that Aventus Aretino,
 a boy in Windhelm, is doing the Black Sacrament to contact the Brotherhood.
 If one goes to see him, he'll be on the second floor near bloody remains,
 repeating the rites/mantra:]

Aventus: Sweet mother, sweet mother, send your child unto me, for the sins of
         the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear.

[The player goes over.]

Aventus: You've come at last! I knew you would!

Dragonborn: Are you all right?

Aventus: It worked! I knew you'd come, I just knew it! I did the Black
         Sacrament, over and over! With the body, and the...things. And then
         you came! An assassin from the Dark Brotherhood!

         I'm sorry, boy, but I'm not who you think I am.
          Of course you are! I prayed, and you came, and now you'll accept my

         Yes, of course... The Black Sacrament...
          It took so long. So very long. But now that you're here, you can
          accept my contract.

         (Remain silent)
          You don't have to say anything. There's no need. You're here, so I
          know you'll accept my contract.

Dragonborn: Contract?

Aventus: My mother, she...she died. I...I'm all alone now. So they sent me to
         that terrible orphanage in Riften. Honorhall. The headmistress is an
         evil, cruel woman. They call her Grelod the Kind. But he's not kind.
         She's terrible. To all of us. So I ran away, and came home. And
         performed the Black Sacrament. Now you're here! And you can kill
         Grelod the Kind!

         • Please don't kill Constance Michel! She really is kind.
         • Please hurry! To be honest, I'm kind of lonely here. As much as I
           hated getting sent to Honorhall, I really miss my friends there...

[If Grelod is already dead:]

Dragonborn: Grelod? As it turns out...I already killed her.

Aventus: You did? Really? This is the best news I've ever gotten! I mean, I
         knew the Dark Brotherhood was good...just not that good! You killed
         the old hag before I even asked! Oh, and please, take this as payment.
         It's an old family heirloom, supposed to be pretty valuable. It should
         fetch you a nice price. Thank you again!

[If Grelod is alive and one inquires further...]

Aventus: Grelod is the headmistress of Honorhall Orphanage. But not for long.

         Assassinations don't come cheap, boy.
          I have a family heirloom you can have. Supposed to be sort of
          valuable. I hope that's all right.

         Tell me about your mother. What happened?
          She got sick, last winter, when the snows came. And she just...she
          never got better. Not all year. One night she just fell asleep and...
          never woke up. So now I'm all alone. And the Jarl said I had to go
          to Honorhall Orphanage. It's not fair!

         Are you sure about this, boy? Murdering this woman?
          I've never been more sure about anything in my entire life. Someone
          like Grelod doesn't deserve to live one more day. She's a monster.

[The player travels to Riften and enters the orphanage. Grelod is yelling at
 her young wards in the main room.]

Grelod: Those who shirk their duties will get an extra beating. Do I make
        myself clear?

Kids: Yes, Grelod.

Grelod: And one more thing! I will hear no more talk of adoptions! None of you
        riff-raff is getting adopted. Ever! Nobody needs you, nobody wants you.
        That, my darlings, is why you're here. Why you will always be here,
        until the day you come of age and get thrown into that wide, horrible
        world. Now, what do you all say?

Kids: We love you, Grelod. Thank you for your kindness.

Grelod: That's better. Now scurry off, my little guttersnipes.

[The player walks over.]

Grelod: What do you want? You have no business being here.

        The Dark Brotherhood has come, Grelod.
         The what? Why how dare you! I will not be intimidated in my own
         orphanage! Get out! Get out this instant!

        Aventus Aretino says hello.
         Aretino? Why that little bastard! You tell him I'm coming for him!
         And when I find him, it will be the beating of his miserable life!

        (Remain silent)
         What are you staring at, you worthless piece of gutter trash? I
         simply must start locking the doors again...

        • You don't scare me.
        • You're trying to frighten me, hmm? Do your worst!
        • Think you can intimidate me? In my own orphanage? Ha! Not bloody

[The player kills Grelod, delighting the oppressed orphans. Examples:]

Hroar: Someone has killed Grelod! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Runa: Grelod is dead! Aventus did it! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Samuel: Hooray! Grelod the Kind is dead at last! We're saved!

Francois: Yay!

[The player returns to Aventus.]

Aventus: Well? Grelod the Kind. Is she...you know?

Dragonborn: Grelod the Kind is dead.

Aventus: Aha! I knew you could do it! I just knew it! I knew the Dark
         Brotherhood would save me! Here, just like I promised! This should
         fetch you a nice price. And thank you. Thank you again.

[Aventus says some funny things if spoken to again.]

Aventus: I'll go back to the Orphanage in a while. I'll give them time to,
         you know...clean up the mess.

Aventus: When I grow up, I'm going to be an assassin. That way I can help lots
         of children, just like you!

[DB02] WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE... |============================================

[After completing Innocence Lost, then sleeping, the player will wake up in a
 small cabin, haven apparently been abducted. A female assassin sits atop a
 shelf, watching the protagonist.]

Astrid: Sleep well?

Dragonborn: What? Where am I? Who are you?

Astrid: Does it matter? You're warm, dry...and still very much alive. That's
        more than can be said for old Grelod. Hmm?

Dragonborn: You know about that?

Astrid: Half of Skyrim knows. Old hag gets butchered in her own orphanage?
        Things like that tend to get around. Oh, but don't misunderstand. I'm
        not criticizing. It was a good kill. Old crone had it coming. And you
        saved a group of urchins, to boot. Ah, but there is a slight...problem.

        A problem?
        (Remain silent)
        I don't think I like where this is going...
         You see, that little Aretino boy was looking for the Dark Brotherhood.
         For me, and my associates. Grelod the Kind was, by all rights, a Dark
         Brotherhood contract. A kill...that you stole. A kill you must repay.

Dragonborn: You want me to murder someone else? Who?

Astrid: Well now. Funny you should ask. If you turn around, you'll notice my
        guests. I've "collected" them from...well, that's not really important.
        The here and now. That's what matters. You see, there's a contract out
        on one of them, and that person can't leave this room alive. But...
        which one? Go on, see if you can figure it out. Make your choice. Make
        your kill. I just want to observe...and admire.

        I'll have no part of this insanity.
         Now that is a shame. But what you fail to realize is that you
         involved yourself in this "insanity" when you took Grelod's life.
         You made your choice. Now it's time to face the consequences of your
         actions. You don't leave this shack until someone dies.

        All right, I'll do it. I'll kill one of them.
         See, I knew we could resolve this civilly. A debt owed must be repaid.
         You understand that. Well, get to it then. Pick your guest, and send
         the poor fool to the Void. I'll give you the key to this shack, and
         you'll be on your way.

        (Remain silent)
         Am I to take your silence as acceptance? Then you know where we stand.
         Make your kill, and we're square. Repayment of your debt is but a
         discreet knife thrust away.

[If the player lets the option time out, or tries to exit dialogue, instead:]

Astrid: I'll cut right to it. You murdered the old woman in the Orphanage.
        You owe the Dark Brotherhood a kill. I've come to collect. One of
        these poor sods has a contract out on their life. Which one is it? Any
        idea? Make your choice. Make your kill. And you get to walk away.

[The player can talk to the three bound, gagged individuals nearby: Vasha,
 Alea Quintus and Fultheim the Fearless.]

Vasha: Whoever this is, clearly we got off on the wrong foot. Ah, but no
       worries. This is not the first time I have been bagged and dragged.
       Come now. Whatever the problem, we can talk about it like civilized
       folk, hmm?

       Who are you?
        Ahhh...Vasha, at your service. Obtainer of goods, taker of lives, and
        defiler of daughters. Have you not heard of me? Perhaps I will have my
        people carve my name into your corpse, as a reminder.

       Would someone pay to have you killed?
        Me? Ha! Are you serious? 

        Answer me, or I'll paint this room with your blood! (Intimidate)
         Fool! Don't you get it? I live in the shadow of death every day. A
         knife in the doorway, a nocked arrow on every rooftop! If one of my
         enemies wouldn't pay to have me killed, I would take it as a personal

        Come on, you can tell me. We're all friends here. (Persuade)
         He he he he he he. The real question is, "Would someone pay to have
         me killed...again." A day goes by without someone trying to gut me
         in the street, I get disappointed.

       Tell you what. You release me, and I promise my associates won't hunt
       you down like an animal and butcher you in the street. It is a win-win.

Alea: Get these things off me! Cowards! Stealing a woman from her home! For

      Who are you?
       None of your damned business who I am! If you're going to kill me, just
       do it already! As Mara as my witness, if I didn't have this hood on
       right now I would spit right in your face...

      Would someone pay to have you killed?
       Excuse me? What kind of question is that?

       One last time: Would. Someone. Pay. To. Have. You. Killed? (Intimidate)
        I'm kneeling here with my hands bound and a sack over my head, and you
        have the gall to ask me that? What do you think, genius?

       It's all right. Just tell me what I need to know.
        I'm a woman living in Skyrim with six children and no husband. I don't
        have the time or the patience to be "nice". Do some people look down on
        me? Have I made some enemies? You're damn right. 

      I don't have time for this nonsense. I've got a home to keep and children
      to feed. Now let me out of here!

Fultheim: I...I can hear you talking out there. Please, let me go. I've done
          nothing to you. Is this about that raid last week? I told Holgrim
          there was no honor in killing sleeping men, but he wouldn't listen!
          It wasn't my fault, I swear!

          Who are you?
           My name is Fultheim. I'm a soldier. Well, mercenary, really. You
           know, a...a sellsword. I've lived in Skyrim all my life. That's all!
           I'm a nobody, really. So can't you just let me go?

          Would someone pay to have you killed?
           What? Oh gods, I don't want to die...

           Answer me, or die! (Intimidate)
            Please! I don't know! I mean, I'm a soldier. I've killed people.
            When I was ordered to. Maybe there were some times...some times I
            got carried away? But war is war. Right? Nobody could blame me for
            that. Could they?

           Shhh... Don't be afraid. You can tell me. (Persuade)
            Okay, well...I guess it's possible. I've been selling my sword arm
            for years now. Killed a lot of people. Could be someone wanted
            revenge. But... But you're not going to kill me. Right?

          What did I do? Please, whatever it is, I'm sorry.

[If the player chooses to kill one or more victims, Astrid will comment on the
 chosen victims. Seven responses total.]

Astrid: • Oh ho. The whimpering Nord, eh? Yes, yes, I can see how you'd come to
          that conclusion. Interesting choice.

        • Ah, the feisty goodwife. Quite the mouth on her. Someone must have
          wanted her dead... right?

        • The conniving Khajiit. Cat like that was sure to have enemies. It's
          no wonder you chose him.

        • The blubbering barbarian and the tenacious mother. Must have been one
          of them, right?

        • Hmm. The fearless wife and mother, and the underhanded Khajiit. Had
          to be one of them, right? Interesting choice.

        • The timid warrior and the sly Khajiit. Must have been one or the
          other, right?

        • Well, well, aren't we the overachiever? Three possibilities, three
          victims. Must have been one of them, right? So why take chances...

        So who was it? Who had the contract?
         Oh. No, no, no. Don't you understand? Guilt, innocence, right,
         wrong... Irrelevant. What matters is I ordered you to kill someone,
         and you obeyed.

        You told me to kill, and I killed.
         Indeed. For you, my friend, seem to understand what's truly important.
         When I give an order to spill blood, you follow it. No questions. No

        (Remain silent)
         Hmph. When most would speak, you listen. You think. You understand
         that the only thing that matters is you following my orders. To kill.

Dragonborn: So...I'm free to go?

Astrid: Of course. And you've repaid your debt, in full. Here's the key to the
        shack. But why stop here? I say we take our relationship to the next
        level. I would like to officially extend to you an invitation to join
        my Family. The Dark Brotherhood. In the southwest region of Skyrim, in
        the Pine Forest, you'll find the entrance to our Sanctuary. It's just
        beneath the road, hidden from view. When questioned by the Black Door,
        answer with the correct passphrase: "Silence, my brother." Then you're
        in. And your new life begins. I'll see you at home.

[If the player killed Astrid instead of a gagged victim, she gives a line
 before the quest fails and "Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!" begins.]

Astrid: Well done...

[Eventually, the player enters the Sanctuary. Astrid is waiting.]

Astrid: Ah, at last. I hope you found the place all right.

Dragonborn: So what happens now?

Astrid: Well, what happens now is you start your new life in the Dark
        Brotherhood. You're part of the Family, after all. This, as you can
        see, is our Sanctuary. You won't find a safer place in all of Skyrim.
        So get comfortable.

        I am honored to be part of your Family, Astrid.
         Our Family, my dearest. Our Family. Together, united as one, the Dark
         Brotherhood can accomplish anything. But you must be anxious to get
         to work. I'm arranging a job, but need a bit more time. For now, go
         see Nazir. He's got several smaller contracts.

        When do I get to kill someone?
         Soon, my dearest. Soon. I'm arranging a job for you, but I need some
         more time. For now, go talk to Nazir. He may have some smaller
         contracts to tide you over.

        (Remain silent)
         Hmmm... Yes, the silence suits you. Gives you an air of mystery. Now,
         down to business. I'm arranging a job for you. But in the meantime, go
         talk to Nazir. He may have some smaller contracts to tide you over.

        Soon, the Night Mother will arrive. And things around here are sure to
        get even more interesting. Ah, but one last thing. A welcome home
        present. The armor of the Dark Brotherhood. May it serve you well in
        all your...endeavors.

        Who is the Night Mother?
         The Unholy Matron, the Shrouded Lady, the Mistress of the Void. She
         goes by many names. Ages past, Sithis gave a woman five children. She
         killed them to win his favor, thus becoming the Night Mother. If you
         believe that sort of thing. Today, she's...well, she's a skeleton. An
         ancient corpse. But, more importantly, a corpse that's being brought
         to this Sanctuary by her Keeper.

         So the Night Mother is being brought here?
          Yes. A few months ago I received word from the Night Mother's Keeper
          that he had arrived in Skyrim from Cyrodiil. The Night Mother's
          crypt, in Bravil, was destroyed. A result of the chaos caused by
          the war with the Thalmor. That forced a relocation. I don't know
          where the Keeper has been these past few months, but I recently
          received another letter. He's bringing the Night Mother here. Soon.

        What if I get caught killing someone?
         Try not to? But I do realize sometimes it's not that easy. You may
         want to make a statement, or a contract may require a public killing.
         Murder is, obviously, a very serious crime, and a very high bounty
         will be put on your head in the hold where the act was committed. You
         can run, obviously, but you'll still have a price on your head. If a
         guard attacks, you can attempt to yield by sheathing your weapon. If
         the guard accepts, you can serve your time in a cell, or pay off your
         bounty. We've all gone through it. We do what we must to survive. But,
         there is another option. Some members of the Thieves Guild in Riften
         can get their bounties...erased. For a price. Something to think

        Where do the contracts come from?
         They used to come from the Night Mother. Potential clients would
         perform the Black Sacrament, and she would hear their prayers. The
         Night Mother would communicate this to the Listener, who would then
         dispatch a Speaker to arrange the contract with the client. But that
         was a long time ago. There hasn't been a Listener in years, not since
         Cyrodiil was overrun in the war with the Thalmor. But people don't
         know that. So they still perform the ritual...and we eventually hear
         about it. When someone wants us, we find out.

        Are there any rules I should be aware of?
         Used to be the Dark Brotherhood was bound by Five Tenets, but we
         stopped following those years ago. All those rules, all that
         discipline, and look where the Dark Brotherhood ended up. We're the
         last of our kind, and we live the way we see fit. Bottom line --
         respect your Family. Do that, and everything else will fall into

        What can you tell me about yourself?
         This Sanctuary has been my entire life since I was a young woman.
         That's when I discovered my, shall we call it "aptitude," for
         elimination. I had an uncle, you see. He made certain...unwanted
         advances. So I killed him. And liked it. Then, I killed again. And
         liked it even more. And so on. I was recruited by the Dark Brotherhood
         and have been here ever since. I met my husband Arnbjorn, rose to
         leadership. And now here we are.

        Be sure and introduce yourself to your new Family members. They're all
        very eager to meet you.

[DB03] SANCTUARY |=============================================================
 [The player enters the Sanctuary's hall, finding the family members talking
  about their latest jobs.]

Veezara: Ha ha ha ha! Again! Again! Do the part where he tries to buy you some

Babette: Okay, okay. Wait. Here we go. "Ooh, you're such a pretty little girl.
         Would the sweetie like a sweetie? Oh yes, how about some chocolate?"
         Oh yes, please kind sir! My mama and papa left me all alone, and I'm
         so very hungry. I know a shortcut to the candy shop. Through this
         alley. "Oh ya, very good. Very good. My it is dark down here. Oh, but
         you are so beautiful. Such a lovely smile. Your teeth...your teeth!
         No! Aggghh!!"

Arnbjorn: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Gabriella: Oh Babette, but you are so wicked.

Nazir: What about you, Festus? How did that last contract turn out?

Arnbjorn: Ah, yes, please, old man. Regale us with your tales of wizardry...

Festus Krex: Ah, the young and stupid. Always mocking the experienced and
             brilliant. My contract went very well, I'll have you know. Tried
             a new spell. Little something I've been working on in my spare
             time. Came "this" close to turning that priest inside-out. Damned

Gabriella: And what of your latest, Arnbjorn? Something about a Khajiit?
           Merchant was it?

Babette: Oh, a big doggy chasing a little kitty! How adorable!

Festus: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Nazir: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Veezara: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Arnbjorn: I am not adorable, it was not funny, and he wasn't a merchant. He
          was a Khajiit monk, a master of the Whispering Fang style. But now
          he's dead...and I have a new loincloth.

Festus: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Nazir: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Babette: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

[The player can do introductions with all the other members. This is optional,
 but gives fun dialogue, so I'll list it here. Note that most 3-reply intros,
 when they appear, give the same answer, excepting Nazir's.]

Arnbjorn: Well, well. It's raw meat. Oh, my beautiful wife has told me all
          about you. Let me guess -- Astrid failed to mention I'm her husband?
          She has a tendency to do that. Doesn't want the others thinking she
          plays favorites.

          (Remain silent)
          It's nice to meet you, Arnbjorn.
          You know nothing about me, or my abilities.
           I'll give you a week before you end up dead in a ditch.

          What can you tell me about yourself?
           • Look. If you're trying to get to know me -- don't. I don't like
             you, and I never will. It's nothing personal. But... My wife
             trusts you, and I trust her judgment. So you can't be all bad.
             Here's what you need to know: I'm a werewolf. I like killing
             things. I love Astrid. I hate annoying people. And the color blue
             gives me a headache.

           • I might ask the same of you. For you are more than mortal. You are
             moon-born. You are wolf. So, you're a Companion, then? I can't
             imagine you got your gift anywhere else. I hope you have better
             luck with them than I did. Oh yes, I was once brother to the
             Companions. Let's just say they found my methods "unsettling". The
             Dark Brotherhood, obviously, feels differently.

Babette: There you are! Astrid's told me all about you. Heard she pulled the
         ole "Choose your victim" gag with you. Ah, I love that one... Don't
         let my appearance throw you off. I'm older than you. A lot older.
         Getting bitten by a vampire when you're ten will do that to a girl.

         (Remain silent)
         It's nice to meet you, Babette.
         I will kill anyone who stands in my way. Anyone.
          You're going to love it here. We have a lot of fun, and we look out
          for each other. Just like any family.

         What can you tell me about yourself?
          I'm just a little girl! The Dark Brotherhood killed my mama and papa,
          and then they took me captive! Please, please help me! Rather
          convincing, don't you think? In truth, I'm no more a little girl than
          you are. I was once, of course. Three hundred years ago. Vampirism
          tends to keep one remarkably...fresh.

         Can't wait to hear all about the next person you murder.

Festus: Yes, yes, you're the new Family member. Let's make this easy --
        consider me the cranky old uncle nobody talks to. You go your way,
        I'll go on mine. There's too much of an obsession these days with
        knives and arrows. You can kill someone just as easily with a well-
        -placed spell.

        (Remain silent)
        It's nice to meet you, Festus.
        Fine. I'm not here to make friends, old man.

        What can you tell me about yourself?
         Hmph. I like to say I was born with a wand in my hand. Well, not
         literally -- you can see how painful that would have been for mother.
         But I was a prodigy! Casting simple spells by one, completing complex
         incantations by three. Resurrecting corpses by seven! Ha. When I was
         thirteen, I accidentally burned down the family home. A bit of
         lightning gone awry. Ah, but soon after I mastered my gifts.
         Completely. I went on to teach at the College -- left after two years.
         Too simple. Too safe. None of them truly understood the glory of the
         Destruction school...

        Remember, fireballs. You can never go wrong.

Gabriella: New brother. May I offer my most sincere welcome to our Family.
           Does death not come to us all? Is it not a certainty? I am,
           therefore, honored to be doom's herald. To play some part in a
           being's inevitable end.

           (Remain silent)
           It's nice to meet you, Gabriella.
           I am an assassin without equal. I belong here.
            You certainly have a strange energy about you. I look forward to
            following your progress.

           What can you tell me about yourself?
            What a curious question. Well, I enjoy moonlit nights, taking long
            walks on the beach, knitting and unicorns. In fact, I once took a
            seaside stroll, on a moonlit night, and discovered a unicorn...
            which I proceeded to stab in the throat with a crochet needle. I'm
            a woman of refined, yet simple tastes.

           Until next time, brother.

Veezara: Welcome, my brother. Welcome to our Sanctuary. You have made the right
         choice joining us, I assure you. Me, I have been part of the Dark
         Brotherhood from the day I first hatched. I am Shadowscale, you see.
         Born under the sign of the Shadow.

         (Remain silent)
         It's nice to meet you, Veezara.
         The Dark Brotherhood will return to greatness. With my help.
          You just trust in Astrid, follow her orders, and you'll do fine here.

         What can you tell me about yourself?
          Once, I was a Shadowscale. An assassin in service to the King of
          Black Marsh. Trained by the Dark Brotherhood since the day of my
          hatching. Ah, but that was a lifetime ago. Today, I am the last of
          my kind. My order is extinct. Now, I happily serve Astrid, and this
          Sanctuary. I am a trained killer, and once again have been given
          purpose. Life is good.

         Stay safe.

[The player finds Nazir, the Redguard swordsman.]

Nazir: So, you're the newest member of our dwindling, dysfunctional little
       Family. I've heard quite a bit about you.

       It's a pleasure to meet you.
        Save the niceties for now. I have no intention of getting invested in
        someone who may be dead tomorrow. If you're still breathing in a few
        weeks, I'm sure we'll be the best of friends.

       You will hear more, I assure you.
        Ooh, cocky. I give you three days before you screw up and someone
        runs a knife across your throat. But who knows? I've been proven wrong

       (Remain silent)
        Ahh, going for the mysterious and brooding thing, hmm? That may work
        for your targets, but you'll find I'm not so easily impressed.

Dragonborn: Astrid said you'd have some work for me.

Nazir: Did she, now? Well, as it turns out, there are a few lingering we
       haven't had the chance to complete just yet. And more, dribbling in from
       time to time. I'll assign them to you as they become available. To be
       completed at your leisure.

Dragonborn: Sounds simple enough.

Nazir: It is. These aren't particularly glamorous assassinations, I'll be
       honest. Don't pay much, either. But they'll keep you busy. Just do them
       as you're able. There's no real time limit -- the targets aren't going
       anywhere. You can turn each one in as it's completed, or wait and turn
       in the whole group when all the targets have been eliminated. Whichever
       works for you.

       What can you tell me about yourself?
        Ah, well, I'm a Redguard, as I'm sure you've noticed. Though not like
        most of my kind in Skyrim, that's for damned sure. I am a child of
        Hammerfell, born on the sands of the mighty Alik'r. In that great
        desert, blood is a shade of crimson I can scarce describe. My past is
        long and storied, and not altogether proud. The Dark Brotherhood saved
        me from myself. And I have never looked back.

Dragonborn: I'm ready for the first set of contracts.

Nazir: Well then, let's get started. I've got three available right now. Your
       targets are the beggar Narfi, an ex-miller named Ennodius Papius, and
       Beitild, a mine boss. When you've completed all those, we'll see if I
       might have some more.

       Tell me about Narfi.
        He's a hapless beggar living in some ruins just outside the village of
        Ivarstead. Easy even for you.

       Tell me about Ennodius.
        He lives just outside Anga's Mill, in the woods. He was once the
        miller. Now Papius is just a paranoid recluse who thinks someone is
        out to get him. And he's right.

       Tell me about Beitild.
        She separated from her husband several months ago. Now the two run
        competing mining operations. Beitild's angry and desperate. A fighter.

       Happy hunting.

[DB04] MOURNING NEVER COMES |==================================================
[The player goes to each assassination target, having unique dialogue.]

Narfi: Who are you? What do you want?

       Beg! Beg for your miserable life!
        No! Oh, by the gods, please no!

       Your pathetic existence has come to an end, Narfi.
        Oh... Oh no... Please, please...I ain't never harmed no one... Old
        Narfi just wants to be left alone...

       (Remain silent)
        Do...do you want something? Look, if you ain't gonna talk, or spare
        no coin, just go away...

Ennodius: Why are you here? Get away from me!

          You were right to paranoid, Ennodius.
           What? What do you mean? Oh! Oh...no... No!

          Die, worm!

          (Remain silent)
           Who are you? You...you're with the Dark Brotherhood, ain'tcha? I
           knew it. I knew you'd come for me!

Beitild: I'm really not in the mood. State your business, or take your leave.

         Someone wants you dead, Beitild.
          And let me guess, that so-called someone is my husband Leigelf? Well
          the feeling's mutual.

         I represent the Dark Brotherhood. Your death is at hand!
          What? Well, we'll see about that, won't we?

         (Remain silent)
          I've a mine to run, so if you'll excuse me...

[Nazir will comment on each contract when it's completed.]

Dragonborn: Narfi is dead.

Nazir: Congratulations. You slaughtered an emaciated beggar in cold blood. You
       are truly an opponent to be feared. Here's your payment.

Dragonborn: Ennodius is dead.

Nazir: Good. And I hope you were careful in that lumber mill. Those splinters
       and rusty nails can be quite nasty. Your payment, for a job well done.

Dragonborn: Beitild is dead.

Nazir: Of course she is. I hear the mining business is extremely cutthroat.
       And those hours...they're murder. I could do this all day. Here's your

[After at least one contract is done, returning to the Sanctuary reveals a new
 scene where Cicero, the Keeper, arrives with the Night Mother, to the chagrin
 of some. The player stumbles upon them mid-argument.]

Cicero: But the Night Mother is mother to all! It is her voice we follow! Her
        will! Would you dare risk disobedience? And surely...punishment?

Arnbjorn: Keep talking, little man, and we'll see who gets "punished".

Festus: Oh be quiet, you great lumbering lapdog. The man has had a long
        journey. You can at least be civil. Mister Cicero, I for one am
        delighted you and the Night Mother have arrived. Your presence here
        signals a welcome return to tradition.

Cicero: Oh, what a kind and wise wizard you are. Sure to earn our Lady's favor.

Astrid: You and the Night Mother are of course welcome here, Cicero. And you
        will be afforded the respect deserving of your position as Keeper.

Arnbjorn: Hmph.

Cicero: Oh, yes yes yes! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Astrid: But make no mistake. I am the leader of this Sanctuary. My word is law.
        Are we clear on that point?

Cicero: Oh yes, mistress. Perfectly! You're the boss.

[The crowd disperses.]

Astrid: Ah, there you are. Good, I was done speaking to that muttering fool
        anyway. We've got some business to discuss.

Dragonborn: Do you have a contract for me?

Astrid: I do indeed. You must go to the city of Markarth, and speak with the
        apothecary's assistant. You'll probably find her in the Hag's Cure,
        when the shop is open. The girl's been running her mouth, wants an
        ex-lover killed. She's apparently performed the Black Sacrament. Her
        name is Muiri. I need you to talk to her, set up the contract, and
        carry it out.

Dragonborn: Anything else?

Astrid: Just do whatever the contact wishes. Be professional, represent us
        well, and get the job done. Since it's your first contract, I'll let
        you keep whatever Muiri pays. She'll be generous, I'm sure. They
        always are.

[The other DB members can be asked to comment on the current contract and the
 present of the Night Mother/Cicero. On the latter, for Astrid, one's reply
 regards what will be changing. All this is optional, but adds some humor and
 insight into the mission, so I'll list it anyway.]

Astrid: Just be yourself. Eliminate the targets any way you see fit. Quiet,
        loud, quick, slow -- whatever you feel is best. Occasionally I'll give
        you a contract with certain parameters. Stay within them, and you'll
        earn yourself a bonus.

Astrid: Very little. You have my word on that. The Night Mother represents a
        chapter in the Dark Brotherhood's history that has long since been
        closed. Today we live by our own rules. We're the last Sanctuary in
        all of Tamriel, and only by forgoing the old ways have we survived
        this long. My only worry is her "Keeper." I'm not sure what Cicero
        expects to gain by bringing the Night Mother here, but he'll soon learn
        this is my Sanctuary.

Arnbjorn: Yeah. Follow my wife's orders, and don't do anything stupid.

Arnbjorn: The witless fool and his pet corpse? Take a guess.

Babette: You're headed to the Hag's Cure, right? It's a good shop. You should
         examine their wares. Never pass up the chance to buy a good potion...
         or poison. And one more thing. Have fun. You'll be committing a dark
         deed, but there's no reason you shouldn't enjoy yourself. You're only
         young once. Trust me, I know.

Babette: Two hundred years ago, I would have lain down my life for the Unholy
         Matron. But that age has long since passed. Astrid is my matron now.

Festus: Yes. Just because you're now a professional assasin, don't think you
        have to skulk around in the shadows like a skeever and stab people.
        Do what I do. Walk up to your target, introduce yourself, melt their
        skin off, and then run like the wind. Works every time.

Festus: Their arrival is the best thing that's happened to this Sanctuary in
        years. Astrid is an effective leader, but we've been rudderless for
        too long. Scrounging for contracts, abandoning the Tenets. The Dark
        Brotherhood has been reduced to a group of common cutthroats. Frankly,
        it's embarrassing.

Gabriella: You're being sent to meet with the contact directly, is that
           correct? What a most unusual occurrence. Astrid usually performs
           this duty herself. I can only assume she wants to test the full
           breadth of your abilities. So. Be polite, and professional, and
           represent us well.

Gabriella: Without the Night Mother, there is no Dark Brotherhood. The Matron
           deserves our unwavering support and respect. Though I admit, I find
           her Keeper a bit too exuberant for my liking.

Veezera: You must speak to that Muiri woman, correct? I have heard rumors in
         Windhelm. She was recently implicated in a thievery, along with her
         lover. The lover will likely be your target. If memory serves me
         correctly, he leads a group of bandits. So this may be rather
         interesting for you.

Veezera: Truthfully? I'm not entirely sure. It's not that I don't have the
         utmost respect for Sithis, and the Night Mother, and the ancient ways.
         I do. But I've never been much for religion. I kill because it's what
         I've been trained to do. It's all I know. So long as Astrid is happy,
         I'm happy.

Nazir: The contracts I dole out are fairly simple -- go to a location, and kill
       the target. But this is different. The jobs Astrid gives you will be
       more important, and usually more complex. Just keep your wits about you.
       And for Sithis' sake, don't get killed.

Nazir: I don't like mimes, minstrels, thespians, acrobats, jugglers,
       troubadours or tumblers. Flutists give me a headache. I particularly
       hate jesters. As a rule, I'm also not crazy about the corpses of old
       women. For the Night Mother, I'll make an exception. But Astrid is the
       only mistress I serve.

[If one talks to Cicero after having met him in "Delayed Burial", there'll be
 a conversation that replaces the usual three-option DB line:]

Cicero: Wait, oh wait. I know you! Yes, yes. From the road! Cicero never
        forgets a face.

Dragonborn: You're the man with the wagon! Transporting his mother...

Cicero: I am! I am! But not just my mother. Our mother, hmm? The Night Mother!
        Oh yes!

        • And you helped me! You helped poor Cicero! You talked to Loreius,
          got him to fix my wheel! Oh, you may have pleased me, but you have
          surely pleased the Night Mother. And our mother, she will never

        • But you disappeared! You were there...then you weren't! Did you mean
          to help out poor Cicero or not? I'm left to wonder... Ah, it doesn't
          matter. What's done is done, right? Cicero is here! As is the Night
          Mother! Joy of joys!

[If the player speaks with Cicero without having met him before:]

Cicero: Another member of the Family! Hello, hello. So very good to meet you.

        It's good to meet you too, Cicero.
         So polite! So nice! Cicero likes you. The Night Mother is sure to like
         you too. Oh, we're going to be fast friends. Fast friends.

        Keep your distance, jester, and we'll get along just fine.
         Do you mistrust poor Cicero? I am, as you say, just an innocent
         jester. A fool! Oh, but my work is not foolish, no. For I am our
         mother's Keeper.

        (Remain silent)
         Oooh... So silent. So menacing. A true assassin of the old ways.
         Cicero likes you. Oh yes, Cicero likes you, indeed.

        Why did you come to the Sanctuary?
         The Night Mother's crypt in Bravil was...desecrated. The Imperial
         Province is ravaged by strife. Nowhere there is safe, at present. So
         Cicero brought our Lady to her new home. Here! This is the only
         Sanctuary left in all of Skyrim, you see. Such was my...honor. As

         Who is the Night Mother?
          What? Who is the Night Mother? Oh! Oh, you jest! You jest with
          gullible Cicero! You of course know that the Night Mother is our
          Unholy Matron. The undying spirit of a great woman who birthed the
          children of Sithis. And killed them. In his honor.

          Tell me about Sithis.
           Hmmm... That's like telling you about the cold of space, or terror
           of midnight. Sithis is all those things. He is...the Void.

         What are the duties of a Keeper?
          Oh, Cicero takes care of our Lady's body. Oils it, preserves it,
          keeps it safe. Makes sure nobody disrespects our Matron's coffin.

        What can you tell me about yourself?
         Me? Oh, Cicero is just the Keeper! I...keep! I look after our matron,
         you see. The Night Mother. I keep her clean, and protected, and
         happy... But I am not the Listener. Oh no. There is no Listener. Not
         yet! But some day, some day, some day I pray that one will come to
         hear her say... The words.

         The Listener? What's a Listener?
          Oh, well, the Listener is the only person the Night Mother speaks to.
          It is the highest honor attainable by a member of the Dark
          Brotherhood. Of course our Lady is dead, so she doesn't talk with
          words, since her lips are...rotted. But inside the Listener's head.
          I hear it's...intimate. Ah, but there has not been a Listener in
          years and years. Our Lady has not chosen Cicero, and certainly not
          Astrid. Or...anyone. But some day...

        Farewell, farewell!

[The player goes to Muiri at the apothecary in Markarth.]

Muiri: Why are you looking at me like that?

Dragonborn: The Dark Brotherhood has come, Muiri.

Muiri: The Dark Brotherh... Oh. Oh! I...my goodness, you're really here! The
       Black Sacrament. It actually worked?

Dragonborn: Obviously. Now tell me what you need.

Muiri: What I need? What I need is for Alain Dufont to die! I want him hunted
       down and murdered like the dog he is!

       (Remain silent)
       I'll need more to go on than that...
       By Sithis, I need details. Get to the point.
        I didn't know when we were...with each other...but Alain is actually a
        leader of a band of cutthroat bandits. They're holed up in some old
        dwarven ruin -- Raldbthar. It's near Windhelm. They use it as their
        base. It's where they stage their raids. I want you to go to that ruin,
        find Alain Dufont, and kill him. I don't care about his friends. Do
        whatever you want with them. But Alain has to die!

       Actually, Alain Dufont is already dead. I killed him.²
        What? Alain is...is dead? I...I'm grateful. It's just this...this isn't
        at all how I imagined things would play out. There was Alain, but I
        was considering more, and... Ah, well. Dead is dead. Right? My thanks
        to you, assassin. Here's the gold I was going to pay you for the job.
        You earned it, after all. 

Dragonborn: It will be done.

Muiri: Excellent. Once Alain is dead, I'll pay you. In gold. I've saved up a
       bit. I hope that'll do. But, well... There is one more thing. If you're

Dragonborn: I'm listening.

Muiri: If you can...I want you to kill someone else, as well. You don't have
       to -- it's not part of our deal. But if you do...I'll pay you even more.
       It's Nilsine Shatter-Shield, in Windhelm. If Nilsine dies, too...I'll
       make it worth your while.

       Tell me the full story. Why do you want Alain dead?
        I went to Windhelm to see the Shatter-Shields. They were old and dear
        friends, and...in mourning. Friga was killed recently. Murdered... I
        met Alain at the tavern, while I was...drinking my sadness away. He
        was handsome, and charming. He said I was the "beautiful lily" of his
        dreams. Alain made all the pain just...go away. But it was all lies!
        Alain used me. He ruined my name, destroyed my friendship with the
        Shatter-Shields... Do you know why Alain was in Windhelm? He heard
        about Friga's murder. He wanted to befriend the family in their grief
        ...and rob them blind. Alain used me to get close to my friends. And
        now they all think I'm some kind of...monster. Alain Dufont took my
        life. And now I'm taking his.

        And Nilsine Shatter-Shield? Why must she die?
         Don't you see? I was like a daughter to Tova. A sister to Nilsine and
         Friga. But the family refuses to believe my innocence. No matter what
         I say. Couldn't they understand that I was used? That I was grieving
         for Friga, too? No...they treated me like garbage, threw me away. With
         Nilsine dead, maybe then Tova will realize what she's lost, hmm? Maybe
         then she'll see that I was just as much a daughter as the others. And
         if not, may she drown in her own tears.

       Is there anything else?
        I planned to kill Alain myself, you know. Nilsine, too. But lost my
        nerve. I even brewed a special poison, Lotus Extract. Maybe you could
        use it? Just coat your weapon with it. Then...you get the idea.

       Make them all pay for what they've done to me...

[The player confronts Alain.]

Alain: Well. You must have all those annoying gods on your side to have made
       it this far, whoever you are. Even I have to admit, that's pretty

[If the player goes to Nilsine Shatter-Shield...]

Nilsine: What? Did...you need something?

         Muiri sent me. She is quite unhappy...
          Muiri? I can't believe my family trusted that backstabbling little
          strumpet. You tell her she's dead to us. You hear me? Dead!

         Do you hear that?
         ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯|It's the sound of your sister, screaming in the Void...
          What kind of cruel, horrible person are you? My sister was murdered.
          Do you have any idea what that's like? What I'm going through?

         (Remain silent)
          You just going to stand there, gawking? Go away. You're starting to
          ...frighten me.

[The player returns to Muiri after slaying Alain.]

Muiri: Well, what news? Is Alain...

Dragonborn: Alain Dufont now lies dead.

Muiri: That bastard got exactly what he deserved.

       • But last I heard, Nilsine is still alive. So I guess you decided not
         to kill her as well. I have to admit...I'm disappointed. Here's the
         payment for killing Alain. And nothing for letting Nilsine live. Just
         remember, that was your decision.

       • And...I heard about Nilsine. You have more than fulfilled your part
         of the bargain. Please, take this -- as payment, and a symbol of my
         affection. I'll never forget you.

[When the quest is over, it's back to the Sanctuary.]

Astrid: Ah, you're back. So, how went our first real contract? A bit more
        exciting than what Nazir's been offering, I'd wager.

        I did what had to be done. Nothing more.
         Of course, dear. Of course. And, from what my little ravens tell me,
         you handled yourself quite well.

        I live only to serve. Hail Sithis!
         Oh, very good. Very good indeed. You, my dear, are going to fit in
         here quite nicely...

        (Remain silent)
         Very well. I respect your discretion.

        Now, I need your assistance with a matter of a more...personal nature.

Dragonborn: Is something wrong?

Astrid: It's Cicero. Ever since he arrived, his behavior's been... Well,
        erratic would be an understatement. I do believe he is truly mad. But
        it's worse than that. He's taken to locking himself in the Night
        Mother's chamber, and talking. To someone. In hushed, but frantic
        tones. Who is he speaking with? What are they planning? I fear

        Astrid, you're being a bit...paranoid.
         Maybe so, but healthy paranoia has saved this Sanctuary before, and
         my gut's telling me the demented little fool is up to something.

        By Sithis, we must stop them!
         So you understand my fear. If Cicero's planning something, and
         conspiring with one of our own, it would be disastrous.

        (Remain silent)
         You must understand. If Cicero is turning the others against me...
         against us... Our Family would not survive such division.

Dragonborn: What do you want me to do?

Astrid: Dear brother, I need you to steal into that chamber, and eavesdrop on
        their meeting. It'll be no use clinging to the shadows. They'll see
        you for sure. No, you need a hiding place. Somewhere they'd never
        think to look. Like inside the Night Mother's coffin.

        But that seems so...disrespectful.
         Be that as it may, we have no other choice. You need to remain unseen!
         Now go, before they meet.

        Yes, the coffin. It's perfect.
         They'll never think to check it. Who in their right mind would hide
         inside? Now go, before they meet.

        (Remain silent)
         No objections, then? Good. Go now. Before they meet.

        And report back to me with whatever you learn.

        Any idea who would conspire with Cicero?
         That's the real question, isn't it? The jester enters, seals the door,
         and the conversation begins. So someone must be waiting for him
         inside. Any one of us could enter that chamber silently. Unnoticed.
         But who amongst us would dare conspire against the Sanctuary? The very
         thought breaks my heart.

        What do you think Cicero is planning?
         Isn't it obvious? As the Night Mother's Keeper, he believes he's
         entitled to rule of this Sanctuary. Cicero will cite our independence
         as the need to rever to the Old Ways. He'll claim we're undisciplined,
         unruly. Heretical, even. Ironically, the Night Mother could prove to
         be just as much a victim. The queen in a fool's twisted game of chess.

        Is there anything else I should know?
         I don't believe so. But I'll be able to instruct you further after
         you've returned from the chamber. It depends on what you learn. And
         make haste! You must be in place before Cicero and his...ally arrive!
         They could be planning another meeting any time!

        Go. Quickly! Hide in the coffin before Cicero and the traitor meet.

[The player can talk to the other DB members about Astrid's conspiracy theory.
 Cicero doesn't appear for questioning this time.]

Arnbjorn: She said that? If I find anyone working against my wife, or this
          Sanctuary, I'll beat them to death with their own severed head. Of
          course, they'd probably already be dead... But you know what I meant!

Babette: Oh! Well, I hope she doesn't suspect me. I mean, I've spoken with
         Cicero a bit, and he's quite charming. But I'd never go against
         Astrid. Never.

Festus: Ha! And would that surprise anyone? This Sanctuary's a mess. Wouldn't
        surprise me if somebody's talking to the fool on the sly. Making deals.
        And no, before you ask, it's not me. I know which side my bread is
        buttered on.

Gabriella: To what end? Usurping Astrid's authority as leader of the
           Sanctuary? Hmmm... Yes, I can see her concern. Thank you for
           bringing this to my attention.

Jeezara: You're joking. While I can understand if some Family members wish to
         honor the Old Ways once more, surely no one would oppose Astrid's

Nazir: Does she? Listen, brother... Astrid is my mistress, and I worship the
       ground she walks on. But this Cicero business has her a bit...paranoid.

[DB05] WHISPERS IN THE DARK |==================================================

[At Astrid's behest, the player hides in the coffin. As the door shuts, one
 can hear Cicero enter, humming to himself and walking around. He then locks
 the other door.]

Cicero: Are we alone? Yes...yes...alone. Sweet solitude. No one will hear us,
        disturb us. Everything is going according to plan. The others...I've
        spoken to them. And they're coming around, I know it. The wizard,
        Festus Krex...perhaps even the Argonian, and the un-child... What
        about you? Have you...have you spoken to anyone? No... No, of course
        not. I do the talking, the stalking, the seeing and the saying! And
        what do you do? Nothing! Not...not that I'm angry! No, never! Cicero
        understands. Heh. Cicero always understands! And obeys! You will talk
        when you're ready, won't you? Won't you... ...sweet Night Mother.

[At that moment, the corpse the player's facing glows slightly, and one hears
 the Night Mother's voice speaking directly into the mind.]

Night Mother: Poor Cicero. Dear Cicero. Such a humble servant. But he will
              never hear my voice. For he is not the Listener.

[Meanwhile, Cicero continues to talk outside, unaware of Mom's conversation.]

Cicero: Oh, but how can I defend you? How can I exert your will? If you will
        not speak? To anyone!

Night Mother: Oh, but I will speak. I will speak to you. For you are the one.
              Yes, you. You who shares my iron tomb, who warms my ancient
              bones. I give you this task -- journey to Volunruud. Speak with
              Amaund Motierre.

Cicero: Poor Cicero has failed you. Poor Cicero is sorry, sweet mother. I've
        tried, so very hard. But I just can't find the Listener.

Night Mother: Tell Cicero the time has come. Tell him the words he has been
              waiting for, all these years: "Darkness rises when silence dies."

[At that moment, Cicero opens the coffin, taken aback at the player.]

Cicero: What? What treachery! Defiler! Debaser and defiler! You have violated
        the sanctity of the Night Mother's coffin! Explain yourself! Speak,

Dragonborn: The Night Mother spoke to me! She said "I am the one."

Cicero: She...spoke to you? More treachery! More trickery and deceit! You lie!
        The Night Mother speaks only to the Listener! And there is...no...

Dragonborn: Wait! She said to tell you, "Darkness rises when silence dies."

Cicero: She...she said that? She said those words...to you? "Darkness rises
        when silence dies"? But those are the words. The Binding Words. Written
        in the Keeping Tomes. The signal so I would know. Mother's only way of
        talking to sweet Cicero... Then...it is true! She is back! Our Lady is
        back! She has chosen a Listener! She has chosen you! Ha ha ha! All
        hail the Listener!

[Astrid enters the hall, having heard the jester's happy shrieks.]

Astrid: By Sithis, this ends now! Back away, fool! Whatever you've been
        planning is over! Are you alright? I heard the commotion. Who was
        Cicero talking to? Where's the accomplice? Reveal yourself, traitor!

Cicero: I spoke only to the Night Mother! I spoke to the Night Mother, but she
        didn't speak to me! Oh, no. She spoke only to him! To the Listener!

Astrid: What? The Listener? What are you going on about? What is this lunacy?

Cicero: It's true, it's true! The Night Mother has spoken! The silence has been
        broken! The Listener has been chosen!

Astrid: When I heard Cicero screaming, I knew you'd been discovered. I feared
        the worst. Are you all right?

        Yes, I'm fine.
         Then what in Sithis' name is going on? Cicero said he spoke to the
         Night Mother, but she spoke to you? Is this just more of the fool's

        I...I don't know. It happened so fast.
         Okay, let's all take a deep breath. Cicero said he spoke to the Night
         Mother, but she spoke to you? Please tell me this is some kind of
         sick joke.

        (Remain silent)
         You look like you've just seen a ghost. Please tell me you haven't.
         Cicero said he spoke to the Night Mother...but she spoke to you?

Dragonborn: It's true. The Night Mother spoke to me. She said I was "the one".

Astrid: What? So Cicero wasn't talking to anyone else. Just...the Night
        Mother's body? And the Night Mother, who, according to everything we
        know, will only speak to the person chosen as Listener...just spoke.
        Right now... ...to you?

Dragonborn: Yes.

Astrid: By Sithis. And...what did she say?

Dragonborn: I must speak to someone named Amaund Motierre, in Volunruud.

Astrid: Amaund Motierre? I have no idea who that is. But Volunruud...that I
        have heard of. And I know where it is.

Dragonborn: So I should go to Volunruud? I should talk to this man?

Astrid: Hmm? No. No! Listen, I don't know what's going on here, but you take
        your orders from me. Are we clear on that? The Night Mother may have
        spoken to you, but I am still the leader of this Family. I will not
        have my authority so easily dismissed. I...I need time to think about
        all this. Go see Nazir -- do some work for him. I'll find you when I'm
        ready to discuss the matter further.

[One can pick Cicero's brain about Listener duties...]

Cicero: You are the Listener! You are the Listener! I have served mother well,
        I have!

        What exactly does a Listener do?
         Oh, the Listener, well...listens. The Night Mother speaks to you.
         Guides you on your path. But when the Night Mother speaks, the
         Listener must obey. You must! For her word is the will of Sithis.
         And Sithis is the Dark Brotherhood incarnate.

        Will the Night Mother speak to me again?
         Ha! Surely you're pulling Cicero's leg! Wait...the Listener is
         serious? Oh. Well of course the Night Mother will speak to you again!
         She might speak now, or later, or...I don't know! But speak she will!
         The Night Mother is part of you now! You get to hear voices inside
         your head! The rest of us should be so lucky.

        Cicero, did you want to be the Listener?
         Oh... Well...yes. I did. I did indeed. I tried to listen. Tried so
         hard. But the Night Mother never spoke to poor Cicero. The silence
         became almost...maddening. Oh, but that was then! This is now! You're
         the Listener, and the Night Mother chose you for a reason, I'm sure!
         Cicero will remain the happy Keeper.

        Are you excited? Oh, you should be. Things are finally looking up!

[One goes to Nazir.]

Dragonborn: Astrid wanted me to see you about some more work.

Nazir: Well then, your timing couldn't be better. As it turns out, I've got two
       new contracts. One rather easy assignment, and another that should
       prove quite a challenge. Your first target is an orc bard named Lurbuk.
       The other is a vampire by the name of Hern. Happy hunting.

       Tell me about Hern.
        He's a vampire, and has blended into human society for years. He's
        never far from his female companion, Hert. Also a vampire. The contract
        is for the male, Hern. But you'll probably have to contend with the
        female, too. So for Sithis' sake, watch yourself.

       Tell me about Lurbuk.
        He is, by all accounts, the worst bard in Skyrim. Apparently, so many
        people sought his death, Astrid had to hold a lottery to determine the

       You've got people to kill, my friend. Best get to it.

[The player goes to Lurbuk at Morthal's inn.]

Lurbuk: Is the line for my next performance starting already? Come on, don't
        be shy. Plenty of room for everyone.

        Someone hired the Dark Brotherhood to kill you, Lurbuk.
         Ha! Oh, that's a good one, friend. Killing Lurbuk...I mean, can you
         imagine something so ludicrous? Depriving the world of my unique

        Sing me a song, bard. A song of fear, and death!
         Hmmm... All right... How about this? "Shadow creep and, and...phantoms
         leap! A man got...he got scared. And the demons dared! To um...visit
         upon him all which they feared!" Brilliant, I know. It's a gift.

        (Remain silent)
         What's the matter, friend? Khajiit got your tongue? Maybe you need a
         little ditty to loosen your gob, hmm? "There once was a stranger,
         with eyes full of danger, he spoke not a word, but his meaning was
         heard... Sing on, sweet Lurbuk, sing on!"

[They find Hern at Anga's Mill in Falkreath.]

Hern: Well now. What have we here? A lost little lamb?

      I know what you are, nightspawn.
       Well then, you won't be leaving here alive!

      Assassin versus vampire. A fight for the ages.
       Ah, so the Brotherhood has come for old Hern, has it? Well then, let us
       meet as equals.

      (Remain silent)
       Hmph. Don't say much, but there's a strange aura about you. You walk in
       the shadow of death... Leave here. Leave here and never return.

[After the kills, one returns to the Sanctuary.]

Astrid: We need to talk.

        (Remain silent)
        Of course, Astrid. What is it?
        Has the time come? Will I now serve the Night Mother?
         Look. Something is happening here. I'm not entirely sure what that
         something is, but... Well, we need to find out. If the Night Mother
         really did give you an order to talk to a contact, we'd be mad to
         ignore it. And I think we both agree, Cicero's brought quite enough
         madness to this Sanctuary. So go. Go to Volunruud. It's a crypt,
         pretty far to the northeast. Talk to this Amaund Motierre. And let's
         see where all this leads, hmm?

[Nazir will comment on completed contracts at this point.]

Dragonborn: Hern is dead.

Nazir: No sarcasm this time. You faced a vampire, and lived to tell the tale.
       Well done. And if you contracted Sanguinare Vampiris, be sure to get
       that taken care of. Else you'll end up like our own Babette. Unless,
       of course, that was your goal all along. Here's your payment.

Dragonborn: Lurbuk is dead.

Nazir: Wonderful. The only good bard is a dead one, as far as I'm concerned.
       All that singing and...mirth. Your payment, as per the usual.

[The player can also ask Family members about the current Volunruud contract.
 Cicero has no lines in this regard, though.]

Arnbjorn: Oho! The Listener wants my counsel! I thought you were above the
          opinions of mere mortals, now that you commune with dead old women.

Babette: The man you need to speak with, his name is Motierre? That's a very
         old and powerful Breton family, firmly established in Cyrodiil. Most

Festus: So you're the Listener, hmm? Well that hardly seems fair. You just got
        here. The Night Mother should have spoken to me. Any idiot could see
        that. But, I will serve gladly, as that is my lot in life. Now let's
        see. Ah yes, Volunruud. It's an old crypt, infested with Draugr. So
        plan accordingly.

Gabriella: If the Night Mother truly spoke to you, if you really are the
           Listener...your destiny was written in the Void. Astrid is right to
           fear your power.

Nazir: You may be the Listener, or you may just be a lunatic who's started
       hearing voices. Either way, Astrid is still your mistress. Not the
       Night Mother.

Veezara: Just remember Astrid's commitment to her Sanctuary, to her Family. A
         Family that now counts you as one of its own. Honor Astrid above all

[DB06] THE SILENCE HAS BEEN BROKEN |===========================================
[The player goes to Volunruud, finding the client a short ways inside.]

Amaund: By the Almighty Divines. You've come. You've actually come. This
        dreadful Black Sacrament thing...it worked.

        The Night Mother heard your pleas, Motierre.
         Yes, um... So it would seem. Well, I won't waste your time.

        You have opened the door to darkness, little man.
         Oh, I know. I know. But I'm so glad you're here. Please, allow me to
         state my business. Surely your time is as valuable as my own.

        (Remain silent)
         Right, then. You prefer to listen, is that it? Well, you must
         represent the Dark Brotherhood. I certainly wasn't expecting anyone
         else. So, I'll cut right to the chase.

        I would like to arrange a contract. Several, actually. I daresay, the
        work I'm offering has more significance than anything your organization
        has experience in, well, centuries.

Dragonborn: Go on.

Amaund: As I said, I want you to kill several people. You'll find the targets,
        as well as their manners of elimination, quite varied. I'm sure someone
        of your disposition will probably find it enjoyable. But you should
        know that these killings are but a means to an end. For they pave the
        way to the most important target. The real reason I'm speaking with a
        cutthroat in the bowels of this detestable crypt. For I seek the
        assassination of... ...the Emperor.

        Leaders rise and fall. Business is business.
         Oh, wonderful. You don't know how happy I am to hear you say that.

        You want us to kill...the Emperor. Of Tamriel?
         That is correct. What I ask is no small thing, of course. But you
         represent the Dark Brotherhood. This is...what you do? No? You must

        (Remain silent)
         It's a shocking request, I know. But it is within the purview of what
         you Dark Brotherhood types do. Isn't it? If history is to be believed?
         You must understand.

        So much has led to this day. So much planning, and maneuvering. It's
        as if the very stars have finally aligned. But I digress... Here, they
        need to be delivered to your, um...superior. Rexus. The items.

[Rexus, the bodyguard, hands over the notes.]

Rexus: Here. Here.

Amaund: Rexus will now give you two items which must be passed along to your
        superior. The sealed letter will explain everything that needs to be
        done. The amulet is quite valuable -- you can use it to pay for any
        and all expenses.

[The player can question Amaund further.]

Amaund: Was there...something else you need?

        Who are you, Motierre? Who are you, really?
         I performed the Black Sacrament, contacted you people, because I
         thought you guaranteed discretion. Is this no longer so?

        Why do this? Why have the Emperor assassinated?
         In the year 3E 41, Emperor Pelagius Septim was murdered in the Temple
         of the One in the Imperial City. Cut down by a Dark Brotherhood
         assassin. His killing ushered in, shall we say, a necessary change in
         Imperial policy. There are those now who wish for a similar change. I
         am sorry, but that's all I'm at liberty to say.

        We'll require...significant compensation. Can you pay the price?
         Oh, my furtive friend. When Emperor Titus Mede II lies dead, there
         will be gold...a fortune in gold. But so much more! It is said that
         the Dark Brotherhood, in recent times, has been in decline. That you
         lack the power, wealth, and respect of days past. Is it not so? If you
         do this, if you kill the Emperor... Oh, how the masses will fear and
         respect you.

        You can trust your servant to keep this secret?
         Oh, Rexus is no mere servant. He has been with the Motierre family
         since I was a child. I trust the man with my life.

        You must deliver those items to your superior. And I...I must get out
        of this foul place.

[The player returns to the Sanctuary.]

Astrid: You're back. Good. All right, so? Did you meet this Motierre? What
        did he want?

Dragonborn: Motierre wants us...to kill the Emperor.

Astrid: You're joking.

        (Show Astrid the amulet and sealed letter)
         What's this?

         The letter explains it all. The amulet is for expenses.
          By Sithis, you're not joking. To kill the Emperor of Tamriel...the
          Dark Brotherhood hasn't done such a thing since the assassination of
          Pelagius. As a matter of fact, no one has dared assassinate an
          Emperor of Tamriel since the murder of Uriel Septim, and that was
          two hundred years ago...

Dragonborn: Surely the Night Mother wouldn't misdirect us...

Astrid: No, she certainly wouldn't. And...for whatever reason, she chose to
        relay Motierre's information to you. I don't know exactly what's going
        on here, if you're the Listener, or this is some kind of fluke, or
        what. But what we now have before us...

Dragonborn: So we'll accept the contract?

Astrid: You're damn right we'll accept it. If we pull this off, the Dark
        Brotherhood will know fear and respect we haven't seen in centuries.
        You think I'd abandon an opportunity to lead my Family to glory? But
        this is all so much to take in. I need time to read the letter, and
        figure out where we go from here. And this amulet. Hmmm...

Dragonborn: What are you thinking?

Astrid: I'm thinking we need that amulet appraised. I want to know where it
        came from, how much it's worth, and if we can actually get away with
        selling it. And, there's only one man who can give us what we need --
        Delvin Mallory. He's a fence, a private operator. Works out of the
        Ratway, in Riften. Give me the letter. Bring Mallory the amulet. Find
        out everything you can, and sell it if he's willing. He'll offer a
        letter of credit -- that's fine. Delvin Mallory and the Dark
        Brotherhood have...history. He can be trusted.

[The player finds Delvin in Riften's subterranean bar, the Ragged Flagon. He
 responds differently if the player's unaffiliated with the Guild.]

Delvin: Somethin' you need? Anything for the Guild.
Delvin: Ah, now you must be lost. Best ya scurry off while you're able. The
        Ratway, well, it has a habit of swallowin' up the uninvited.

Dragonborn: Actually, I'm here on Dark Brotherhood business.
Dragonborn: The Dark Brotherhood requires your services.

Delvin: Oh. Oh I see. 

        • Well now, how is Astrid doin' these days, uh? Tell her to stop by
          some time. We can have a drink. Catch up. Ah, but we can discuss that
          later, yeah? What does the Brotherhood need?

        • Well, you're makin' friends, ain't ya? So, uh...how is Astrid doin'
          these days? Tell her to stop by some time. We can have a drink. Catch
          up. Ah, but business! Of course. What kind of business?

        What can you tell me about this? (Give Delvin the amulet)
         Let's see... Where oh where did you get this? Don't answer -- I don't
         want to know. This is an amulet of the Emperor's Elder Council.
         Specially crafted for each member. Worth a small fortune. Ain't
         somethin' you'd give up lightly. Look, it ain't my business ta tell
         the Dark Brotherhood its business, but if you killed a member of the
         Elder Council, you'd better belie--

Dragonborn: Will you buy it?

Delvin: Buy it? This? An Elder Council amulet? Oh yes. Oh yes, indeed. Wait
        just a moment... Here. It's a letter of credit. Usable, by Astrid only,
        for any service or item I can provide. As per our standard arrangement.
        You bring that back to your lovely mistress. With my regards.

[The player returns to the Sanctuary.]

Astrid: Good, you're back. Well, what did Mallory have to say? Is the amulet

Dragonborn: Yes, and specially made for members of the Elder Council.

Astrid: The Elder Council... Oh, now that explains quite a bit. Motierre, you
        naughty, naughty boy. Hiring the Dark Brotherhood to help you rise
        beyond your station. Delicious. Was Mallory willing to buy the amulet?

Dragonborn: He was. Here's a letter of credit.

Astrid: Splendid. Then we're ready to begin. Or, specifically, you're ready to
        begin. After all, you're the one the Night Mother spoke to. Now then.
        I hope you have something nice to wear. Because you're going to a

Dragonborn: A wedding?

Astrid: Well, more like the public reception. It should be a lovely affair.
        You'll mingle with the guests, eat some cake...stab the bride. Oh yes.
        You've got to kill the bride. At her wedding. And they say romance is

        Who's the target?
         Her name is Vittoria Vici. She oversees the East Empire Company's
         business holdings in Solitude. The wedding is being held in that city,
         at the Temple of the Divines. Her death will cause an uproar, which is
         exactly what we want. Vici is likely to address her guests frequently,
         as is the wedding custom. Kill her when she does that, and I promise
         you a significant bonus. Now go. And give my best to the bride.

        Enough talk. Just tell me who to kill.
         Very well. The target's name is Vittoria Vici. She oversees the East
         Empire Company's business holdings in Solitude. The wedding is being
         held in that city, at the Temple of the Divines. Remember, we want
         people to notice. Kill Vici while she's addressing her guests, as is
         the custom, and I can promise a bonus. Now go. And give the bride a
         special kiss, from me.

        (Remain silent)
         Your target's name is Vittoria Vici. She oversees the East Empire
         Company's business holdings in Solitude. The wedding is being held in
         that city, at the Temple of the Divines. Her death will cause an
         uproar, which is exactly what we want. Vici is likely to address her
         guests frequently, as is the wedding custom. Kill her when she does
         that, and I promise you a significant bonus. Now go. And give the city
         of Solitude a celebration they're not likely to forget.

        Can you provide any more details on the contract?
         This is a public kill. How you do it is entirely up to you. Arrow to
         the throat? Knife in the belly? Your choice, so long as it's loud and
         messy. Because of the current political climate, people are going to
         assume the murder is related to the bad blood between the Legion and
         Stormcloaks. In any event, when Vici dies, it's going to be complete
         pandemonium. Best have your escape route planned out in advance.

        What's Vici's connection to the Emperor?
         An excellent question. Vittoria Vici is the first cousin to our dear
         Emperor, Titus Mede II. Vici has obvious Imperial connections. Her
         husband has ties to the Stormcloaks. Their union is a step toward
         reconciliation. So if there's a murder at the wedding... Not only
         will it stall the peace process -- it will send shockwaves throughout
         the entire Empire. The Emperor's hand will be forced. He'll have to
         travel to Skyrim to deal with the aftermath...and he'll find the Dark
         Brotherhood waiting.

         Why isn't the Emperor attending the wedding?
          Hmph. He had a trip to Skyrim planned for months, and canceled at the
          last minute. Much to his cousin's dismay. Seems the Emperor realized
          his presence would necessitate a more direct role in the ongoing
          hostilities. A role he was, obviously, unwilling to take. All that
          will change with his cousin's murder. Everyone will think it was
          motivated by the conflict between the Imperial Legion and
          Stormcloaks. And the Emperor will be forced to come clean up the

        Off to Solitude with you. Time to give the Emperor some real motivation
        to visit Skyrim.

[As usual, the other Family members can comment on the current contract.]

Arnbjorn: You got to kill a soft little woman on her wedding day? What's next?
          Murdering a crippled orphan in his sleep?

Babette: It's no fair. I love weddings. Astrid should have given this contract
         to me. Instead, she's got me visiting cities, assessing security. How
         boring. But listen, I think I can help you. The wedding reception is
         outside the Temple of the Divines, right? In Solitude? If so, the
         bride will probably address the crowd from the balcony. It overlooks
         the courtyard. Well, there's an old statue there. I've seen it. 
         Hanging right over where she'll be standing. Old means weak. Weak
         means it could fall. Hmmm?

Festus: Ah, killing her will be easy. She'll be so happy, she'll never see it
        coming. I should know, I killed a bride once. It was our honeymoon.
        Tepid, I said! The bathwater should be tepid! Lukewarm is not tepid!
        Close, maybe, but there is a difference! Stupid cow.

Gabriella: I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of surveying the site
           of the reception. There's a small parapet, just opposite the
           balcony, that would prove an excellent spot for a long-range kill.
           I left something there for you. If you're inclined to take that

Nazir: Slaughtering the Emperor's cousin? At her wedding? Those guards will be
       out for blood. Wouldn't surprise me if the crowd jumped in too.

Veezara: Your contract sound simple, which means it certainly will not be.
         Getting into that reception will be easy, but have you thought about
         getting out?

[DB07] BOUND UNTIL DEATH |=====================================================

[The player goes to the wedding. If Vici is approached formally...]

Vittoria: What an amazing day this has been. I hope you've been enjoying the
          festivities. I'm...I'm just so overwhelmed. Such kindness...for me.

          The Stormcloaks say hello!
           Oh! Well, you tell your Stormcloak friends "hello" right back at
           them! This is a day of healing! Legion, Stormcloaks -- all are
           welcome here!

          Hail the Imperial Legion!
           Ha ha ha ha! Yes, yes indeed! Hail the Imperial Legion! Hail the
           Stormcloaks! Hail Solitude and the Eight Divines! On this glorious
           day, we honor everyone! Ha ha ha ha!

          (Remain silent)
           Oh, no need to be shy! My day is your day! Please -- eat, drink,
           make merry!  We're all friends here!

[Vittoria will also make a speech from the balcony. For posterity:]

Vittoria: Good people of Solitude. I just wanted to thank you all for being
          here. To thank you for sharing this wonderfully happy day with
          myself, and my new husband. Today, the problems of Skyrim are not my
          problems. Nor are they yours. Today we are joined in peace and
          happiness. So please, enjoy yourselves. I thank you all again for
          making this the best wedding a woman could ask for.

[After the kill goes down, panic erupts.]

Asgeir Snow-Shod: What in the...? Vittoria! No!

Nura Snow-Shod: Aiiiieeeeeeee!

Alexia Vici: No! Noooooo!

Pantea: The bride has been murdered! Somebody help!

[If the player is detected, Veezara may appear.]

Veezara: Astrid ordered me to keep an eye on you. Figured you could use a hand
         when the chaos erupted. I'll try to hold them off as best I can. You
         get back to the Sanctuary.

[Either way, the player returns to Sanctuary.]

Astrid: Ha ha! The news is everywhere! Vittoria Vici, the Emperor's cousin,
        butchered at her own wedding! Well done! Let's see his eminence try to
        ignore this.

        (Remain silent)
        She bled like a stuck pig.
        Yes, the blushing bride now serves Sithis in the Void.
         With Vici's murder, you've started us down a path the Dark Brotherhood
         hasn't traveled in centuries. The assassination of an Emperor. And
         now, your reward. A unique spell to summon a legend of the Dark
         Brotherhood. His soul serves us now in death, as his body once did in

         • Ah, and of course, the bonus, for killing Vici while she addressed
           her guests, as instructed. Gold...simple and pure. Spend it as you

         • Unfortunately, in your zeal, you failed to eliminate Vici while she
           addressed her guests, as directed. I'm sorry, but your bonus is

         Now then, time to proceed to the next stage of the plan. Go and speak
         with Gabriella. She's been helping me arrange your next contract.

[If Veezara appeared in Solitude, he'll comment on it back at the Sanctuary.]

Veezara: Ah, you're back. It was good to fight alongside you. I'm sure people
         won't be forgetting that wedding anytime soon, hmm?

[DB08] BREACHING SECURITY |====================================================
[The player locates Gabriella.]

Gabriella: Dear brother. I've been waiting for you. Your next contract awaits,
           as I'm sure Astrid indicated.

Dragonborn: She did. What are the details?

Gabriella: With the Emperor's arrival in Skyrim now a certainty, his security
           service, the Penitus Oculatus, will need to begin its preparations
           immediately. Security is being handled by a Commander Maro. Astrid
           and I have devised a plan to break the man, and in doing so, cripple
           the Emperor's protection. You are to slay the commander's son, Gaius
           Maro, and once he is dead, plant false evidence on him, implicating
           him in a plot to kill the Emperor.

           I understand. Gaius Maro will die.
           Gaius Maro will die! Hail Sithis!
           (Remain silent)

           He is set to leave the Penitus Oculatus outpost at Dragon Bridge,
           and inspect the security of each city in Skyrim. Go there now.
           Observe Gaius Maro's departure, and follow him. Waylay him in one
           of the cities, and send his soul to Sithis. Once he's dead, plant
           the incriminating letter on his body, and let fate take care of the
           rest. Oh, and one final thing...

Dragonborn: Yes?

Gabriella: To earn your bonus, do not kill Gaius Maro in Dragon Bridge, or on
           the road. Kill him in one of the other major cities he'll be
           visiting. There, the body will be discovered quickly, as will the
           letter implicating Gaius Maro in the plot to assassinate the
           Emperor. Do that, and Astrid has authorized me to grant you a rather
           unique bonus. It is a special token, to be given to Olava the
           Feeble, in Whiterun. Olava is an old and dear friend, and a powerful
           seer. The token entitles you to a reading of your future. It's an
           opportunity one should not pass up.

           What will killing Gaius Maro accomplish?
            Killing Commander Maro would do no good. Someone would merely
            replace him. No, we need him to remain in charge. But...distracted.
            Weakened. Implicate and kill his son Gaius, and the commander will
            be grief-stricken and humiliated, his family name ruined. The
            security plan will then fail. Best yet, the Emperor will be lulled
            into a false sense of security, thinking an assassination plot had
            already been discovered and foiled.

           Tell me about Dragon Bridge.
            It's a small town, with one rather unique feature -- it houses
            Skyrim's only Penitus Oculatus outpost. It was established by
            Commander Maro when he first arrived in Skyrim, several months ago.
            When he began preparing for the Emperor's initial visit.

           Do you know Gaius Maro's schedule?
            No, so your best plan is to follow him after he leaves Dragon
            Bridge. However, there is one other option... We know there's an
            actual written travel schedule, somewhere in the Penitus Oculatus
            outpost. Securing that would, obviously, be most beneficial...

           Walk in Gaius Maro's shadow, and deliver to him the judgment of

[All uninvolved Family members can give their two cents, except Cicero.]

Astrid: I've taken the liberty of visiting the cities, and spreading some nasty
        rumors about Gaius Maro. To make his treachery that much more

Arnbjorn: What's the matter, Listener? The Night Mother not feeling very chatty
          these days? You need help from your flesh and blood lessers? You've
          got to track a man, kill him, and then frame him for a crime. This
          contract's perfect...for me. Clearly, my lovely wife made a mistake.

Babette: Normally I talk to a victim before I end his life, but I wouldn't
         recommend it this time. Maro will be alert to danger. Talking may
         spook him.

Festus: Remember, your target is Gaius Maro, the son. Not Commander Maro, the
        father! We need him alive. But the son... Ha! Scorch his face off!

Nazir: Killing Gaius Maro in a city will be challenging because of all the
       guards, but fights, even murder, are fairly common. Killing him secretly
       will certainly make things easier on you, but if there are witnesses,
       so be it.

Veezara: Astrid had me investigate the Penitus Oculatus. Their members are
         highly trained, effective warriors. Be on your guard, brother.

[The player goes to Dragon Bridge. Gaius is talking with his pops.]

Gaius: Father, you worry too much. I'll be fine.

Commander Maro: I know you will. But all the same, remember everything I said.
                Stay alert, and when you get to the cities, make your
                observations and move on.

Gaius: I understand. But you're being paranoid. I'm inspecting security, not
       charging off into battle. There's not a lot that can go wrong.

Commander Maro: Son, when the Emperor's safety is concerned, anything could go
                wrong. Off with you, now. And good travels.

Gaius: Farewell, father. I'll return as soon as I'm able.

Faida: Well, this is it, then. Look after yourself, Gaius. You're doing your
       duty, and I'm proud of you. But you'd better come back to me. You hear?

Gaius: Oh, Faida. I may travel alone, but you know I carry you always in my
       heart. I'll see you soon.

[If Gaius is ever approached for conversation...]

Gaius: Keep back, citizen. I have important business I must attend to.

       After I kill you, I'm going to kill the Emperor.
        What? Filthy assassin! We'll see who lies dead!

       Traveling alone can be so dangerous...
        Is that a threat? Back off, or by the Eight I'll cleave that arrogant
        head off its shoulders.

       (Remain silent)
        I'm sorry, but I really don't have time for this. Move along.

[After the kill, one returns to Gabriella.]

Gabriella: Ah, at last. I've been anxiously awaiting your return.

Dragonborn: Gaius Maro is dead.

Gabriella: Yes, I know. As does Astrid.

           • You have done well, and have earned both your reward, and a
             bonus, as I may have mentioned.

           • And you've earned your payment, though the bonus is forfeit, as
             I'm sure you're aware.

           But you should know that we have a more pressing matter to deal
           with. It's...Cicero. There's been an incident. You should proceed
           into the Sanctuary. I'll let Astrid explain.

[DB09] THE CURE FOR MADNESS |==================================================
[The player enters the main hall to find Babette tending to a wounded Veezara.]

Babette: Just try to relax, Veezara. Let the elixir do its work. You'll feel
         better, shortly.

Veezara: Achh... Thank you, dear. You are most kind. The jester's cut feels as
         bad as it looks, I'm afraid.

Astrid: Damn it, this never should have happened! We knew better. We knew
        better, and still we let our guards down. Agh!

Festus: I'll admit, even I'm having a hard time disagreeing with you...

[The player walks over.]

Astrid: Maro is dead, I know. But we've got bigger problems right now!

Dragonborn: Gabriella mentioned something about Cicero...

Astrid: The fool went absolutely berserk! He wounded Veezara, he tried to kill
        me, and then he fled. I knew that lunatic couldn't be trusted.

Festus: It's true, I'm afraid. Cicero was a little whirlwind, slashing this
        way and that. It would have been funny, if he weren't trying to murder
        us all.

Nazir: Don't forget the ranting and raving. About the Night Mother, how she
       was the true leader of the Dark Brotherhood and Astrid was just a

Astrid: Look, we've got to deal with this situation. You've got to deal with
        this situation.

Dragonborn: What do you want me to do?

Astrid: I want you to find that miserable little fool and end his life! But
        first...find my husband. Make sure he's all right. After the attack,
        Arnbjorn flew into a rage. When Cicero left...Arnbjorn went after him.
        They disappeared into the wild. Search Cicero's room. Maybe there's
        something in there that sheds some light on where he might have gone.
        Let me know the minute you find something. I've got to see to Veezara,
        and calm everyone down.

Veezara: Bested by a fool. Who's the fool now, hmm?

Babette: Hush, Veezara. You were very brave. Astrid may well be dead if not
         for you.

Astrid: She's right. I'll be forever in your debt, dearest brother. Now be
        quiet. Just...just rest.

[Everyone present can comment on Cicero's latest annoyance, both when starting
 dialogue and when asked directly. Astrid has additional replies.]

Astrid: That twisted jester will pay for what he's done...

        Isn't there any way to work this out?
         Look, the Dark Brotherhood is a family. This Sanctuary is a family.
         And, we've always welcome those...shunned by society. Werewolves,
         wizards, eternal ten-year-old vampires...what does it matter? In
         truth, I've rarely met a lunatic I haven't liked. Cicero's problem
         isn't his madness. It's an adherence to an ancient, outmoded way of
         life. The Night Mother's ways...simply are not our ways. He just
         couldn't accept that. And now he'll have to pay the price.

        Did something set Cicero off?
         No, nothing. At least nothing I'm aware of. Well... If I'm being
         honest, I haven't exactly been discreet lately in expressing my
         frustration with this whole situation. Obeying the Night Mother. You
         being the Listener. It's ridiculous. No offense. Cicero may have heard
         me talking to one of the others about the Night Mother. It's possible
         I was...not entirely respectful. But to go this far. To attempt to
         murder the leader of the Sanctuary. Cicero must pay with his life.
         There is no other option.

        Damnable jester...

Babette: I believed in Cicero. But he's betrayed us all.
Babette: Cicero destroyed any sympathy I may have had for him when he wounded
         Veezara. Kill the fool and be done with it. Go. Do what has to be

Festus: Boy, did you miss all the excitement.
Festus: All right, so maybe I was wrong. Maybe Cicero coming here wasn't the
        best thing that could have happened. But even I didn't anticipate this.
        Well, you know the old saying. When life gives you lemons... ...go
        murder a clown. Burn that little jester alive.

Gabriella: It was a truly terrifying scene. Beautiful, in some respects.
Gabriella: I feel only pity for Cicero. He must die, of course, but can any
           of us truly blame him for his actions? We mocked him, disrespected
           the Old Ways. Our actions were shameful. Surely the Night Mother
           weeps this day.

Nazir: Should have figured the little lunatic would completely snap.
Nazir: Going after Cicero now would be a fool's errand. That little jester is
       currently being digested in Arnbjorn's stomach, mark my words.

Veezara: It only hurts when I laugh. He he he. Oww...
Veezara: Yes, do not underestimate Cicero. A man like that, small and foolish,
         is easy to mock. To underestimate. Don't make the same mistake I did.

[The player finds writings in Cicero's quarters. Astrid is notified.]

Astrid: Have you found something?

Dragonborn: Yes, Cicero's journal.

Astrid: Good, good. Does it say where he may be headed?

Dragonborn: Yes, an abandoned Sanctuary in Dawnstar. I have the passphrase.

Astrid: The Dawnstar Sanctuary? Whatever for? Never mind, it doesn't matter.
        You need to leave. Now. Every moment counts, so I want you to take my
        horse. His name is Shadowmere. You'll find him outside, by the pool.
        Let's just say he's...one of us. Find Arnbjorn. Make sure my husband's
        all right. And then send that jester's twisted little soul to the Void,
        in as many pieces as possible.

Dragonborn: What do we know of the Dawnstar Sanctuary?

Astrid: Oh, it's ancient. Apparently one of the first Sanctuaries in Skyrim.
        It hasn't been used by the Brotherhood in close to a hundred years. If
        you say Cicero has gone there, then it stands to reason that he's
        familiar with the place. That means you'll be fighting him on his own
        ground. Tread carefully.

[The player finds the target Sanctuary carved into a hill near Dawnstar. A
 wounded Arnbjorn sits outside in a pool of his own blood.]

Arnbjorn: Should have figured Astrid would send you.

Dragonborn: You're hurt.

Arnbjorn: What gave it away? Ha ha ha ha ha. Yeah, got to admit that little
          jester's good with that butter knife. But don't worry, I gave as
          good as I got.

Dragonborn: Where's Cicero now?

Arnbjorn: In there! Through the door. Some old Sanctuary, by the looks of it.
          I would have followed him, but I don't know the phrase.

Dragonborn: I know the phrase. I'll get Cicero -- you go home.

Arnbjorn: All right, you convinced me. Doubt I'll be much good to you, anyway.
          The little fop cut me pretty deep. But I slashed him good. Pretty
          sure I severed an artery. Don't know what you're going to find in
          there...but you can probably just follow the blood. Do me a favor
          and kill that little jester twice. Just to make sure.

[The player gains entry with the "Innocence, dear Brother" passphrase. The
 jester's pained voice rings out in the abandoned halls. He continues talking
 as the player closes in on his position through the traps and Uderfrykte's
 glacial lair.]

Cicero: Listener! Is that you? Oh, I knew you'd come. Send the best to defeat
        the best. Astrid knew her stupid wolf couldn't slay sly Cicero.

Cicero: Oh, but this isn't at all what mother would want. You kill the Keeper
        or I kill the Listener? Now that's madness.

Cicero: Ouch! Pointy pointy! My home is well defended. I always have been a
        stickler for details. Get it? "Stick-ler." Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, I
        slay me!

Cicero: You're...still alive. Cicero respects the listener's abilities, of
        course, but could you at least slow down a bit? I'm not what I used
        to be. Heh.

Cicero: Brrr! Chilly! You'll enjoy this. Not an original part of the Sanctuary,
        per se. Let's call it a "forced addition." Forced by what? Oh, come
        and see!

Cicero: All right, so Cicero attacked that harlot, Astrid! But what's a fool
        to do, when his mother is slandered and mocked? Surely the Listener

Cicero: Cicero admits, he thought the Listener would be dead by now. Heh. Maybe
        we can just forget all this? Hmm? Let bygones be bygones? What do you

Cicero: If it's any comfort, I do feel slightly bad about Veezara. Stupid
        lizard got in my way! But please tell me that hulking sheepdog has
        bled to death.

Cicero: And now we come to the end of our play. The grand finale.

[The player finally confronts Cicero as he's bleeding out by a fireplace.]

Cicero: You caught me! I surrender! Ha ha ha ha.

        There is only one cure for your madness, Cicero. Me.
         Oh, I like that! Very good, very good! Creative! But killing me would
         be a mistake! Oh yes. You would displease our mother, hmm? For she's
         your mother too, isn't she...Listener? Walk away! Let poor Cicero
         live! Tell the pretender Astrid you did the job! Stabbed, strangled,
         drowned poor Cicero! One little itty bitty lie!

        Time to die, traitor!
         Traitor? Me? Silly assassin. So confused, so confused...and they say
         I'm mad! If I'm a traitor, so are you! Have you not heard the 
         maiden's voice? Are you not the Listener? So walk away! Let poor
         Cicero live! Tell Astrid you did the job! Stabbed, strangled, drowned
         poor Cicero! A tiny white lie for a dark assassin!

        (Remain silent)
         Oh, you prefer to listen, eh? Of course, of course! The Listener
         listens! A joke! A funny joke! I get it. Then listen to this -- don't
         kill me. Let poor Cicero live! I attacked the strumpet Astrid, I did!
         And I'd do it again! Anything for our mother! Return to the pretender,
         tell her I'm dead! Tell her you strangled me with my own intestines!
         Ha ha! But lie! Yes, lie! Lie, and let me live!

        Do what you will. Cicero has no fight left. In the end, Sithis will
        judge us both.

[If one kills him:]

Cicero: Coming...Mother...

[One returns to Astrid afterward.]

Astrid: Arnbjorn is safe, and for that you have my thanks. But what of the
        fool? Is Cicero dead?

        Yes, Cicero is dead. / Yes, Cicero is dead. (Lie)
        Excellent. Once again, you've proven yourself a born assassin. Tell
        you what. Why don't you hold onto Shadowmere a while longer? He's a
        fine steed, and hasn't been ridden as nearly as much as he should
        lately. And now that this Cicero mess has been mopped up, we can get
        back to the matter at hand, hmm?

Dragonborn: Right. So what's my next task?

Astrid: There's just one more target before we strike out at the Emperor. Have
        you by chance heard of the "Gourmet"? Read his cookbook? It's become
        quite a phenomenon. The Gourmet is scheduled to cook for the Emperor
        at a special dinner. You'll kill him, steal his Writ of Passage, and
        assume the roll¹ of master chef. Festus has been spearheading this
        part of the assassination plan. He's close to discovering the identity
        of the Gourmet. You should report to him.

[Arnbjorn has additional dialogue at this time.]

Arnbjorn: There you are. Look, I...I just wanted to say thanks for coming to
          find me. Back in Dawnstar. Crazy jester finally met his match, am I

[DB10] RECIPE FOR DISASTER |===================================================
[One visits Festus for more info.]

Festus: There you are. Took your sweet time dealing with Cicero, hmph? Now
        let's get down to business. Astrid told you about the Gourmet, I hope?

Dragonborn: That I need to kill him and take on his identity?

Festus: Quite so. But first you'll need to learn who he is. Assuming, of
        course, that the Gourmet actually is a "he." Could be a woman for all
        we know.

        So you don't even know who the Gourmet is? Wonderful.
         Don't be so petulant!

        Do you have any idea how I might find out?
         Ah, indeed I do! Indeed I do!

        (Remain silent)
         You know, maybe I was wrong about you after all. Anyone who's smart
         enough to shut up and listen can't be all bad.

        In my, um, investigations, I came upon this. It's a copy of the
        Gourmet's cookbook. Ah, but not just any copy. It's signed you see!
        Seems to be a message from the Gourmet to one Anton Virane. I've
        tracked Virane to the keep in Markarth. It would seem he's the cook.

Dragonborn: And this Anton Virane knows the Gourmet's true identity?

Festus: I believe so. Therefore, you need to obtain that information from
        Virane -- who the Gourmet is, and where he can be found. Oh, and when
        you're done with Virane, kill him. Loose ends and all that. Next,
        you'll have to... Are you still paying attention?

        (Remain silent)
        Of course, Festus. Please continue.
        Oh, I'm waiting with bated breath...

        As I was saying... You'll need to kill the Gourmet, of course. But
        what's more, you'll need to get his Writ of Passage, so you can take
        his place. Oh, and if you can, hide his body. The longer it takes for
        anyone else to determine his real identity, the better. Now off with

        What else can you tell me about the Gourmet?
         Nobody knows his true identity. Well, nobody except Gaius Maro, and
         you've already taken care of him. I do know the Gourmet was
         classically trained in traditional Breton cuisine in High Rock. So
         that's where he must have met Anton Virane. In any event, our
         anonymous chef shares a passion for food with all of Tamriel. And
         that anonymity will prove the Emperor's undoing.

        Tell me about this cookbook.
         "Uncommon Taste." It was published a few years ago, and became a
         sensation throughout the Empire almost overnight. The recipes were
         hailed as both practical and decadent. I've made a few of the
         Gourmet's dishes myself, actually. His roast mutton with Redguard
         berry sauce is to die for. But his chocolate pate¹ gives me the runs.

        So the Gourmet is in Skyrim?
         Yes. Gaius Maro, on orders from his father, arranged for the Gourmet
         to come to Skyrim months ago. To serve as the Emperor's personal
         chef. But the Emperor cancelled his journey at the last minute. Maro
         was smart, kept the Gourmet around, in case things changed. And so,
         the Gourmet has remained in seclusion, somewhere in Skyrim...on
         indefinite hold. Probably feels like a prisoner. But you'll fix that.

        Remember, the Markarth Keep. That's where you'll find Anton Virane.
        Probably cooking up all of the Gourmet's recipes, passing them off as
        his own.

[Those unrelated will chime in if asked about the job.]

Astrid: Believe it or not, Festus likes you. He senses your power, your
        potential. Follow his instructions to the letter, and you may even
        earn his respect.

Arnbjorn: The last thing you need is my help. Listener or not, you have proven
          yourself time and again. To Astrid, to the Family...and to me.

Babette: Yes -- don't kill the Gourmet! Oh, I know you have to, but it makes
         me sad all the same. I love the Gourmet's recipes. The world will
         soon be a blander, last flavorful place.

Gabriella: You've been directed to dispose of the Gourmet's body, is that
           correct? I often find water to be a suitable hiding place. A lake,
           a pool...the sea.

Nazir: Hmph. I wouldn't worry too much about this Virane giving you the
       information you need. Give him a good scare, and he'll squawk like a
       Hagraven. That said... If your attack on Virane is witnessed, those
       Markarth guards are going to be none too happy...

Veezara: Hmmm... Well, assuming this Gourmet is just a cook, it will probably
         be an easy kill. Just be discreet -- alerting others will be the real

[The player visits the cook in Markarth's Understone Keep.]

Anton: Yes, yes, for the hundredth time, I am a Breton. I was born in High
       Rock. And then I came here. I am not a Reachman!

       (Remain silent)
       Ah yes, High Rock. Home of exquisite Breton cuisine...
       I know who you are, Anton Virane. And where you're from.
        Who are you? What do you want?

Dragonborn: The Gourmet. Who is he? Where is he?

Anton: The...the Gourmet? Never! I don't know what led you here, but nothing
       will betray my trust. I'll take the secret of the Gourmet's identity to
       my grave.

       For the Dark Brotherhood, that can be easily arranged. (Intimidate)
        The Dark Brotherhood? Now...now wait a minute. Let's not be hasty. I
        mean, surely my friend wouldn't want me to endanger my own life. Right?
        Look, his name is Balagog gro-Nolob. He's an Orc! The Gourmet's an Orc!
        He's staying at the Nightgate Inn! That's all I know! Now...now you'll
        let me go. Right?

        Of course, Anton. Thank you. (Lie)
         Okay. All right. Wonderful. You're welcome! I'll just be on my way,

        I'm afraid not. Loose ends, and all that.
         No. Oh, please no...

        (Remain silent)
         So...we're done?

[The player visits the Gourmet after disposing of Anton.]

Balagog: Whatever it is, I'm sure I can't be of help. I'm just here on...

         You served your last meal...Gourmet.
          Gourmet? Why I... Um... Oh dear. You're going to kill me now, aren't

         Soon, the Emperor will die. Murdered, by the Gourmet.
          What? The Emperor? But I... Oh. Oh, by the gods, no. No, you can't
          do this. You can't!

         (Remain silent)
          Yes, well. Perhaps someone else in the village can assist you.
          Please, you're starting to...frighten me.

[The player returns to the Sanctuary after stealing the Gourmet's writ.]

Festus: So, the prodigal murderer returns. And the Gourmet?

Dragonborn: Dead.

[If the job was done to the letter:]

Festus: So I gathered. It seems a certain Orc has disappeared. Which means you
        not only killed the Gourmet, but disposed of the body as well. You've
        got the Writ of Passage too, I see. Splendid, splendid... Ah, and word
        has come in from Markarth that the keep's cook has met an untimely
        demise. You performed your duties to the letter.         

        (Remain silent)
        You would expect any less from the Listener?
        All I've ever wanted to do is serve this Sanctuary.

         Hmph. I was wrong about you. I see that now. Maybe we all were.

        Here's your payment. And...a little something extra, as well. From me.
        Consider it my way of apologizing. For being so damned curmudgeonly!
        It's called the Nightweaver's Band. I wore this for years. I want you
        to have it now. It'll give your magic and sneakiness some much needed
        "oomph." Now, you better get a move on and see Astrid. It's time! Time
        for the final stage of this grand and glorious operation!

[If the job was done, but the body wasn't hidden:]

Festus: Good, good. And you've got the Writ of Passage, too, I see. So
        there's that. I also received word from Markarth. It would seem Anton
        Virane has suffered an untimely fate, as well. Good. But
        unfortunately, that inn is abuzz with the news of somebody killing
        one of their guests! What, hiding the body was too much for you to
        handle? Bah! Useless. Here's your gold. Now go see Astrid. The time to
        move against the Emperor has finally come. Sithis help us all.

[DB11] TO KILL AN EMPIRE |=====================================================
[The player reports to Astrid.]

Astrid: So it's done. You've killed the Gourmet. And now Titus Mede II is as
        good as dead.

Dragonborn: So it's time? We're ready to assassinate the Emperor?

Astrid: Oh yes. And I've decided you will have the honor.

        I won't disappoint you, Astrid. Or the Dark Brotherhood.
         Oh, I have the utmost faith in your success, believe me. So let's

        The Emperor will die! For Sithis and the Night Mother!
         Yes. For Sithis...and the Night Mother. You are the Listener after
         all, hmm? So let's not waste any more time.

        (Remain silent)
         Hmph. Look at you. So calm. So confident. I do believe you were born
         for this task. So let's begin.

        Go now to Castle Dour in Solitude. Present the Gourmet's Writ of
        Passage to the officer in charge, Commander Maro. I'm sure you remember
        him. You'll gain unrestricted access to the kitchens, and then the
        Emperor. You're posing as a chef, so you'll be able to poison his meal
        rather easily.

Dragonborn: Which poison I should use?

Astrid: Here, take this -- it's called Jarrin Root. All it takes is one taste,
        and the effects are quite immediate. The Emperor will be serving
        Sithis before he even knows he's dead. Once Mede has been killed,
        escape through the upper door, and across the bridge. I've "arranged"
        for it to be unguarded once the alarm is sounded. Now go, my friend.
        Go, and fulfill your destiny as Listener.

        What else can you tell me about Jarrin Root?
         It's a rare plant, found only on the island of Stros M'Kai. It can be
         served like any vegetable -- cut up, put in a salad, perhaps boiled
         in a stew. One taste will lead to nearly instant death, so don't even
         think about it.

        Anything else before I set off?
         It took all the favors, bribes, and blackmails I could muster, but
         I've secured your exit out of the keep. Just follow my instructions,
         and the Dark Brotherhood will be back on top. All thanks to you...

[If one inquires to the other Family members before leaving...]

Arnbjorn: You get to kill the Emperor. The bloody Emperor. You'd better enjoy
          this one. You owe us all that much. So make it bloody, painful, and

Babette: Don't take any chances with this one. Use the Jarrin Root to poison
         the Emperor's food. You're disguising yourself as a chef -- it only
         makes sense.

Festus: Ah, good to see you, brother. Gearing up to kill the Emperor? Exciting
        times. Exciting times, indeed. Well... While it's true I prefer
        sorcery's more destructive nuances, we mustn't forget the many spells
        with simpler, more practical applications. Sure, you poison the
        Emperor, but what then? Why not summon an atronach and cause some
        chaos? Or turn invisible and slip away? Use your imagination!

Gabriella: What an honor, the assassination of an Emperor. And all because you
           are the Listener, favored by the Night Mother, anointed by Sithis.
           I am so very happy for you. If not a bit...envious.

Nazir: Yes. You're killing the Emperor himself. The Dark Brotherhood will get
       one shot at this, and you've been given the honors. So don't screw up.

Veezara: Astrid has arranged for your escape, no? Then you have nothing to
         worry about. Get in, kill the Emperor, and get out. Then, we

[The player heads for Castle Dour to see the commander. Penitus Oculatus
 agents are chatting outside.]

Agent 1: This city is crawling with Imperial Legion, and you know what? I'm
         still nervous. Lazy and useless, the lot of them. They can't even
         keep the Stormcloaks in line. No way I trust them with the Emperor's

Agent 2: You worry too much. The Emperor's never been safer. You think
         assassination attempts are planned overnight? We discovered the plot.
         End of threat.

Agent 1: I suppose. But what about the old man? Son killed, family name
         ruined...and he acts as if nothing even happened. Think he's even fit
         for duty?

Agent 2: I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that. Commander Maro is the best
         the Penitus Oculatus has ever produced. You should be half the man he

Agent 1: You misunderstand. It's just...I feel for him, is all. To carry a
         weight like that. It's got to take its toll. That happened to me, 
         I'd be a wreck.

[Maro is nearby.]

Maro: Stop right there. The tower is off limits until further notice.

      (Show Maro the Gourmet's Writ of Passage)
       What's this now? ...order of his eminence... ...possessor of these
       papers...the "Gourmet"... By Azura. The Gourmet! I...I'm sorry! I
       didn't realize! We...we had no idea when to expect you, you understand.

       • You're not dressed as I would have expected...
       • Your clothes... of course... I should have realized... 

       But please, don't let me keep you. Proceed to the kitchens straight
       away. Gianna, the castle chef, has been eagerly awaiting your arrival.

[The player tracks down Gianna.]

Gianna: Not another delivery. I told you people, our stocks are fine. Now put
        whatever you have over there, then get out!

Dragonborn: You misunderstand. For I am...the Gourmet!

Gianna: The...Gourmet? Oh! Finally! When I heard the Gourmet was being brought
        in to cook for the Emperor, I could hardly believe it. It's just...

Dragonborn: Yes?

Gianna: • You're a Nord! I never would have guessed it! But where in the world
          did you learn to cook like that? Here in Skyrim? Or maybe somewhere

        • I guessed right! I...I always imagined the great Gourmet was a Wood
          Elf. You see, only someone with a knowledge of woodland herbs could

        • Well, I just never expected the Gourmet to be a Breton. It almost
          seems too obvious. Some of the greatest cooks have been Bretons,

        • You...you're an Argonian! Where did you learn to cook like that?
          Surely not in Black Marsh. Why even the...

        • You're a High Elf! I...I never would have guessed it. So many of your
          recipes are clearly aimed at the commonfolk. It just seems...

        • I... Well, I just can't believe the Gourmet is a Dark Elf. How
          difficult it must have been for you in Morrowind. The food there

        • Well, I don't mean to seem disappointed, but...I just never figured
          the Gourmet was an Imperial. I had dreamed of something more exotic,

        • It's just... Well...you're an Orc! Ha ha ha! If the people of the
          Empire only knew! I mean, now I understand your need for secrecy.
          Most would...

        • Oh, well, it's just...I never imagined the Gourmet was a Khajiit. You
          know, because of all the fur, and the potential for getting hair in

        • Well, I'm just surprised the Gourmet is a Redguard. I had you pegged
          for a Wood Elf, honestly. You know, because of your use of...

          Silence! I am ready to prepare the grand feast!
          Oh. Well, um, actually...you're not. Wearing a chef's hat, I mean.
          There's one right over there on the shelf. You can't very well cook
          without it.

          [The player puts it on.]

          Oh, just look at you. Absolutely brilliant. Now...now you're just as
          I imagined.

[If the player already has the hat on, the delay is skipped.]

Dragonborn: Enough! The Gourmet is here to cook, not talk! Let us begin.

Gianna: Oh! Yes, but of course. Ahem. The Emperor has requested your signature
        dish -- the Potage le Magnifique. I've taken the liberty of getting it
        started. But the cookbook only says so much, and everyone makes the
        Potage differently. I would be honored if we could make it...the
        Gourmet's special way. The base broth is already boiled. We can get
        started right now. So... Which ingredient should I add next?

         Carrots? Really? Okay... What next?

        A sweetroll.
         Ooooh...how decadent. I never would have guessed it. What next?

        (Remain silent)
         Oh, I get it. This is a test, right? You want to see how well I know
         the Potage le Magnifique. Well then, I think a pinch of frost salts
         should do the trick, right? Now what?

        The next ingredient is...vampire dust.
         Vampire dust? Seriously? Hmm... Yes, I guess I can see how that would
         add a more...earthy texture. And, oddly enough, we do have some on
         hand... All right, what next then?

        You must now add a splash of mead.
         Ah, of course. I suspected as much.

        (Remain silent)
         My choice, then? Very well. I think we should add some Chaurus eggs.
         For additional flavor.

        We shall now add...a giant's toe!
         A...giant's toe? You're...sure about that?

         I said a giant's toe! Do not question the Gourmet!
          Of course! I...I'm sorry. One giant's toe... There. What, um...
          What next?

        One nirnroot.
         Really? Oh, I use Nirnroot as a special seasoning all the time as
         well. What a wonderful idea. Okay, now what?

        (Remain silent)
         Ooookay... Um... Let me see. Thistle? Yes, let's try that. Just a
         sprig or two...

        You must now add...a septim.
         A Septim? As in...a gold coin? Really? Ah, I see now. The would give
         the Potage le Magnifique a slightly metallic -- but delicious --
         aftertaste. Simply Brilliant. I have to say, the stew seems done.

        Diced horker meat.
         Hmmm...horker. So delicious. I swear, is there a soul alive who
         doesn't enjoy the taste of... Sorry, I didn't mean to get carried
         away. There we go, one cup of diced horker meat. I have to say, the
        stew seems done.

        (Remain silent)
         My choice, hmm? All right, then -- tomatoes. Simple, yet infinitely
         flavorful. Don't you agree? Well, I have to say the stew seems done.

        Add anything else, and we may dilute the distinct flavors. So...is
        that it?

        We're done. Let us serve...the Potage le Magnifique!
         Excellent. They should be ready for us now.

        There is one final ingredient. Here, add this. (Give jarrin root)
         Oh? What is this, some kind of herb? Are you sure? The Potage tastes
         perfect as it is. Any other ingredient might...

         Now, now, Gianna. Who's the Gourmet here?
          Heh, I'm sorry. Of course. It's your most famous recipe, after all.
          All right then, your secret ingredient's been added.

        And I may say so...it has been an honor, getting a chance to prepare a
        meal with, well...the best chef in the entire Empire.

[They finish the dish.]

Gianna: I'll carry the stew pot, and lead the way up to the dining room. I'm
        sure the Emperor and his guests are dying to meet you.

[A conversation from above can be heard en route.]

Noblewoman: But aren't you the least bit nervous? After everything that's

Titus Mede II: You mean the wedding? My cousin's apparent murder? An
               unfortunate misunderstanding, no more. Cold mead, hot tempers...
               these things happen.

Nobleman: Quite. Yet that recent business with the young officer. Maro, was it?
          The son of your commander, plotting your assassination.

Titus Mede II: Yes, an unfortunate turn of events, that. But an isolated
               incident. And I have been assured that the fault was with the
               man's son alone. Truth is, we are in no danger whatsoever.
               Killing an Emperor can be useful, but befriending one? Now
               that's beneficial -- as I'm sure you'd all agree.

[The two head upstairs.]

Gianna: Here we are. Gods, I'm nervous. We'll go in in just a moment. Please,
        I'll serve. You just stand there and...be amazing.

[They enter the Emperor's dining room.]

Titus Mede II: Aha! Here we are. Honored guests, I present to you -- the
               Gourmet! Ah, the Potage le Magnifique. So delicious. My friends,
               as Emperor, I of course reserve the right of first taste.

Nobleman: (laughs)

Noblewoman: (laughs)

[If the player poisoned the meal:]

Titus Mede II: Oh... Oh now marvelous. Just delicious. It is everything I had
               hoped it would be. It...I... I think something's...wrong...
               I... Ugh...

Guard: By the gods! The Gourmet and the chef have poisoned the Emperor! Get

Gianna: Help! What? No. No, you don't understand! There's been some kind of
        mistake! I... Agghhhhh!

[If the player didn't poison the meal, things go as normal. The people in
 room will give praise meant for the real Gourmet.]

Titus Mede II: Oh... Oh now marvelous. Just delicious. It is everything I had
               hoped it would be. Please, everyone. Enjoy.

Nobleman: The Gourmet. Leave it to Titus to spare no expense.

Nobleman 2: I prefer a good roast duck. But your soup will do.

Gianna: Maybe when this is all over, you could sign one of your cookbooks for

Penitus Oculatus Agent: The missus and I love your strawberry tarts.

Penitus Oculatus Agent: Hmmm, the Potage le Magnifique. Smells delicious.

[If the player kills the Emperor in a non-stew-related fashion.]

Penitus Oculatus Agent: What in blazes!

Penitus Oculatus Agent: The Gourmet has killed the Emperor!

[Either way, the player flees to the tower skybridge after the death plays
 out. However, guards are waiting, unlike what Astrid said. Maro appears in a
 window, clapping.]

Maro: That man was, by far, the most insufferable decoy the Emperor has ever
      employed. I'm glad he's dead. Ah, but I'm even happier that you killed
      him. You, an assassin for the Dark Brotherhood, have just made an attempt
      on the Emperor's life. Would have succeeded, had it been the real man.
      Surprised? So was I, when a member of your "Family" came to me with the
      plan. We worked out a deal, you see. An exchange. I get you, and the Dark
      Brotherhood gets to continue its existence. But you know what? I've
      changed my mind. How about this? I kill you, and butcher each and every
      one of your miserable little friends? Your Sanctuary's being put to the
      sword right now. That's what I think of this "deal." You killed my son!
      All of you! And now you'll pay the price. Kill him. And make sure there's
      nothing left to bury.

[The player evades capture and frantically returns to the Sanctuary.]

[DB12] DEATH INCARNATE |=======================================================

[On arrival, Maro's words are shown to be true -- the Penitus Oculatus have
 already pulled up. Festus' body is nearby, filled with enough arrows to
 mistake him for a training dummy. Inside, Agents can be heard talking down
 the hall.]

Agent: Which one was the rat?

Agent 2: Dunno. One of these corpses. Does it matter?

Agent: Suppose not. But what's taking the others so long? The sooner we get
       out of here, the better. Smoke's getting bad. This place'll be raging

Agent 2: Arcturus took some men deeper in, wanted to be sure. We should
         maybe...assist them.

Agent: You assist all you like. And get roasted for your trouble. I'll guard
       the exit.

[Veezara's body is found near the entrance; Arnbjorn's is in the main hall,
 the Dragonborn too late in helping him fight off a crowd. Gabriella and Lis
 are slain in the alchemy room, but Nazir is still fighting in the dining

Nazir: If I am to die today, so bet it. But you'll not soon forget the Dark
       Brotherhood. Yeargh!

[The player slays Arcturus, saving Nazir.]

Nazir: So you are alive. I was starting to wonder.

Dragonborn: The Emperor...it was all a trap. Someone set us up.

Nazir: Considering most of us are now dead, I assumed as much. And before you
       ask, no -- I don't think it was you. Well, maybe I did, but you saving
       my sorry hide just now sort of erased any doubts. So thanks.

Dragonborn: We need to get out of here!

Nazir: You've got that right. Only a matter of time before we're roasted alive.
       Come on!

[They turn to flee, but...]

Night Mother: Listener. I am your only salvation. Come. Embrace me.

Nazir: Damn it! There's got to be a way out of here.

[The player enters the Night Mother's coffin. The sound of Nazir pushing it
 through the stained glass window and into the pond can be heard.]

Night Mother: Sleep.

[A short while later, in the pitch blackness, Babette can be heard.]

Babette: Hurry, Nazir! I'm telling you, he's in there!

Nazir: I'm going...as fast...as I can, you stupid she-devil. I don't see

Babette: I'm not exactly built for manual labor. Now come on, you've almost
         got it.

Nazir: One more...pull... Yeaahhhh! There.

Babette: Can you get it open?

Nazir: I think so. Just hold on a moment.

Night Mother: You must speak with Astrid. Here, in the Dark Brotherhood

[The coffin opens, Nazir having dragged it out of the pond. The fires have all
 stopped, but the Sanctuary is in ruins, most of it closed off or caved-in.]

Nazir: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down. It's all right. You've been through a lot.
       Maybe you should just sit down for a bit...

       I have to speak with Astrid! She's here, in the Sanctuary. Follow me.
        She's here? By Sithis, I thought we'd lost her. Let's go!

       I'm fine. But the Night Mother has another task for me. Let's go.
        Oh! Well in that case, lead on. I'm right behind you.

       (Remain silent)
        I don't know, Babette. Looks like he may have suffered a head wound.
        Best not let him out of our sight...

[In Astrid's room, in an alcove previously blocked by a cabinet, the three
 find the leader. She's splayed out within a Black Sacrament circle and has
 third-degree burns from top to bottom.]

Astrid: Alive... You're alive... Thank Sithis...

Dragonborn: Astrid...

Astrid: Ssshhh... Please. There is much...I have to say. And...not much
        time... I'm sorry. So very sorry. The Penitus Oculatus... Maro... He
        said that by giving you to them, he would leave the Dark Brotherhood
        alone. Forever. By Sithis, I was such a fool. All of this...it's all
        my fault. You are the best of us, and I nearly killed you...as I've
        killed everyone else...

        You...sent me to die? Traitor!
         Yes. I set you up. I wanted you dead. I betrayed you, the Night
         Mother, and everything I hold dear. And now Maro has betrayed me.

        You will be judged by Sithis in the Void. I pity you.
         No! Don't pity me. I deserve whatever fate the Dread Lord has in
         store. I betrayed you...and now Maro has betrayed me. Fitting...

        (Remain silent)
         Don't you see? It was me. I set you up, wanted you dead. I betrayed
         you, the Night Mother...everything I hold dear. And now Maro has
         betrayed me.

        I just wanted things...to stay the way they were. Before Cicero, before
        the Night Mother. Before...you. I thought I could save us. I was wrong.
        But you're alive! So there's still a chance. A chance to start over,
        rebuild. That's why I did...this. Don't you see? I prayed to the Night
        Mother! I am the Black Sacrament.

Dragonborn: What are you saying?

Astrid: I'm saying you were right. The Night Mother was right. The old ways...
        they guided the Dark Brotherhood for centuries. I was a fool to oppose
        them. And to prove my...sincerity, I have prayed for a contract. You
        lead this Family now. I give you the Blade of Woe, so that you can see
        it through. You must kill... Me.

Babette: Oh, Astrid...

Nazir: Astrid did the right thing, and now it's your turn. End her suffering.

[The player stabs Astrid to complete the Sacrament.]

Astrid: Uhh...thank you...

Nazir: Astrid... By the sands, I still can't wrap my head around it...

Babette: If I hadn't heard it with my own ears I wouldn't have believed it.
         How could Astrid have done this to us? Strangely, I feel only pity
         for her...

[The Listener returns to the Night Mother.]

Night Mother: Astrid is dead. It is as it should be. May she find redemption
              in the Void. But while you live, the Dark Brotherhood lives. We
              must fulfill our contract. Emperor Titus Mede II must be
              eliminated. Speak with Amaund Motierre at the Bannered Mare in
              Whiterun. He will know the true Emperor's location. But first,
              inform Nazir of your plans. For you are the Listener, and must
              bind this Family together.

[DB13] HAIL SITHIS! |==========================================================
[The player finds Nazir.]

Nazir: By Sithis, what a mess. I guess this is the end.

Dragonborn: Not exactly. The Night Mother has spoken to me again.

Nazir: What? Well -- what did she say?

Dragonborn: I must speak with Amaund Motierre once more.

Nazir: Amaund Motierre? But that would mean...

Dragonborn: The contract is still on. The true Emperor must be assassinated.

Nazir: You mean...there's still a chance? But how? Our plan has gone to ruin,
       everyone is dead, the Family...

Dragonborn: Our Family lives on, Nazir. You have to trust me.

Nazir: Hmph. All right, then. Go. Go, my Listener. Find out what that slimy
       bastard Motierre has to say, then send the Emperor to Sithis. Ah, but
       when you're done, there's no use returning here, is there? I was
       thinking...the Dawnstar Sanctuary. We could make a proper home there.
       Listen, when you're finished with this Emperor business, meet Babette
       and me there. I'll find some way to move the Night Mother. Don't worry!
       Now go! And come back with a barrel full of gold, hmm? Babette, my girl
       -- pack your things. We're moving.

Babette: I was hoping you'd say that.

[Amaund is found at the Whiterun inn.]

Amaund: What is it? I said I didn't wish to...be disturbed.
        (Remain silent)
        We have unfinished business, Motierre.
        Sithis is due a soul. Wouldn't you agree?
         By the gods. You...you're alive! But I had heard...your Sanctuary...
         Please! You mustn't think I had anything to do with that! I wanted the
         Emperor dead! The true Emperor! I still do! It was Maro. He...

Dragonborn: The Emperor. The real Emperor. Where is he?

Amaund: You mean, after all that's transpired, the Dark Brotherhood will
        still...honor the contract? Why, this is astounding news! Wonderful
        news! The Emperor is still in Skyrim, but not for long. He's onboard
        his ship, the Katariah, moored offshore in the Solitude Inlet. But you
        must hurry! If you can get onboard that ship. Kill Titus Mede II, as
        contracted...I will reveal the location of the dead drop that holds
        your payment.

        Commander Maro. Where is he?
         Ah, yes, I can imagine you'd want to settle that score. Last I heard,
         he was at the Solitude docks, conducting the Emperor's departure.

        What kind of security should I expect?
         Surely you're joking? This is the true Emperor, not some half-Septim
         lookalike. He'll be surrounded by elite bodyguards, I'm sure. You'll
         have your work cut out for you. Still...everyone assumes the Dark
         Brotherhood has been completely destroyed. They may be a bit more
         lax than usual.

        This ship, the Katariah. How will I get onboard?
         Well, I don't know. It's in the Solitude Inlet -- that's the channel
         just north of the docks. I suppose you should go to the docks and...

        Please, make haste. The Emperor's ship won't stay moored forever. We
        won't get a chance like this again.

[The player makes a detour to find Maro at the Solitude docks.]

Maro: By the gods...you! But it can't be. You're dead. You... Yeaaaahhhh!

[The player dispatches an enraged Maro before swimming toward the Katariah,
 moored where Amaund said it would be. Anchor is dropped, providing access to
 the inner cargo hold.]

Sailor: *sigh* ...and that's the last one. All right, enough of this. Come on,
        let's get something to eat.

Sailor 2: Gods, I'll be glad to see the last of Skyrim. Dragons, murder,
          rebellion...and we sail right into the middle of it with the Emperor
          on board.

Sailor: I think we'll all feel better once we're back out at sea. Won't be
        long now.

[The bloodletting doesn't stop until the Emperor himself is cornered.]

Titus Mede II: And, once more, I prove Commander Maro the fool. I told him you
               can't stop the Dark Brotherhood. Never could. Come now, don't
               be shy. You haven't come this far just to stand there gawking.

               You were...expecting me?
                But of course. You and I have a date with destiny. But so it
                is with assassins and emperors, hmm?

               Your rule is at an end! Sithis commands it!
                Oh, you can save your sinister bravado. I'll not go to my
                grave whimpering like an infant. I know why you are here. I
                must die. And you must deliver the blow. It is simply the way
                it is.

               (Remain silent)
                You and I have a date with destiny, it seems. But so it is with
                assassins and emperors, hmm? Yes, I must die. And you must
                deliver the blow. It is simply the way it is. 

               But I wonder...would you suffer an old man a few more words
               before the deed is done?

               I'm listening.
                I thank you for your courtesy.

               I've heard enough. Your life ends now.
                Tsk. How unfortunate. I had hoped you would honor an old man's
                dying wish. Well, let's be done with it then.

               (Remain silent)
                You will hear me out, then? Good.

               You will kill me and I have accepted that fate. But regardless
               of your path through life, I sense in you a certain...ambition.
               So I ask of you a favor. An old man's dying wish. While there
               are many who would see me dead, there is one who set the machine
               in motion. This person, whomever he or she may be, must be
               punished for their treachery. Once you have been rewarded for
               my assassination, I want you to kill the very person who ordered
               it. Would you do me this kindness?

               I'll...consider your request.
                Thank you. Now, onto the business at hand I suppose, hmm?

               A Dark Brotherhood assassin doesn't do..."favors."
                Hmph. Pity. I had hoped to attain even a modicum of justice.
                Well, onto the business at hand then, hmm?

               (Remain silent)
                Well. Perhaps you'll at least consider it, hmm? Now, on to the
                business at hand...

               Well? I won't fight you, so we may as well get this over with.

[After the Emperor is slain, one returns to Amaund Motierre.]

Amaund: Aha! You're back!

Dragonborn: Titus Mede II lies dead.

Amaund: I know! I know! I received the news not moments ago! Ha ha! This is
        glorious! My friend, you may not realize it, but you have served the
        Empire, indeed all of Tamriel, in ways you cannot possibly imagine.
        Ah, but you care little for politics, am I right? You want money! And
        money you shall have! Your payment waits for you at a dead drop. It
        is inside an urn, in the very chamber where we first met, in Volunruud.
        Now please, go. Collect your money, and let us never look upon one
        another again. Our business, thank the gods, is concluded.

[If one talks to Amaund again...]

Dragonborn: Actually, Motierre, there is one more thing...

Amaund: And what might that be?

        Just a favor...for an honorable man.
         You assassins and your riddles. It really does get very annoying, you
         know. Now if you'll excuse me...

        Today is the luckiest day of your life.
         Ha! Well, I certainly do feel that way. Now, if, um...you'll get

        (Remain silent)
         Yes? No? Nothing? Very well, then. If you'll just...get going now...

[If one kills Amaund:]

Amaund: But...we had a deal...

[After picking up the dead drop, the player returns to the Dawnstar Sanctuary.
 It's already been cleaned up a bit since one chased Cicero.]

Nazir: Well? What word of the Emperor?

Dragonborn: Titus Mede II is dead...by my hand.

Nazir: Truly? Could you have brought us more wondrous news? Recent events
       nonwithstanding, this is a happy day for us, my friend. Despite your
       misfortunes, you stayed true to the Dark Brotherhood. You've saved us
       all, and for this you have my eternal thanks. Now, of course I must
       ask... Killing the Emperor...how much did Motierre pay for such a thing?

       20,000 Gold.
        Ha! Remarkable! Well, the old bastard certainly made it worth your
        while, didn't he? Now, might I offer some advice? You should go to
        Riften and find Delvin Mallory. I believe Astrid had you visit him once

       10,000 Gold. (Lie)
        Ha! Clearly, we should have killed that old bastard years ago! Now,
        might I offer some advice? You should go to Riften and find Delvin
        Mallory. I believe Astrid had you visit him once before?

       5,000 Gold. (Lie)
        Oh. Is that all? Really? Come now! You're joking with old Nazir! Surely
        the Emperor's life was worth more than that.

        Gotcha! It was 20,000 gold.
         Ha! I knew it, you rascal! By Sithis, the old man was worth the
         trouble. Now, might I offer some advice? You should go to Riften and
         find Delvin Mallory. I believe Astrid had you visit him once before?
        Sorry, no joke. 5,000 gold. (Lie)
         Pfft. You'd think an Emperor would fetch at least twice that. Damn
         that motherless cheapskate, Motierre. In any event, here's my advice.
         Go to Riften's Ratway, find Delvin Mallory. I believe Astrid had you
         visit him once before, no? 
        Mallory is an expert "obtainer of goods." We can use this money to
        repair and refit this Sanctuary. Make a true home for us, eh? You do
        that and I'll see what I can do about recruiting some new additions
        to our Family...

[This ends the storyline, as all that's left is renovations and doing radiant
 quests for the Night Mother. Those are technically different quests, but I'll
 put 'em here anyway. NM speaks to the player on the way out.]

Night Mother: It is done. Emperor Titus Mede II lies dead, and the Dark
              Brotherhood yet lives. But our work is just beginning. Approach
              me, Listener, and hear my words.

[If Cicero is alive, he'll approach the player after exiting the Sanctuary.]

Cicero: Listener!

        (Remain silent)
        What in the name of Sithis...
        Cicero! Good to see you again, old friend.
         Oh yes, it is Cicero! You were a fool to spare me. What, did you think
         I would be grateful? Cicero should be Listener! Not you! Now you will
         die! ... Ahhh...gotcha! Oh, Listener, you should see the look on your
         face! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, Cicero has returned! Not to kill the
         kind Listener, but to serve, until one of us dies horribly, in service
         to our Mother! Best friends forever! In the meantime, I'll make myself
         at home in the Sanctuary. I'm sure Mother needs...tending.

[The others will comment on Cicero's surprising reappearance.]

Nazir: Why am I not surprised to learn Cicero is alive? I still can't stomach
       the little clown, but if you've welcomed him here, I won't question it.

Babette: So wait, Cicero is alive? And we're all friends again? I swear, I
         can hardly keep up...

[If the player goes to Delvin:]

Dragonborn: Can you repair and refit the Dawnstar Sanctuary?

Delvin: The Dawnstar Sanctuary? Is that where you lot are holing up in now?
        Hmm... Tell you what. It'll cost you -- a lot -- but I can help you
        out. What exactly are we talking about here?

        New banners. (1,000 gold)
         Banners, huh? Trying to pretty up the place? All right, you got it.

        Poisoner's nook. (5,000 gold)
         That'll come in handy, eh? An alchemy station, maybe a little garden
         with some choice plants. All right, consider it done.

        Torture chamber. (5,000 gold)
         Oh ho. Now that's the Dark Brotherhood I know and love. This for
         business or pleasure? Ah, what's it matter, right? I'll see that it
         gets done.

        Secret entrance (5,000 gold)
         Yeah, we can do that. I'm thinking a sewer grate on the outskirts of
         Dawnstar. Leads to a tunnel, then inside. You'll be in or out, quick
         as a coney.

        Master bedroom (3,000 gold)
         Heh. Chamber fit for a king and all that, right? No problem. Give ya
         a big bed, decorate the room real nice, maybe even throw in a few
         extra baubles.

        Nothing. Never mind.
         Suit yourself.

[When asked to supply things and all options are exhausted:]

Delvin: I'm afraid that's it, my friend. I've done all I can. I hope the place
        is at least livable, now. Good luck with your, um...murders.

[DB14] DESTROY THE DARK BROTHERHOOD! |=========================================
[If Astrid is slain during "With Friends Like These..." that quest fails and
 this one begins. The player is tasked with reporting her death to a guard.
 Which guard in which hold is irrelevant.]

Dragonborn: I killed the leader of the Dark Brotherhood.

Guard: You did what? By the gods, you're serious. You'd better report this to
       Commander Maro right away. He's at the Penitus Oculatus outpost, up in
       Dragon Bridge.

[The player goes to meet with the Commander.]

Dragonborn: A guard sent me. I killed the leader of the Dark Brotherhood.

Maro: The leader of the Dark Brotherhood? You mean Astrid? Dead? And this is
      no jest? Ha! This is a stroke of good fortune. Long have I watched the
      Dark Brotherhood's movements...waiting for the time to strike. That time
      is now! My agents have recently acquired the passphrase to their
      Sanctuary. It is, "Silence, my brother." Every assassin in that hole
      must be put down! You, my friend. You've slain their leader. This honor
      should be yours. Do this, and you will be rewarded most handsomely!

[The player goes to the Sanctuary to begin the slaughter. After, s/he reports
 back to the commander.]

Maro: By all I hold holy... Can it be true? Have you actually done it? This is
      a great day, my friend. You have struck a blow against darkness that will
      not soon be forgotten! Here, as promised -- a most generous reward! I'll
      make sure the Emperor himself hears of all you've accomplished. You've
      made Skyrim a better place.

IMPERIAL LEGION                                                          [MPRL]
 01) Joining the Legion ................................................ MP01
 02) The Jagged Crown .................................................. MP02
 03) Message to Whiterun ............................................... MP03
 04) Battle for Whiterun ............................................... MP04
 05) Reunification of Skyrim ........................................... MP05
      - A False Front .................................................. MP06
      - The Battle for Fort Dunstad .................................... MP07
      - Compelling Tribute ............................................. MP08
      - The Battle for Fort Greenwall .................................. MP09
      - Rescue From Fort Kastav ........................................ MP10
      - The Battle for Fort Amol ....................................... MP11
      - Battle for Windhelm ............................................ MP12

[MP01] JOINING THE LEGION |====================================================
[After overhearing how the Legion was recruiting, the player follows clues to
 Castle Dour in Solitude. Legate Rikke and General Tullius himself are in the
 strategy room, arguing about Whiterun.]

Rikke: I'm telling you, Ulfric's planning an attack on Whiterun.

Tullius: He'd be insane to try. He doesn't have the men.

Rikke: That's not what my scouts report, sir. Every day more join his cause.
       Riften, Dawnstar, and Winterhold support him.

Tullius: It's not a cause. It's a rebellion.

Rikke: Call it whatever you like, General. The man's going to try to take

Tullius: Jarl Balgruuf...

Rikke: Jarl Balgruuf refuses the Legion's right to garrison troops in his
       city. On the other hand, he also refuses to acknowledge Ulfric's claim.

Tullius: Well, if he wants to stand outside the protection of the Empire, fine.
         Let Ulfric pillage his city.

Rikke: General.

Tullius: You people and your damn Jarls.

Rikke: Sir? You can't force a Nord to accept help he hasn't asked for.
Tullius: If Ulfric's making a move for Whiterun, then we need to be there to
         stop him. Draft another letter with the usual platitudes, but this
         time share some of your intelligence regarding Ulfric's plans.
         Embellish if you have to. We'll let it seem like it's his idea.

Rikke: Yes, sir.

Tullius: You Nords and your bloody sense of honor.

Rikke: Sir.

[The player goes over to Tullius.]

Tullius: Are my men now giving free reign to anyone who wanders into the
         castle? Do you have some reason to be here, citizen?

         I believe we've already met.
          Have we? Oh. Of course... You were at Helgen!

         I was at Helgen.
          Right... Helgen...

         One of the prisoners, if I recall correctly.

Dragonborn: I was set free. I could've gone anywhere. I came here to fight for
            the Empire.

Tullius: I suppose that's true. Fine. Why don't you have a chat with Legate
         Rikke? I suspect we might have use for someone resourceful like you.
         Not many survived Helgen. Besides, I'm sure your being imprisoned was
         all a terrible misunderstanding.

[The player finds Rikke.]

Rikke: You survived Helgen? General Tullius told me what happened. Not many
       made it out alive... I've got a good feeling about you. And I don't
       often get good feelings about anything. A warrior knows to trust her
       gut...  I'm not going to go through the normal process with you. I've
       got a little test lined up. Pass that, and we'll talk about you joining
       the Legion.

       I can handle anything you throw at me.
        Is that confidence, or bravado? Confidence I can use. Bravado gets
        soldiers killed. We'll soon find out.

       What kind of test?
        The kind that evaluates your usefulness during...duress.

       I'm sending you to clear out Fort Hraagstad. If you survive, you'll
       pass. If you die, then I'll have no further use for your corpse.

Dragonborn: What's at Fort Hraagstad?

Rikke: The ancients built many of the fortresses that dot the landscape of
       Skyrim. Sadly, most have fallen into disrepair. And nearly all have
       been overrun by bandits or other vagabonds. Fort Hraagstad is one of the
       few that remains mostly intact. We're going to install a garrison there,
       but first, your¹ going to clean out the bandits that have moved in.

       I'm going alone?
        • Oh, not so confident now, are we?

        Yes. This is a test. I don't think you're regular militia material. I
        want to see what you're capable of.        

       I'm not sure about this.
        Well, if you change your mind, you know what to do.

       Consider that fort already yours.
        Good. That's what I want to hear. Now go make it happen, soldier.

[The player reaches the fort along Skyrim's NW coast and eliminates all the
 hostiles within. One reports back to Rikke afterwards; she's again arguing
 with Tullius.]

Tullius: Tell me again why I'm wasting men chasing after a fairy tale.

Rikke: If Ulfric gets his hands on that crown, it won't be a fairy tale. It'll
       be a problem.

Tullius: Don't you Nords put any stock in your own traditions? I thought the
         Moot chose the king. We're backing Elisif. When the Moot meets,
         they'll do the sensible thing.

Rikke: Not everyone's agreed to the Moot. You've been here long enough to know
       that Nords aren't always sensible. We follow our hearts.

Tullius: So what -- Ulfric gets this crown and then suddenly he's High King?

Rikke: No, it's not as simple as that, but the Jagged Crown would be a potent
       symbol for his cause to rally around. But, if we found it first...

Tullius: And we gave it to Elisif?

Rikke: In the absence of the Moot, it would further legitimize her claim.

Tullius: Perhaps... I'm entrusting you with what resources I can spare. But
         I'm warning you, if this turns out to be a waste of time and men...

Rikke: It won't be a waste.

Tullius: Make sure you take the Auxiliary here. You can send him back when you
         get there and find nothing but old bones and cobwebs.

Rikke: The Stonefist's¹ no fool. He's found the Crown. But we'll get to it

[Rikke notices the player's waiting.]

Rikke: Welcome back, soldier. I'm glad you made it in one piece. I'll send men
       to garrison the fort right away. You did well. I'm impressed. But before
       we go any further, it's time for you to officially join the Legion.
       Speak with General Tullius. He'll administer the oath.

Tullius: In joining the Legion, you'll be taking an oath binding you to the
         service of the Emperor and thus to every citizen of the Empire. Are
         you prepared to make that commitment?

         Actually, I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
          I see... Well, the Legion will still be here when you change your
          mind. Rikke believes in you. And I'm starting to see why. Consider
          this. What greater glory than to serve the Emperor and his citizens
          here in Skyrim, in these days of greatest need?

         I'm ready to take the Oath.
          Well, then. Repeat after me. "Upon my honor I do swear undying
          loyalty to the Emperor..."

Dragonborn: "Upon my honor I do swear undying loyalty to the Emperor..."

Tullius: "...and unwavering obedience to the officers of his great Empire."

Dragonborn: "...and unwavering obedience to the officers of his great Empire."

Tullius: "May those above judge me, and those below take me, if I fail in my

Dragonborn: "May those above judge me, and those below take me, if I fail in
            my duty."

Tullius: "Long live the Emperor! Long live the Empire!"

Dragonborn: "Long live the Emperor! Long live the Empire!"

Tullius: Welcome to the Imperial Legion, soldier. Just remember, we take care
         of our own. Once you're in the Legion, you're in it for life. Speak
         to Beirand, he's normally out by the forge. He'll get you outfitted.
         Now, if I'm not mistaken, Legate Rikke has a special assignment for

[MP02] THE JAGGED CROWN |======================================================
[Rikke is sought out.]

Rikke: Welcome to the Legion, auxiliary. Listen up. Ulfric's right-hand man,
       Galmar Stonefist¹, has located what he believes is the final resting
       place of the Jagged Crown. We're going to make sure he doesn't get his
       hands on it. The rest of my men are already assembling outside
       Korvanjund. I'll meet you there as soon as as I finish up here.

[One can question the Legate further.]

Dragonborn: What's the Jagged Crown?

Rikke: A legendary crown, dating back to King Harald's time, or before. A
       powerful relic of a golden age, long since passed. Legend has it that
       the crown is made from the bones and teeth of ancient dragons, and is
       said to increase the power of the wielder. Whatever the truth, if
       Ulfric get's¹ his hands on it, it would be a powerful symbol around
       which to rally support for his cause.

Dragonborn: How do we know the crown is in Korvanjund?

Rikke: Well, to be frank, we don't. Its location was lost with King Borgas,
       when the Great Hunt killed him while off on his Alessian campaigns.
       Supposedly, his body was brought back to Skyrim and secretly buried
       with the crown. Knowledge of that location was lost, in the Wars of
       Succession. But my agents report that Galmar is pretty damned convinced
       Korvanjund is the tomb of King Borgas. I know Galmar. We fought in many
       wars together. He's not a sentimental man taken to fancy. If he believes
       the crown is there...he's likely found it.

Dragonborn: Why do you fight for the Empire?

Rikke: I am a loyal citizen to the Empire. My parents were Legionnaires, and
       I've followed in their footsteps. But more importantly, I am a daughter
       of Skyrim and wish to see her made whole again.

       Don't Stormcloaks call themselves "sons and daughters of Skyrim"?
        I've been a daughter of Skyrim all my life. I love this land and her
        people. So do all the Nords that serve the Empire. Ulfric, too, once.
        He wasn't always a self-serving ego-maniac. He fought in the Imperial
        army in the War against the Dominion. But Ulfric and his "Stormcloaks"
        are deluding themselves. If there's any hope of a long term victory
        against the Dominion, it's in the Empire. The rebels are only inflaming
        the tension and weakening the Empire by distracting it from its
        ultimate aim. 

        Do you consider the Thalmor enemies?
         I consider this conversation over.

       So you have no problem with the treaty that bans the worship of Talos?
        I'm a soldier, not a politician. And my personal beliefs are not yours
        to question.

Dragonborn: What will it take to end the war?

Rikke: I hope Ulfric will come to his senses. But I fear he's in too far to
       stop now. Likely only Ulfric's death, or the overthrow of the Jarls
       supporting him will end this. Either way, much blood will be spilt.

[The player finds the ruin of Korvanjund near Windhelm. Rikke's team waits.]

Rikke: What's the situation?

Imperial Soldier: The Stormcloaks were already camped around the entrance when
                  we got here. They don't know we're here yet, though.

Rikke: Well, that's something at least.

[She notices the player.]

Rikke: Looks like the damned rebels got here first. No matter, we have the
       element of surprise. Prepare to move out.

       Hold on, I need a minute.
        This isn't a damn summer picnic! Hurry up. We need to hit them before
        they know we're here.

       I'm ready, ma'am.
        Follow me.

       Listen up, legionnaires. Those Stormcloaks are here for the same reason
       we are. Ulfric the Pretender wants that crown, but we're not going to
       let him have it. I realize some of you may know men on the other side.
       But remember this. They are the enemy now and will not hesitate to end
       your lives either. General Tullius is counting on us to bring back the
       Jagged Crown, and that's exactly what we're going to do. Let's show
       these rebels what real soldiers look like.

[They slay the Stormcloak vanguard and enter the ancient tomb.]

Rikke: Everybody ready? We charge on my signal. Time to show what you're really
       made of. For the Empire!

[The nearest Stormcloaks are defeated.]

Rikke: You two, stay and guard the entrance. We don't want any Stormcloak
       reinforcements taking us by surprise. Everyone else, with me.

[A ways in is a long, thin stairway.]

Rikke: I don't like the look of this. Perfect spot for an ambush. Ten to one
       they're just waiting for us on the other side.

Imperial Soldier: But there isn't any other way through, Legate.

Rikke: Let's not jump to conclusions, soldier. The Legion always finds a way.
       I'd rather take a moment and look around than walk blindly into an
       ambush. Auxiliary, see if you can find another way through. We'll charge
       in to help as soon as we hear fighting. There may be some way to get
       through on the level above. Hurry!

[The player sneaks ahead, overhearing Stormcloaks.]

Stormcloak 1: You hear anything?

Stormcloak 2: No, but I know they're out there. No other way they can come. Now
              shut it or you'll ruin our ambush.

Stormcloak 1: I don't like it. What are they waiting for?

Stormcloak 2: Maybe they're so scared of you they ran away.

Stormcloak 1: Hardly likely.

Stormcloak 2: Just shut up and keep out of sight.

[The player kills them before they can ambush the Legate's men. Later, the
 group encounters a draugr's corpse.]

Imperial Soldier: What in the nine holds is that?

Imperial Soldier: Is this what killed that Stormcloak over there? Can't be. It
                  looks like it's been dead for a hundred years.

Rikke: Steady now. The Legion has faced down worse than a few dusty old
       bonewalkers. We're not leaving here until we get what we came for. Now
       let's keep moving.

[Further on, they find a tunnel full of reliefs and murals.]

Rikke: And this must be the Hall of Stories.

I. Soldier 1: Oh...I've heard of this. The walls are supposed to show the
              history of the ancients who built this place.

I. Soldier 2: Too bad we can't read these carvings. Who knows what secrets
              we'd uncover?

Rikke: One thing at a time¹ soldier. Focus on our primary mission. We're
       searching for the crown.

[They find dead Stormcloaks near the puzzle-locked door.]

Rikke: Looks like we weren't the first ones here, either. Even if these
       carvings tell us where the crown is, I'm sure we're going to have to
       find a way through this door. See what you can figure out¹ auxiliary,
       I'm going to check out these carvings over here. Let me know if you find

[The player finds an Ebony Claw laying near a corpse.]

Rikke: Hmm...what is that? Some kind of stone claw? I wonder what it's used

[Using the claw's clues, one removes the puzzle impediment.]

Rikke: Good job! Alright everyone! Keep your guard up. Let's move out!

[They reach a large chamber.]

Rikke: Alright legionnaires! Spread out and see what we've got. Auxiliary, do
       what you do best. See if you can find some way to get that gate open.
       This may sound obvious, but do you see a lever anywhere?

[The player finds a handle on the floor above.]

Rikke: Alright, let's move, men! We've got more...

[The gate opening summons all the draugr from their coffins.]

Rikke: Steady, legionnaires! We've been through worse. Just keep your guard up!

[Once the draugr are relaid to rest...]

Rikke: Follow me! Let's see where this leads.

[The squadron continues further into the crypt.]

Rikke: The crown should be around here somewhere. Spread out, and keep your
       eyes open.

[She notices the crown on a skeleton nearby.]

Rikke: Well, King... If you don't mind, we'll just take that crown of yours
       and be on our way.

[The undead King raises his axe.]

Rikke: Have it your way. Let's get that crown, men!

[They defeat three powerful draugr.]

Rikke: Alright, get that crown off that draugr!

[The crown's reclaimed.]

Rikke: Take that crown back to Solitude, soldier. We'll stay here and see if we
       can find anything ele that could be of use.

[The item is handed back to Tullius at Castle Dour.]

Dragonborn: Here's the Jagged Crown. Legate Rikke sent me to deliver it to you.

Tullius: Excellent work, soldier. I have to admit, I had my doubts it even
         existed. Did you run into any trouble?

         Nothing I couldn't handle.
          That's what I like to hear. I'll get the full report from Legate

         We lost a lot of good men. I hope it was worth it.
          That's not for you to decide. Soldier¹. I wouldn't have sent you in
          the first place if it wasn't going to be worth it.

         The Stormcloaks were there ahead of us.
          Yes. Well, I didn't respond as quickly to the Legate's suggestion as
          perhaps I should have. But at least we ended up with the damn crown.

         Now then... I need someone I can trust to deliver a message of great
         import to Jarl Balgruuf of Whiterun. We have it on good authority that
         Ulfric has raised enough men to attack the city of Whiterun. The Jarl,
         however, refuses the Legion's support. This missive should convince
         him. Be aware soldier, these documents contain sensitive intelligence
         for the Jarl's eyes only.

[MP03] MESSAGE TO WHITERUN |===================================================
[The player travels to Dragonsreach, the large hilltop castle overlooking the
 city of Whiterun. The Jarl, as usual, is in the throne room.]

Dragonborn: I have an important message from General Tullius.

Balgruuf: No doubt requesting to garrison his men in my castle. How many times
          must I deny him? Well? Out with it.

Dragonborn: Ulfric plans to attack Whiterun. The General wants to lend Legion

Balgruuf: • Until that dragon's dealt with, I don't care what Tullius wants.
            For now, give the papers to my steward.

          • I see... Give the papers to my steward.

Dragonborn: I was given strict instructions. For the Jarl's eyes only.

Balgruuf: Don't be daft. Proventus is my eyes. Just give me the letter. I
          presume once I have it, I can do as I please with it? Good.

          • Now, I believe you have some business to conclude with my court

          • Hmm...these are interesting reports...

[Once the nearby dragon problem is dealt with, the Jarl will look Tullius' note
 over with a bit more interest.]

Balgruuf: Proventus, what do you make of all this? If Ulfric were to attack

Proventus: As in all things, my lord, caution...I urge us to wait and see.

Irileth: Prey awaits.

Balgruuf: I am of a mind with Irileth. It's time to act.

Proventus: You plan to march on Windhelm?

Balgruuf: I'm not a fool, Proventus. I mean it's time to challenge Ulfric to
          face me as a man, or to declare his intentions.

Proventus: He'll do no such thing!

Irileth: He was rather straight forward¹ with Torygg.

Proventus: Torygg? He simply walked up to the boy and murdered him!

Irileth: That "boy" was High King of Skyrim.

Balgruuf: I'm not the High King, but neither am I a boy. If Ulfric wants to
          challenge my rule in the old way, let him. Though I suspect he'll
          prefer to send his "Stormcloaks" to do it for him.

Irileth: True. He's already proven his personal strength. Now he seeks to prove
         his army's.

Proventus: Then might I urge you to consider General Tullius's request? I mean,
           if you are bent on offending Jarl Ulfric...

Irileth: Ulfric is the one who has offended. But, Proventus has a point. Ulfric
         has made it clear. In his mind, to refuse his claim is to side with
         the Empire.

Proventus: And what harm is there in letting a few Legionnaires die in place
           of your own men?

Balgruuf: It seems cowardly.

Irileth: Was it cowardly then to accept the White-Gold Concordat?

Balgruuf: This again?! That was different. Was I given a chance to object to
          the terms of the treaty? No. The Jarls weren't asked. We were told.
          And we had to like it.

Proventus: The chests of gold didn't hurt.

Balgruuf: Dammit! This isn't about gold!

Irileth: It's time to decide.

Proventus: Lord, wait. Let us see if Ulfric is serious.

Balgruuf: Oh, he's serious. But so am I.

Irileth: Finally.

Balgruuf: • You there. I have a message for you to deliver to our friend, the
            esteemed Jarl of Windhelm. Deliver this axe to Ulfric Stormcloak.

          • I've made up my mind, even if my advisors are still squabbling. I'm
            sending you to Windhelm. Deliver this axe to Ulfric Stormcloak.

          An axe?
           How long have you been in Skyrim? Yes. Give the man my axe. If he
           returns it to you it means we have business to settle. If he keeps
           it, then we are at peace.

          And you think Ulfric will let me just walk in there, no trouble?
           True, he's a dangerous and blood thirsty¹ man, but he's also a Nord
           that honors our traditions. Keep your wits about you and you won't
           be harmed. And then get back here. Because if Ulfric isn't bluffing,
           I'll need every able body to defend Whiterun.

          Should I say anything to him?
           Men who understand one another need not waste words. There are but
           a few simple truths behind one warrior giving another his axe.
           Ulfric will know my meaning.

           Good. Good...

[The player accepts.]

Balgruuf: Proventus. Bring me my pen. And the good parchment.

Proventus: Are we writing a letter, my lord?

Balgruuf: Yes, to General Tullius. I need to make a few things clear before I
          accept these Legionnaires of his.

[One goes to Windhelm's Palace of the Kings, the seat of Ulfric's power.]

Ulfric: Yes? Make it quick, I'm a busy man.

Dragonborn: i've brought a message from the Jarl of Whiterun.

Ulfric: Is that so? I've been wondering when he'd come around. Oh. What's
        this? Ahhh... You're quite brave to carry such a message. It's a pity
        you've chosen the wrong side... You can return this axe to the man who
        sent it. And tell him he should prepare to entertain...visitors. I
        expect a great deal of excitement in the city of Whiterun in the near

        You've killed the High King. Why make war on your own people?
         I have shown the people that when our Jarls drink the Empire's milk,
         it makes us weak. I must now show them the path that will lead us back
         to our strength. There is no progress without sacrifice. No wheat
         without threshing the chaff. The Empire and the Jarls who back them
         must be swept away. The people demand it. I demand it.

        You will be stopped.
         Oh? True, I may meet my end in a dark alley with a dagger in my back.
         But the people have seen the truth, and they will not back down.

        We'll be seeing you soon.
         Sooner than you think.

[The message delivered, it's time to report to Balgruuf. Him, Irileth and the
 Imperial Legate are pouring over strategy as a guard arrives.]

Imperial Guard: Sir! I...I have...

Legate Quentin Cipius: Take a moment to breathe, soldier.

Imperial Soldier: But...sir...

Cipius: Breathe!

Balgruuf: The outer walls are strong. If we can hold them there...

Cipius: They have catapults.

Balgruuf: Damnit. Where did they get catapults? The city walls are already
          falling apart as it is.

Cipius: My scouts tell me they're loading them with fire.

Balgruuf: So, he wants to take my city, walls intact.

Cipius: The men will be fighting in flames. 

Balgruuf: My men are fearless. It's the Imperial milk drinkers I'm worried

Cipius: If you prefer I took my men and left...

Balgruuf: No. Of course not. Just -- don't let me down¹ Cipius. We'll need to
          set up water brigades to combat the flames.

Cipius: Already taken care of.

Balgruuf: You Imperials are efficient, I'll give you that. How long until they

Imperial Soldier: Sir.

Cipius: Not long. They're hiding in the country side¹.

Balgruuf: Damnit. What's he waiting for?

Imperial Soldier: Sir!

Cipius: What?!

Imperial Soldier: Sir, they're on the move. They'll be at the gates at any

Cipius: Why didn't you say so immediately?!

Imperial Soldier: Sir, I tried.

Balgruuf: This is it! Time to see what these Stormcloaks are made of.

Cipius: The men are already gathering at the gates. Move it¹ soldier. Spread
        the word. Go. Go. Go.

Balgruuf: Oblivion take them. Every miserable last one of them.

[Balgruuf notices the player's returned.]

Balgruuf: You've returned with my axe. I knew that would be his response. As
          soon as you left, I sent word to General Tullius, who's been kind
          enough to lend us some of his troops and Legate Cipius here. Let
          Ulfric try to make it past our combined forces. I'll turn you back
          over to your Legion. Legate Cipius will have use for you. Gods be
          with us all.

          Why side with the Empire?
           Mutual advantage! Any fool can see that. For centuries, we have
           benefited from the Empire's protection, and prosperous trade with
           the south. In exchange, the people of Cyrodiil sleep peacefully,
           knowing their northern borders are guarded by the fiercest warriors
           in all Tamriel.

[One seeks out the legate.]

Cipius: The Stormcloaks are here. In force. Get down to the front line. This is
        it. We must hold the city. Now move it!

[MP04] BATTLE FOR WHITERUN |===================================================

[As catapult projectiles start bombarding the city, the player reaches the
 front gate, just as Whiterun troops start showing their ugly mugs.]

Rikke: This is it men! This is an important day for the Empire and for the
       Legion. And for all of Skyrim. This is the day we send a message to
       Ulfric Stormcloak and the rebel Jarls who support him. But make no
       mistake. What we do here today, we do for Skyrim and her people. By
       cutting out the disease of this rebellion, we will make this country
       whole again! Ready now! Everyone, with me! For the Empire! For the

Whiterun Guard: Rrraaaaaggghhhh!

Whiterun Guard: Rrraaaaa!

[The squadron prepares to make a stand at the front and only entrance to the

Hadvar: You made it? I was sure I'd find you face down in the dirt.

[After a successful rebuff, which decimates Ulfric's boys, the Jarl himself
 goes down to the battle site to congratulate everyone.]

Balgruuf: Revel in your victory here today, even as the gods revel in your
          honor! They already sing of your valor and skill! The halls of
          Sovngarde are no doubt ringing with your praises! In defeating those
          Stormcloak traitors, you have proven the hollowness of their cause
          and the fullness of your hearts. The citizens of Whiterun are forever
          in your debt! But Ulfric will not stop here. No, he will continue to
          strike out against any true Nord who remains faithful to the Empire.
          He will continue to sow discord and chaos wherever he can. And so,
          we must each one of us, continue to fight this insurrection, lest our
          fallen brothers have died for naught! Lest our honor be lessened
          should we allow these bloodthirsty beasts to prowl our lands! Carry
          on men, my gratitude and blessings go with you! For Whiterun! For
          the Empire!

[The soldiers whoop and holler at the praise before dashing back into town.]

Balgruuf: Thank you for your role in all of this. It would be my honor should
          you decide to make Whiterun your home. Speak with Proventus. He'll
          make the necessary arrangements.

[MP05] REUNIFICATION OF SKYRIM |===============================================
[Following the success at Whiterun, one reports back to the general.]

Tullius: By defeating Ulfric at Whiterun we have solidified the allegiance of
         the Jarl. Perhaps the Stormcloaks will soon lose heart for this little
         rebellion of theirs once and for all. I'm promoting you to Quaestor.
         Take this blade, a symbol of your new station and responsibility. I'll
         keep an eye on your progress. The Empire rewards excellence, and so do

Dragonborn: What are my new orders, sir?

Tullius: You'd be wasted as a regular soldier. I have special plans for you.
         You'll be of greater use to me with greater flexibility. Make your way
         to our hidden military camp in the Pale. Rikke will have important
         tasks for you, and will need you when we reclaim the capital.

         What exactly will I be doing in the field?
          You'll be doing whatever Rikke tells you to do. And, I expect you to
          find creative ways to disrupt the Stormcloaks along the way.

         Yes sir.
          • For the Emperor!
          • Gods be with you.

[MP06] REUNIFICATION OF SKYRIM: A FALSE FRONT |================================
[The player finds the target destination in the snowy northern wilds, finding
 the Imperial bivouac.]

Dragonborn: Reporting for duty.

Rikke: I need you to deliver some false orders to the Stormcloak commander in
       Dawnstar. But first we need to get our hands on some rebel orders to
       make the forgeries. The Nightgate and Candlehearth Inns are frequent
       stops for Stormcloak runners. See if you can't "convince" one of those
       innkeepers to help you. One way or another, get me those documents. But
       don't do anything rash if you go to Windhelm. Well, soldier? Can you do

       I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
        Don't take too long figuring it out. I've got a war to run here.

       Consider it done.
        • Good luck out there.
        • Good. Make it happen, soldier.

[If one goes to the Nightgate Inn, info is squeezed from the innkeep. Note
 that the proprietor of the Candlehearth, Elda Early-Dawn, has the exact same
 responses and dialogue here.]

Hadring: Ah, hello there, traveler. Come to the Nightgate for food or lodging?

Dragonborn: Seen any Stormcloak couriers lately?

Hadring: I tend to keep my patrons' privacy.

         His life is in danger. (Persuade)
          • It is? Well that's different.
          • Yeah, sure it is. You don't fool me.

         Maybe some gold will help (### gold)
          • Well, if you insist...
          • Seems your purse is lighter than you thought.

         I don't have time for this. I can get rough with you if I have to.
         (Intimidate) |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
          Now, now! That won't be necessary.

         Never mind.

         He was here, but he left. If you leave now, you can probably catch
         him. Or, you can just wait here. He'll be back soon enough.

[The player tracks down the Stormcloak Courier.]

Courier: No time to talk. Out of my way.

         I'm not here to talk. I'm here for those documents.
          We'll see about that.

         Never mind.

[With the documents reclaimed, it's back to Rikke.]

Rikke: Very good... Let's see what you have here. Interesting... They know more
       of our plans than I expected... It would seem Fort Dunstad is in need
       of reinforcements... We'll make sure they won't be getting those... One
       moment while I "correct" some of these documents... That should do it.
       Make sure those forged documents get to the Stormcloak commander in
       Dawnstar. It'll throw him off our trail, allowing us to maneuver more

       Remind me -- what am I supposed to do?
        (repeats "Make sure those...")

[The player visits Cmdr. Frorkmar Banner-Torn at the barracks.]

Dragonborn: I have some important documents for you, sir.

Frorkmar: • Is that so? I don't recognize you. Why aren't you wearing your
            Stormcloak colors?

            Dragonborn: Ditched it for this. Easier to sneak past the enemy.

            I suppose it would be. Good thinking.

          All right. Let's take a look... Ah, good. Looks like the
          reinforcements for the fort are on their way. And we have some
          information about enemy troop movements as well. Excellent. It's not
          easy running messages, what with Imperial scouts crawling over the
          place. Well done. Why don't you grab yourself a drink at the Windpeak
          before heading back?

[One returns to Legate Rikke afterwards.]

Rikke: Good job! I knew I gave the mission to the right person.

Dragonborn: Reporting for duty.

Rikke: Your objective is Fort Dunstad. Meet the soldiers preparing for the
       attack. Then join them in wiping out the rebels. Once you prevail we
       will garrison the fort. Well, soldier? Are you up to the task?

       I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
        Don't take too long figuring it out. I've got a war to run here.

       That fort is as good as ours.
        I knew I could count on you, soldier.

[One goes to meet the small band of raiders outside the fort. Together, they
 and other guerilla groups attack en masse, overwhelming the Stormcloaks and
 stealing the fort. With good tidings, it's time to report to the general.]

Tullius: Taking the Pale gives us another port in Dawnstar, and puts us within
         striking distance of Windhelm. That should make Ulfric a bit more
         cautious, eh? Battles are won by trained and disciplined men. Wars
         are won by talented and exceptional individuals. I'm raising you to
         Praefect. Take this blade, as a gift and symbol of your new rank.
         You've earned it.

Dragonborn: What are my new orders, sir?

Tullius: Make your way to our camp in the Rift. We have a few surprises for
         the Stormcloaks lined up.

         What exactly will I be doing in the field?
          You'll be doing whatever Rikke tells you to do. And, I expect you to
          find creative ways to disrupt the Stormcloaks along the way.

         Yes sir.
          For the Empire!
[The player next reaches the camp, south of Ivarstead and the Throat of the
 World. Rikke has once again spearheaded the operation here.]

Dragonborn: Reporting for duty.

Rikke: You're going to Riften. My spies report the Jarl's steward, Anuriel, has
       arrangements with the Thieves Guild that would be rather embarrassing if
       made public. I need you to find evidence of her corrupt activities, and
       use it to gain a measure of her "cooperation." This will require stealth
       and discretion. The Jarl's guards won't take kindly to anyone rummaging
       through her Steward's private quarters.

       I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
        Don't take too long figuring it out. I've got a war to run here.

       I'll get proof...and Anuriel's cooperation.
        Good. I can always count on you, can't I?

[One visits Riften's Mistveil Keep and finds an incriminating letter in the
 steward's bureau. Then it's time to threaten her.]

Dragonborn: Recognize this? (Show her incriminating letter)

Anuriel: Not here. Come with me. Stay close and the guards will leave you

[She leads the player to her chambers.]

Anuriel: I suppose you're here to extort something from me? Is that it? Well,
         what is it you want?

         You rebels are doing a fine job destroying yourselves. Soldiers
         running errands? |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
          So. You're an Imperial spy... Interesting... I have no strong love
          for the Stormcloaks but I can't say I'm all that fond of the Empire,
          either. This war of yours makes it different for a resourceful woman
          to advance her interests. Perhaps we can find a way for both of us
          to prosper from this unfortunate discovery?

         What if this letter were made public?
          It would ruin me. I have a good thing going here. The Jarl benefits
          from my more creative arrangements as well, though it'd be impossible
          for her to admit that. Laila is a simple and traditional woman. Which
          makes it easy to manipulate her, but impossible to regain her graces
          once offended. Look. Perhaps we could come to some kind of

Dragonborn: What kind of agreement did you have in mind?

Anuriel: What if I told you about a large shipment of gold and weapons?

          Go on. I'm listening.
           Oh, no. I'm no fool. You'll learn what you need to know once we've
           come to an agreement.

           And what about something for me, right now? (Persuade)
            Well I...I suppose I'm not left much choice in the matter, am I?
            Very well. I trust a hefty purse of septims will suffice?

          How much are we talking about?
           Enough to make a significant difference in the war.

          All right, it's a deal. Where can I find this shipment?
           They're taking it by wagon to Windhelm. If you hurry, you'll catch
           them before they get far. It'll be a fairly slow moving¹ caravan.
           The shipment is quite heavy, and guarded by many men.

          Now, let's pretend we never had this discussion.

[The player delivers the news to the legate.]

Rikke: Something to report?

Dragonborn: Anuriel says there's a shipment of coin traveling to Windhelm...

Rikke: Excellent work. I knew you'd bring back something useful. It just so
       happens, I've got some scouts along the road. Meet up with them, and
       together see if you can't overpower the caravan.

[The troops are near Shor's Watchtower. Hadvar is helping them.]

Hadvar: I remember you...you were with us at Helgen, and Whiterun. Glad to have
        you with us. How are you?

        I'm all right, I guess. How are you?
         Good to hear.

        I've been better. And you?
         These are dark days. But at least we know we're doing our part to
         make things better, eh? I guess I'm doing all right.

        I need this to go well. This is my first real command since they
        promoted me after Whiterun. You know, some nights when I close my eyes,
        I see the battle stretched out before me, like I'm still there... Do
        the men you've killed haunt you? Mine do...

         Only a beast kills without feeling.
          I suppose you're right...they say it gets easier... I'm not sure if
          that's a good thing...

         If you hadn't killed them, they would have killed you.
          That's what I keep telling myself.

         But, never mind all that. What brings you out this way?

        There's an enemy wagon loaded with coin and weapons. We need to capture
        it. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
         Really? It just so happens we've been tracking a wagon! For about a
         day now. So that's what's in there? Coins and weapons? How do you know

         I blackmailed Anuriel for the information.
          That was crafty. I'm sure having a steward in the pocket will come
          in handy. Lucky for us, that wagon recently had a little accident.

         It doesn't matter.
          Oh, fine. Keep your secrets. I see how it is. That wagon recently
          had a little accident.

         They're stranded now. Just up the road! We're outnumbered, but I have
         a plan. You got here just in time.

Dragonborn: What's the plan?

Hadvar: First, we're going to take out their sentry, then we'll situate
        ourselves overlooking their camp. Next, you'll infiltrate their
        position and get their attention while we hit them with a barrage of
        arrows. With a bit of luck, we'll catch them completely off guard and
        even the odds a little.

        I have a better plan. You wait here, and I'll take care of it.
         All right, if you insist. But we'll come running if it sounds like
         things have gotten out of hand.

        Let's wait a little longer.
         Let me know when you're ready.

        Ready. Let's go.

[If they agree to fight as a team...]

Hadvar: There's a sentry patrolling the hill. We'll go in quiet and drop him
        a combined arrow barrage. Keep low, fire on my word. Fire!

[The player kills the sentry quietly.]

Hadvar: All right. You infiltrate their camp, we'll cover you from the ridge.

[Either way, after slaying the Stormcloaks:]

Hadvar: We make quite a team, eh? I'll stay here and guard the shipment. You
        get back to camp with news. Have them send some men -- with a new
        wagon. This one isn't going anywhere.

[One goes back to Rikke.]

Rikke: Good work. I'll send some men with a wagon to collect the prize. We
       can use the weapons here, and I'll pass on the coin to Solitude.

Dragonborn: Reporting for duty.

Rikke: Your objective is Fort Greenwall. Meet the soldiers preparing for the
       attack. Then join them in wiping out the rebels. Once you prevail we
       will garrison the fort. Well, soldier? Are you up to the task?

       I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
        Don't take too long figuring it out. I've got a war to run here.

       That fort is as good as ours.
        I knew I could count on you, soldier.

[As before, one goes visits the fort and slays its Stormcloak inhabitants. As
 they lie bleeding, it's time to revisit the general for due accolades.]

Tullius: Taking control of the Rift was a great victory. Ulfric must be rather
         nervous with us so close to his door step¹.

Dragonborn: What are my new orders, sir?

Tullius: You're needed in Winterhold. Report to our hidden camp there.

         What exactly will I be doing in the field?
          You'll be doing whatever Rikke tells you to do. And, I expect you to
          find creative ways to disrupt the Stormcloaks along the way.

         Yes sir.
          • Gods be with you.
          • For the Empire!

[The player can inquire about the hostilies' state.]

Dragonborn: How goes the war?

Tullius: There's not much up there, but if we can regain Winterhold, our
         proximity to Windhelm should keep Ulfric wary and wasting troops
         garrisoned at home. By holding onto Falkreath, we control access to
         the Reach, Whiterun, and the Rift. Ulfric will try for it soon. We'll
         be there to stop him.

Dragonborn: What will it take to end the war?

Tullius: Ulfric Stormcloak's head rolling away from his lifeless body.
[As usual, one meets Rikke at the designated camp.]

Dragonborn: Reporting for duty.

Rikke: Your objective is Fort Kastav. The rebels are keeping some of our men
       prisoner there. I aim to turn that into an advantage. I've sent men to
       scout the area. You are to meet them, find a way to slip in, free our
       men, and take over the fort. They won't be expecting an attack from the
       inside. This won't be easy, but that's why I'm sending you. Think you
       can handle it?

       I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
        Don't take too long figuring it out. I've got a war to run here.

       That fort is as good as ours.
        • I knew I could count on you, soldier.
        • Show the rebels the futility of their cause.

[Upon arrival, the player finds the scouting party is lead by Hadvar.]

Hadvar: Hey there! Can you believe this place? So cold my breath turns to
        icicles! What are we even doing up here? Guess Tullius wants to make
        sure everything's locked down before launching a serious campaign for
        Eastmarch. Anyway, I'm glad you're here. We're outnumbered again, more
        so than when we took that wagon. But if we work together, we can pull
        this off.

Dragonborn: What's the plan?

Hadvar: There's a grate outside the wall. Looks like it used to be buried in
        snow. I don't think they know it's there. From the look of it, I'd bet
        it leads straight into the prison. I need you to sneak in there, and
        free our men, killing anyone inside as you go. Once you've rescued the
        prisoners, head out to the courtyard. We'll stand guard out here and
        rush in as soon as we hear fighting.

        I'm on it.
         Talos preserve you.

        I'm not much for sneaking.
         I have faith in you. But, if you find more trouble than you can
         handle, run out to the courtyard. We'll come as soon as we hear

[The player finds the grate, infiltrating the prison as expected. No guards
 are around, but the prisoners are all up and at 'em.]

Imperial Soldier: Hey!

Imperial Soldier: Hurry!

[The player frees them and they reclaim their confiscated gear, killing any
 Stormcloaks en route to the courtyard. The rest soon fall as well.]

Hadvar: Great work! Get back and report our success. I'll stay here and clean
        up the mess. Glad you were here. Couldn't have done it without you!

[One reports back to Solitude.]

Tullius: Now that we have Winterhold, I can garrison some troops there until
         I'm ready to march on Windhelm. I have come to rely heavily on you.
         It is only fitting that you join the upper eschelon. I am hereby
         elevating you to the rank of Legate. On behalf of the Empire, and
         myself, please accept this gift along with your new rank. 

Dragonborn: What's next?

Tullius: You've little time to glory in your accomplishments. We're gathering
         for our final assault on Windhelm. Report to our camp in Eastmarch.

[Rikke is found in the mountainside camp near Mzulft.]

Dragonborn: Reporting for duty.

Rikke: Your objective is the enemy held¹ fort. Meet the soldiers preparing for
       the attack. Then join them in wiping out the rebels. Once you prevail
       we will garrison the fort. Well, soldier? Are you up to the task?

       I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
        Don't take too long figuring it out. I've got a war to run here.

       That fort is as good as ours.
        I knew I could count on you, soldier.
[The player visits Fort Amol, a riverside holding in the Eastmarch hills. The
 orchestrated assault works perfectly, as usual. One reports back to Rikke.]

Rikke: Good job! I knew I gave the mission to the right person.

Dragonborn: Reporting in.

Rikke: We're taking the city. Meet the soldiers gathering for the attack. Move

[The player meets the men and Tullius at Windhelm's bridge entrance. He takes
 no time in rousing his men to glory.]

Tullius: All right! It's time to deliver the final blow to the Stormcloak
         rebellion! You have all fought bravely, and sacrificed much to bring
         us to this point. Ulfric thinks he can hide behind the walls of his
         castle. But we will fight our way in and drag him out through the
         rubble to face justice. Because this is the end for them, the
         Stormcloaks will fight like cornered rats. They will be fierce and
         crafty. But they are no match for Legionnaires. You are the best and
         the brightest warriors in Tamriel. Professional soldiers, fearless and
         devastating. The Emperor will be paying close attention to what
         happens here today. Men who distinguish themelves will be well
         rewarded. Ready now! Everyone, with me! For the Empire! For the
         Legion! Rrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!

[With the attack orders given, the stone town of Windhelm quickly becomes a
 bloodbath, everyone trading blows in the bonfires and rubble. Eventually, the
 herds are thinned and the Imperials fight to the Palace of the Kings. Ulfric
 sits leisurely at his throne. Tullius and Rikke follow the player.]

Tullius: Secure the door.

Rikke: Already done, sir.

Tullius: Ulfric Stormcloak! You are guilty of insurrection, murder of Imperial
         citizens, the assassination of King Torygg, and high treason against
         the Empire. It's over.

Galmar: Not while I'm still standing, it's not.

Rikke: Step aside, Galmar. We're here to accept Ulfric's surrender.

Ulfric: I'll never surrender Skyrim to the hands of a corrupt and dying Empire.

Rikke: Skyrim doesn't belong to you, Ulfric.

Ulfric: No... But I belong to her.

Tullius: Enough! You are traitors and will die traitors' deaths. Stand down and
         face public execution, or advance and face summary execution by my
         hands. It matters little to me. Either way I'll be sending your heads
         back to Cyrodiil.

Galmar: Well? What are we waiting for?

[They brandish their weapons, starting the final battle.]

Tullius: Die villain!

Ulfric: Talos smite you!

[Galmar is slain, and Ulfric terribly wounded.]

Tullius: Well Ulfric, you can't escape from me this time. Any last requests
         before I send you to...to wherever you people go when you die.

Rikke: Sovngarde...sir.

Tullius: Right. Well?

Ulfric: Let the Dragonborn be the one to do it. It'll make for a better song.

Tullius: Song or not, I just want it done.

         I've had my fair share of killing today.
          Well, I'm not quite done myself.

         I won't give him the satisfaction.
          Fine by me.

         I'll gladly kill him.
          Here, use my sword to do it. I made sure to sharpen it for the

[Ulfric's death sentence is carried out by the player or Tullius.]

Ulfric: Aggh..¹

Rikke: Talos be with you...

Tullius: What was that, Legate?

Rikke: Nothing. Just saying goodbye.

Tullius: Well, the men will be expecting some kind of speech. And we'll need
         to hand the city over to that Free-Winter fellow.

Rikke: Brunwulf. Yes, I've sent men to protect him and bring him here. Windhelm
       will need a government quickly if we are to prevent more violence.

Tullius: The Legion will be staying here for quite some time. I don't expect
         there to be any further violence.

[He turns to the player.]

Tullius: Oh, and Legate. It's been an honor to have you at my side. As a token
         of my appreciation, I want you to keep my sword. And now, to deliver
         a speech.

[Everyone goes outside to the waiting Imperial throng.]

Tullius: His head will be sent to Cyrodiil where it will adorn a spike on the
         walls of the Imperial City. Let this day be a final warning to all
         who would still call themselves Stormcloaks. We are turning the city
         over to Brunwulf Free-Winter, an honorable and faithful man. Many of
         you will be staying in Windhelm to aid the Jarl in restoring order
         and stamping out any embers of rebellion that may still smolder here.
         In appreciation for your exemplary service, I am doubling your pay and
         compensation to the widows of your fallen comrades.

Imperial Soldiers: Rrrraaaaaaggghhh!

Tullius: I am proud of all of you. All hail the Emperor! All hail his

Imperial Soldiers: Rrrraaaaaaggghhh!

Tullius: I hate giving speeches.

Rikke: It wasn't so bad.

Tullius: I hope we haven't just created a martyr.

Rikke: There's bound to be resistance. There are many Stormcloak camps tucked
       away in the hills. They'll no doubt strike whenever and wherever they
       can. But without Ulfric to inflame their passions, they'll settle down
       and return to their homes eventually.

Tullius: I pray you're right, Legate. In the meantime, we'll continue to root
         them out and put them to the sword.

[He turns to the player.]

Tullius: We couldn't have done this without you. The Empire glories in your
         accomplishments... Come, Rikke. There's still much to be done.

[Tullius can be asked about the aftermath.]

Dragonborn: Now that Ulfric is dead, will there be peace?

Tullius: The fiercest of the remaining rebels will continue to harass us, but
         by in¹ large, the people here desire peace. What I'm not so sure about
         is the peace we've made with the Thalmor. But we'll kee that between
         the two of us, alright?

Dragonborn: Will you return to Cyrodiil now?

Tullius: No, I suspect Skyrim to be my home for many years. Can't say I'll ever
         get used to the damn cold, or understand these Nords...but, I've come
         to respect them. The harshness of Skyrim has a way of carving a man
         down to his true self.

Dragonborn: Is there anything further I can do for the Legion?

Tullius: Ulfric is dead and his army destroyed. There's not much more I could
         ask of you. The gods, however, I suspect, may have plans for you
         elsewhere. That said, Stormcloak true believers are still operating
         out of hidden military camps in the hills. If you encounter any on
         you¹ travels, kill them. With luck, they'll soon lose heart and return
         to their homes and families. If not, we'll be forced to put them all
         to the sword.

[Rikke can be asked about the aftermath.]

Dragonborn: Now that Ulfric is dead, will there be peace?

Rikke: There are those who still call themselves Stormcloaks, who continue to
       fight us, and bring misery to the people...but they are few in number.
       The ordinary citizen will be happy to get back to life as normal, to
       have their families return home. And they should enjoy it while they
       can...I suspect all of Tamriel will againb e called to arms in the not
       too distant future.

Dragonborn: What's next for the accomplished Legate Rikke?

Rikke: The General's put me in charge of assisting the new governments. I may
       understand things here in Skyrim better than the General, but I'm a
       soldier at heart, not a politician. But I'll do my best. This is the
       land of my birth, the land that shaped me. I'm proud to have any part
       in making it strong again.

Dragonborn: Is there anything further I can do for the Legion?

Rikke: The Legion's work is far from finished, but you are free to roam. I
       suspect you'll be of greater good to Skyrim out there, in the world.
       If while you're out there, you stumble into any Stormcloak military
       camps, I expect you to destroy them. I've reports they are hiding in the

STORMCLOAKS                                                              [STRM]

 01) Joining the Stormcloaks ........................................... ST01
 02) The Jagged Crown .................................................. ST02
 03) Message to Whiterun ............................................... ST03
 04) Battle for Whiterun ............................................... ST04
 05) Liberation of Skyrim .............................................. ST05
      - Rescue from Fort Neugrad ....................................... ST06
      - Compelling Tribute ............................................. ST07
      - The Battle for Fort Sungard .................................... ST08
      - A False Front .................................................. ST09
      - The Battle for Fort Snowhawk ................................... ST10
      - The Battle for Fort Dunstad .................................... ST11
      - The Battle for Fort Hraggstad .................................. ST12
      - Battle for Solitude ............................................ ST13
[ST01] JOINING THE STORMCLOAKS |===============================================
[Like the Imperial side, one overhears talk of joining the Stormcloaks, based
 out of Windhelm. If it catches one's fancy, a visit to the Palace of the Kings
 is necessary to get the ball rolling. There, Ulfric and his housecarl, Galmar
 Stone-Fist, will be talking.]

Galmar: If he's not with us, he's against us.

Ulfric: He knows that. They all know that.

Galmar: How long are you going to wait?

Ulfric: You think I need to send Balgruuf a stronger message.

Galmar: If by message you mean shoving a sword through his gullet.

Ulfric: Taking his city and leaving him in disgrace would make a more powerful
        statement, don't you think?

Galmar: So we're ready to start this war in earnest then?

Ulfric: Soon.

Galmar: I still say you should take them all out like you did Deadking Torygg.

Ulfric: Torygg was merely a message to the other Jarls. Whoever we replace them
        with will need the support of our armies.

Galmar: We're ready when you are.

Ulfric: Things hinge on Whiterun. If we can take the city without bloodshed¹
        all the better. But if not...

Galmar: The people are behind you.

Ulfric: Many I fear still need convincing.

Galmar: Then let them die with their false kings.

Ulfric: We've been soldiers a long time. We know the price of freedom. The
        people are still weighing things in their hearts.

Galmar: What's left of Skyrim to wager? 

Ulfric: They have families to think of.

Galmar: How many of their sons and daughters follow your banner? We are their

Ulfric: Well put, friend. Tell me, Galmar, why do you fight for me?

Galmar: I'd follow you into the depths of Oblivion, you know that.

Ulfric: Yes, but why do you fight? If not for me, what then?

Galmar: I'll die before elves dictate the fates of men. Are we not one in this?

Ulfric: I fight for the men I've held in my arms, dying on foreign soil. I
        fight for their wives and children, who's¹ names I heard whispered in
        their last breaths. I fight for we few who did come home, only to find
        our country full of strangers wearing familiar faces. I fight for my
        people impoverished to pay the debts of an Empire too weak to rule
        them, yet brands them criminals for wanting to rule themselves! I fight
        so that all the fighting I've already done hasn't been for nothing. I
        fight...because I must.

Galmar: Your words give voice to what we all feel, Ulfric. And that's why you
        will be High King. But the day words are enough, will be the day
        soldiers like us are no longer needed.

Ulfric: I would gladly retire from the world were such a day to dawn.

Galmar: Aye. But in the meantime, we have a war to plan.

[The player walks over.]

Ulfric: Only the foolish or the courageous approach the Jarl without summons...
        Do I know you?

        I believe we've already met.
         Is that so...? Ah yes, you were with us at Helgen.

        I was at Helgen.
         Ahhh. Yes...

        Destined for the chopping block if I'm not mistaken.

        I helped Ralof escape. He said he'd vouch for me.
         Ralof's alive? I hope that's true. He's a damn good man. But he hasn't
         returned yet, so I'll need to wait for his account. For now, speak
         with Galmar.

        I was set free. I could've gone anywhere. I came here to fight the
        Empire. |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
         A fair point... Well, you've come to the right place, then. Speak
         with Galmar.

        I'm always looking for able fighters. Not everyone can say they made it
        out of Helgen. Seems we're all branded villains these days... So long
        as your criminal past stays in the past, and you fight for me with
        honor and integrity, we'll welcome you into our ranks.

[If one is far enough in the main quest, Ulfric may instead say this, before
 giving the usual chatty options:]

Ulfric: I remember you... You were at Helgen with us! Come to join the war?
        Speak with Galmar. He handles the new recruits.

        Yes, sir.

        That's not why I'm here.
         I'm sorry to hear that. If you change your mind, speak with Galmar.
         What does bring you to me?

[One finds Galmar nearby.]

Galmar: Hmm. Helgen, eh? Ulfric told us quite the story. If you made it through
        that, you're likely worth something to me. But first, tell me. Why's a
        foreigner want to fight or Skyrim?

        Skyrim is my home.
         Fair enough. But are you willing to die for your home?

        I want to fight the Empire. I'll bleed for the chance to do so.
         Can't fault anyone for that! As long as you hate the Empire as much
         as I do, that I can work with.

Dragonborn: That's why I'm here. I want to join.

Galmar: All right. But before I can put you to use, I need to know how much
        you can take. I have a little test for you.

        I can handle anything you throw at me.
         That's what I like to hear. So long as you can back up those words
         with steel.

        What kind of test?
         The kind men use to measure themselves.

        I'm sending you to Serpentstone Island. If you survive, you pass. If
        you die, well, you weren't going to be much use to me anyway.

Dragonborn: What's at Serpentstone Island?

Galmar: It's where men have tested their mettle for ages. There's a strange
        rock formation there, built by the ancients. Something about that
        place attracts the Ice Wraiths. You kill an Ice Wraith out there, and
        I'll have the proof I need about you.

        Does every recruit have to do this?
         Only the ones I'm not sure about. This will prove your abilities, but
         more importantly, it will prove your commitment.

        I'm going alone?
         • Not so sure of yourself after all?

         At the end of the day, every warrior is alone. Before you can stand
         next to your shield brother, you need to be able to stand on your own.

        I'm not sure about this.
         When you kill that Ice Wraith, then we'll talk about you becoming a

        I'm off to kill that Ice Wraith. I'll be back soon.
         We'll see about that, won't we?

[The glacial island is found off the northeast coast of Skyrim. Sure enough,
 ice wraiths spawn there. One returns to Galmar after slaying the beastie.
 Him and the Jarl are discussing another matter fervently.]

Ulfric: Tell me again why we're wasting time and resources chasing a legend. We
        don't even know it exists!

Galmar: The Jarls are upset. They don't all support you.

Ulfric: Damn the Jarls.

Galmar: They demand the Moot.

Ulfric: And damn the Moot! We should risk letting those milkdrinkers put
        Torygg's woman on the throne? She'll hand Skyrim over to the elves on
        a silver plate.

Galmar: All the more reason then. The crown would legitimize your claim.

Ulfric: A crown doesn't make a king.

Galmar: No, but this one...

Ulfric: If it even exists.

Galmar: It exists. And it'll be the symbol of the righteousness of our cause.
        Think about it. The Jagged Crown! It heralds back to a time before
        jarls and moots. Back to a time when a king was a king because his
        enemies fell before him, and his people rose because they loved him.
        Skyrim needs that king. You will be that king, Ulfric. You must be.

Ulfric: You're certain you've found it?

Galmar: When have I ever been false with you?

Ulfric: Fine. I'll send the Unblooded here with you. Fancy a crawl through a
        moldering dungeon to see if you can't stir up Galmar's Jagged Crown?

Galmar: It'll be there. You'll see.

[They finish talking. Galmar walks over.]

Galmar: You're alive. I owe Ulfric a drink. I have to admit, I didn't think
        we'd be seeing you again. I misjudged you. You're definitely Stormcloak
        material. It's time we made this official. You ready to take the Oath?

        Are you saying you sent me out there to die?
         Not at all. That was as much a test of your abilities as it was your
         resolve. I wasn't sure your heart was in it. But you've proven me
         wrong. And I respect that. Now, if were¹ done being sentimental, it's
         time for you to take the Oath.

         Before you're one of us, you must swear fealty to Jarl Ulfric
         Stormcloak, future High King of Skyrim. You must also pledge
         unswerving loyalty to your fellow Stormcloaks, to Skyrim and to her

        Isn't it enough that I want to fight Imperials?
         You can stick a sword through an Imperial any day you want. But that
         doesn't make you a Stormcloak. We're not just fighting Imperials.
         We're fighting to restore Skyrim to her glory and give her the king
         she deserves.

        I need to think it over.
         Don't take too long figuring it out. Might mistake your hesitation
         for Imperial sympathies. Come back when you're committed to the cause,
         or go join the Legion. They're taking anyone with a pulse these days.

        I'm ready to take the Oath.
         That's the spirit.

[The player agrees to take the oath.]

Galmar: By swearing this oath, you become one of us. A hero of the people. A
        true son of Skyrim. A Stormcloak. Repeat after me. "I do swear my
        blood and honor to the service of Ulfric Stormcloak..."

Dragonborn: "I do swear my blood and honor to the service of Ulfric

Galmar: "...Jarl of Windhelm and true High King of Skyrim."

Dragonborn: "...Jarl of Windhelm and true High King of Skyrim."

Galmar: "As Talos is my witness, may this oath bind me to death and beyond..."

Dragonborn: "As Talos is my witness, may this oath bind me to death and

Galmar: "...even to my lord as to my fellow brothers and sisters in arms."

Dragonborn: "...even to my lord as to my fellow brothers and sisters in arms."

Galmar: "All hail the Stormcloaks, the true sons and daughters of Skyrim!"

Dragonborn: "All hail the Stormcloaks, the true sons and daughters of Skyrim!"

Galmar: Now you're one of us. Which means you get to tag along on a little trip
        with me. Oh, and here. You're a Stormcloak now, you ought to look the

[ST02] THE JAGGED CROWN |======================================================

Dragonborn: What's the mission?

Galmar: I have found the final resting place of the Jagged Crown. Can you
        believe it? Well, I'm almost certain. We're headed to Korvanjund. But,
        if old King Borgas is indeed buried there, we're bound to run into
        trouble of some kind. Your fellow Stormcloaks are already assembling
        outside the tomb. I'll meet you there as soon as I'm finished up here.
        Don't wait around for me. I bet I'll beat you to Korvanjund even though
        you start first.

[The player can inquire further.]

Dragonborn: What's the Jagged Crown?

Galmar: Have you not heard that ancient verse? "Maw unleashing razor snow, Of
        dragons from the blue brought down, Births the walking winter's woe,
        The High King in his Jagged Crown." Going way back to King Harald's
        time or even before, the High King always wore the Jagged Crown. It
        was the symbol of his might and power. The crown is made from the
        bones and teeth of ancient dragons, and it is said to contain a portion
        of the power of every king who has worn it. True or not, who would dare
        deny Ulfric's claim, when the legendary Jagged Crown sits upon his

Dragonborn: How do you know the crown is in Korvanjund?

Galmar: It's true, the location of the crown was lost with King Borgas. After
        the Great Hunt killed him, while he was off on his damned Alessian
        campaigns. But legend holds, his body was secretly returned to Skyrim
        and buried with the crown. Its exact whereabouts lost in the following
        Wars of Succession. Through sources that shall remain nameless, I've
        tracked down what I believe to be the final resting place of King
        Borgas -- Korvanjund. If the crown exists, it will be there.

Dragonborn: You anticipate danger?

Galmar: Aye. The Great Hunt killed old King Borgas. Gods only know with what
        profane arts those elves cursed his remains. Curses nonwithstanding,
        the tombs of kings are always full of traps to ward off grave robbers,
        are they not? But nothing a band of Stormcloaks can't handle, I assure

[They arrive at the snowy tomb, about halfway between Whiterun and Windhelm.
 Galmar and his troops are waiting nearby. Ralof, met during the game's first
 chapter, will run over at this point.]

Ralof: Ha, I knew you'd join up! Great news. We'll take back Skyrim together,
       eh? I'm glad I'll have you beside me in there. This place chills my
       blood, and I don't care who knows it.

Dragonborn: What are you talking about?

Ralof: These old ruins... My father always told me to stay away from them. Good
       advice, I'd say. But never mind all that. We've got a job to do, and
       nothing's going to stand in our way.

[They walk to the main group together.]

Galmar: Hail, Ilfhild.

Stormcloak Soldier: Hail, Galmar.

Galmar: What's the situation?

S. Soldier: Cold as the inside of an ice wraith. That and some Imperials are
            camped out around the entrance, staying nice and warm around their

Galmar: Imperials? Well, if they're keeping themselves comfortable, let's slip
        in and send them to their graves that way.

[Galmar sees the player's arrived.]

Galmar: What's the Legion doing here? Damn Imperial spies... Well, should be
        fun for us, at least. They don't seem to know we're here yet. Ready to
        spill some Imperial blood for Skyrim?

        Hold on. I need a minute.
         Even the Imperials might eventually decide to patrol their perimeter.
         Get yourself ready!

        I'm ready. Let's go get them.
         That's what I like to hear.

        Listen up. Those Imperials aren't here by coincidence. Their spies
        must have found out we know about the Crown, and they don't want us
        to have it. But they won't stand in our way. I know some of you are
        ex-legion¹ and may know men on the other side. But remember this. They
        are the enemy now and they will not hesitate to kill you. Keep your
        wits about you and watch your shield brother's back. Ulfric Stormcloak
        is counting on us to bring him back that crown, and that's exactly what
        we are going to do. Follow me. Quickly and quietly now. I want their
        guts on the ground before they even know we're here.

[They slaughter the gate guards and slip inside undetected.]

Galmar: Pick a man and put him down. We attack on my signal. Time to show what
        you're really made of. For Skyrim!

[They slay the nearby patrolmen.]

Galmar: Gretta, Engar, stay and guard the entrance. We don't want any Imperial
        reinforcements taking us by surprise. The rest of you lot are with me.

[They soon reach a long, thin stairway.]

Galmar: I don't like the look of this. Perfect spot for an ambush. Ten to one
        they're just waiting for us on the other side.

Stormcloak Soldier: But there isn't any other way through.

Galmar: You sure about that? Then please, be my guest and go strolling on in
        there. We'll stay here and watch your back... Not so sure? Oh, then
        perhaps we should take a moment to look around a little, eh? You there,
        Unblooded, see if you can find another way through. We'll charge in to
        help as soon as we hear fighting. There may be some way to get through
        on the level above. Hurry!

[Using the upper route, the player reconnoiters, overhearing two sentries.]

Imperial 1: You hear anything?

Imperial 2: No, but I know they're out there. No other way they can come. Now
            shut up or you'll blow our ambush.

Imperial 1: I don't like it. What are they waiting for?

Imperial 2: Maybe they're so scared of you they ran away.

Imperial 1: Hardly likely.

Imperial 2: Just shut up and keep out of sight.

[The player attacks.]

Imperial Soldier: It must be the Stormcloaks! Attack!

[They slay 'em.]

Galmar: Careful, boys. There's bound to be more up ahead.

[They pick off a straggler. Nearby is a draugr and a fresh corpse.]

Stormcloak 1: What in the nine holds is that?

Stormcloak 2: Draugr. Ain't you ever seen one before?

Stormcloak 1: No. And I'm not sure I'm better off for it now neither.

Galmar: Steady. A few dusty bonewalkers aren't going to stop us anymore than
        the Imperials could. We're not leaving until we get what we came for.
        Now let's keep moving.

[They progress deeper into the crypt, coming upon the tunnel and puzzle lock.]

Galmar: Ah! The Hall of Stories...we must be getting close now.

Stormcloak 1: Oh...I've heard of this. They say these walls show the history of
              the ancients who built this place.

Stormcloak 2: Too bad we can't read these carvings. Who knows what secrets
              we'd uncover?

Galmar: One thing at a time. We're here for the Crown. Any of these carvings
        show a crown?

[An Imperial corpse is nearby.]

Galmar: Hmm, looks like this is as far as the Imperials got. Even if one of
        these pictures tells us where the Crown is, I'm betting we're going to
        have to find a way through that door. See what you can figure out,
        Unblooded. I'm going to check out these carvings over here. Let me know
        if you find something.

[The corpse has a claw nearby.]

Galmar: Hmm...that looks like some kind of claw from a statue. I wonder what
        it's used for.

[Using the claw, the puzzle door's opened.]

Galmar: Good job! Alright everyone! Keep your guard up. No telling what we'll
        find down here.

[They reach a larger chamber.]

Galmar: Come on, boys. Let's spread out and see what we've got. Unblooded, do
        what you do best. See if you can find some way to get that gate open.

[A lever up top opens the gate.]

Galmar: That's done it! Alright, boys, let's get moving. We've got more...

[Draugr pop out of the coffins.]

Stormcloak: Look out! Draugr!

Galmar: Steady now! They may be uglier than Imperials but they'll go down just
        the same.

[The undead are laid to rest.]

Galmar: Let's hope that's the last of them. Come on, let's see what's down
        this way.

[Finally, the team comes across the deepest tomb.]

Galmar: The crown must be around here somewhere. Spread out, and keep your eyes

Ralof: Hey, I found a crown over here on this corpse. Is this the one we're
       looking for?

Galmar: Ralof...get away from there, fool!

[High-level draugr reanimate nearby. Afterwards, the player finds the Crown.]

Galmar: Get to Windhelm with the crown as quick as you can. Tell Ulfric he owes
        me a drink. We'll stick around here for a while and see if we can find
        anything else useful.

[The headgear is delivered to Ulfric personally.]

Dragonborn: Here's the Jagged Crown. I believe you owe Galmar a drink?

Ulfric: Damn him -- the old bear was right! Did you run into any trouble?

        Nothing I couldn't handle.
         That's the spirit. I'll get all the details from Galmar when he gets

        We lost a lot of good men. I hope it was worth it.
         The blood of our fallen heroes will make Skyrim free, never doubt it.
         Also, never doubt me or Galmar.

        The Imperials were there ahead of us.
         Damn it. What were they doing there? Imperial spies are everywhere.
         Never forget that... I trust you gave them a thrashing? 

        Now then... I'm glad you're here. I have a message I need delivered to
        the Jarl of Whiterun. Deliver this axe to Balgruuf the Greater.

        An axe?
         Yes. An axe. How long have you been in Skyrim.¹ Give the man my axe.
         If he keeps it, I will bide my time. If he returns it to you, it means

        Should I say anything to him?
         Men who understand each other often have no need for words. There are
         but a few simple truths behind one warrior giving another his axe.
         Balgruuf will know my meaning.

Dragonborn: Understood.

Ulfric: Keep your wits about you. The Jarl of Whiterun is known for his temper.

[ST03] MESSAGE TO WHITERUN |===================================================
[The Jarl's sought out at Dragonsreach, the hilltop castle overlooking his
 fair city.]

Dragonborn: Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak asked me to deliver this axe to you.

Balgruuf: Did he now? The man is persistent, I'll give him that.

          • But until that dragon's dealt with, Ulfric's just going to have to
            wait. For now, I'll hold onto this axe. But it's a tenuous peace at
            best. Now I believe you have some business to conclude with my
            court wizard?

          • I suppose it's time I give him an answer... Proventus, what do you
            make of all this? If Ulfric were to attack Whiterun...

Proventus: As in all things, Lord, caution...I urge us to wait and see.

Irileth: Prey waits.

Balgruuf: I'm of a mind with Irileth. It's time to act.

Proventus: You plan to march on Windhelm?

Balgruuf: I'm not a fool, Proventus. I mean it's time to challenge Ulfric to
          face me as a man, or march his Stormcloaks up to the gates.

Proventus: He'll do no such thing! A dagger in the back is all you could

Irileth: He was rather straight forward¹ with Torygg.

Proventus: Torygg? He simply walked up to the boy and murdered him!

Irileth: That "boy" was the High King of Skyrim.

Balgruuf: I'm not the High King, but neither am I a boy. If Ulfric wants to
          challenge my rule in the old way, let him. Though I suspect he'll
          prefer to send his "Stormcloaks" to do it for him.

Irileth: True. He's already proven his personal strength. Now he seeks to prove
         his army's.

Proventus: Then might I urge you to consider General Tullius's request? I mean,
           if you are bent on offending Jarl Ulfric...

Irileth: Ulfric is the one who has offended. But, Proventus has a point. Ulfric
         has made it clear. In his mind, to refuse his claim is to side with
         the Empire.

Proventus: And what harm is there in letting a few Legionnaires die in place
           of your own men?

Balgruuf: It seems cowardly.

Irileth: Was it cowardly then to accept the White-Gold Concordat?

Balgruuf: This again?! That was different. Was I given a chance to object to
          the terms of the treaty? No. The Jarls weren't asked. We were told.
          And we had to like it.

Proventus: The chests of gold didn't hurt.

Balgruuf: Dammit! This isn't about gold!

Irileth: It's time to decide.

Proventus: Lord, wait. Let us see if Ulfric is serious.

Balgruuf: Oh, he's serious. But so am I.

Irileth: Finally.

Balgruuf: So about this axe... You can return this axe to our friend. The
          esteemed Jarl of Windhelm has my answer. Make sure he gets it.
          Proventus. Bring me my pen. And the good parchment.

Proventus: Are we writing a letter, Lord?

Balgruuf: Yes, to General Tullius. I need to make a few things clear before I
          accept these Legionnaires of his.

[One returns to Ulfric with the grim tidings.]

Dragonborn: The Jarl of Whiterun returns your axe.

Ulfric: Then I was wrong about him. You were right¹ Galmar.

Galmar: Again?

Ulfric: I'm in no mood to joke.

Galmar: Give the word, my lord, and Whiterun is yours.

Ulfric: Whiterun is only a means to an end.

Galmar: I've toured our camps. We're ready, Ulfric... Whenever you are.

Ulfric: Is a man ever ready to give the orders that will mean the deaths of

Galmar: No. But neither is every man able to give that order when he must. But
        you are that man, Ulfric. You've been that man before, and you'll be
        him again. And these men and women -- they call themselves Stormcloaks
        because they believe in you... They are the meanest, toughest sons of
        bitches Skyrim has to offer. And they want this. They want this as much
        as you do. Perhaps they want it more.

Ulfric: You're certain we're ready? Whiterun's army will no doubt be bolstered
        by Legionnaires. And those walls around Whiterun are old, but they
        still stand.

Galmar: We're ready. And I might be old myself, but I'll kick those damn walls
        down with my bare feet! -- if you would only ask me to do it!

Ulfric: And I'm sure you could do it, too. Alright. This is it.

Galmar: Yes!

Ulfric: Send the word. "A new day is dawning and the sun rises over Whiterun."

Galmar: Aye, and the sons of Skyrim will greet that dawn teeth and swords

Ulfric: So it begins. Make haste to our camp in Whiterun. I want you on the
        front lines. I have a feeling about you. Your place is on that
        battlefield. I need you there.

        Yes, sir!
         Fight well, or die well.

        Many will die by my hand.
         Then I commit them to whatever gods they still believe in.

        Talos be with you!

Galmar: We're taking the city. Meet the brothers gathering for the attack.
        Fight well or die well. Talos be with you.

[ST04] BATTLE FOR WHITERUN |===================================================
[The player travels to the Stormcloaks' catapult-filled camp in Whiterun's

Galmar: This is it, men!

Ralof: So, do you get that weird taste in your mouth before battle, too? What
       is that?

[They storm the gates, destroying the chevaux-de-frise and approaching the
 main gate. However, the drawbridge is down, forcing the Dragonborn to flank
 the hill and open it manually. This sudden change causes the Whiterun and
 Imperials to garrison inside the town, forcing the battle all the way up to

Irileth: Halt in the name of the Jarl, Balgruuf the Greater!

Balgruuf: I'll be damned if I let this rabble take my city without raising my
          own sword.

Irileth: Stay back, lord!

[Soon, the jarl is brought to heel.]

Balgruuf: Enough! That's enough. I surrender...I surrender. Peace! Everyone
          stand down. That's an order. Stand down!

[Hostilities over, a prominent Whiterun citizen enters the castle.]

Vignar Gray-Mane: Balgruuf!

Balgruuf: Vignar Gray-Mane! Your family was noticeably absent from the walls...
          Now I know why. Wouldn't a dagger in the back have sufficed?

Vignar: You think this is personal? The Empire has no place in Skyrim... Not
        any more. And you? You have no place in Whiterun anymore.

Balgruuf: A convenient position to hold now. But mark my words, old man, in
          the days to come, Ulfric will spread his rebellion thin. And what
          then? We need the Empire, as much as it needs us. We Nords are the
          Empire! Our blood built it. Our blood sustains it! You of all people
          should know that.

Vignar: If this was my Empire, I'd be able to worship whoever I damned well
        pleased. You wish to see an Empire without Talos? Without its soul? We
        should be fighting those witch-elves, not bending knee to them. The
        Emperor is nothing more than a puppet of the Thalmor. Skyrim needs a
        High King who will fight for her, and Whiterun needs a Jarl who will
        do the same.

Balgruuf: Tell me, Vignar. Was all this worth it? How many of those corpses
          lining our streets wear the faces of men who once called you friend?
          What about their families?

Galmar: Enough! Both of you! There is a burning city out there that needs a

Vignar: He's right. Galmar, come, let us restore order.

Balgruuf: This isn't over. You hear me you old fool! This isn't over!

[He turns to the player.]

Balgruuf: And you. A Stormcloak? I'd thought better of you. You'll all come to
          regret this day.

Galmar: Get over to Windhelm. Tell Ulfric of our victory here.

Ralof: I'm pretty sure I killed more than you. I was counting.

[The victory is soon reported to Ulfric.]

Ulfric: We've driven the Imperials out of Whiterun. This is good. Very good.
        We now control the center. It's a powerful position. One I aim to keep.
        We'll call you Ice-Veins now, for the thick blood of our land has
        seeped into your heart. Here, take this. It's an Imperial officer's
        sword. A fitting weapon to use against our enemy.

Dragonborn: What's our next move against the Empire?

Ulfric: I suspect you'll be of greater use to us with greater freedom, so
        you're free to engage the Imperials as you see fit. But I also want you
        to find our hidden camp in Falkreath. Galmar will have special tasks
        for you, and will need you when we liberate the capital.

        What exactly will I be doing out there?
         You'll be doing whatever Galmar tells you to do, and causing as much
         mayhem as possible for the Empire and any Jarl who supports them.

         • Talos guide you.
         • Go with the gods.

[ST05] LIBERATION OF SKYRIM |==================================================
[The player journeys to Falkreath's camp, set on the Throat of the World's
 southern slope, near the mountain pass.]

Dragonborn: Reporting in.

Galmar: You're going to Fort Neugrad. They have some of our boys locked up
        there. But with a little luck, we can turn that to our advantage. I've
        sent some men to scout the area. Meet them, see if you can't find a way
        to slip in, free our men, and take over the fort. They'll never suspect
        an attack from the inside. This won't be easy. But that's why I'm
        sending you. You got the grit to get this done?

        I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
         I see. Well, make it quick, or do you have better things to do than
         fight for the people of Skyrim?

        Nothing I can't handle.
         • We all have faith in you.
         • Good. You've got real fire in you. I like that... Talos guide you.


[Near the fort, the player finds the ambush party. Ralof is there, too.]

Ralof: Well, well. Look who it is! How have you been?

       I'm all right, I guess. How are you?
        Good to hear.

       I've been better. And you?
        These are dark days. But at least we know we're doing our part to make
        things better, eh? I guess I'm doing all right.

       I need this to go well. This is my first real command since they
       promoted me after Whiterun. You know, some nights when I close my eyes,
       I see the battle stretched out before me, like I'm still there... Do the
       men you killed still haunt you? Mine do...

         Only a beast kills without feeling.
          I suppose you're right...they say it gets easier... I'm not sure if
          that's a good thing...

         If you hadn't killed them, they would have killed you.
          That's what I keep telling myself.

         But, never mind all that. We've got a job to do.

       So what's the plan? / What's the plan?
        Straight to business with you, huh? Well, it just so happens I have
        the perfect mission for you. We found a cave under the lake. With
        luck, it'll lead into the prison. I need you to sneak in there, free
        our men, killing anyone inside as you go. Once you've rescued the
        prisoners, head out to the courtyard. We'll stand guard out here and
        rush in as soon as we hear fighting. Should be fun.

       I'm on it.
        • You should wait until night fall¹ before trying to sneak in.

       Talos preserve you.

       I'm not much for sneaking.
        I have faith in you.

[Using Ralof's advice, the player uses a sunken cave to infiltrate the prison.
 The four prisoners are being watched by a guard, who's quickly disposed of.]

Stormcloak: The guard has the key.

[The captives are freed. They collect their confiscated gear, then make for
 the courtyard. The pincer attack is successful, ensuring all Imperials are
 gutted and the fort overtaken.]

Ralof: Great work! Get back and report our success. I'll stay here and clean
       up the mess. Glad you were here. Couldn't have done it without you!

[News is brought to Ulfric.]

Ulfric: I'm proud we liberated Falkreath from the Empire. In many ways it's the
        heart and soul of Skyrim. Not to mention its rather strategic position.
        Some brothers have taken to calling you Bone-Breaker, evidence of your
        ferocity and determination. A fitting name. So we shall all call you
        thus. The war demands so much from us, and we give all we have to it
        and the people...but I've kept a little something to offer you in
        appreciation. Please take this on behalf of all the brothers and
        sisters. And I need capable and loyal warriors close at hand. So I'd
        like to offer you a home in Windhelm. Speak with my steward who'll make
        the arrangements.

Dragonborn: What's our next move against the Empire?

Ulfric: Get over to our camp in the Reach. They need every able body they can

        What exactly will I be doing out there?
         You'll be doing whatever Galmar tells you to do, and causing as much
         mayhem as possible for the Empire and any Jarl who supports them.

         • Talos guide you.
         • For Skyrim!

[ST07] LIBERATION OF SKYRIM: COMPELLING TRIBUTE |==============================
[One ventures to the hilly Reach camp, northeast of Karthwasten.]

Dragonborn: Reporting in.

Galmar: Get over to Markarth. Rumor has it the Jarl's steward, Raerek, is a
        faithful Talos worshipper, if not a true son of Skyrim -- he still
        supports the Empire, after all. But, if confronted with proof of his
        belief, you might be able to "persuade" him to aid our cause,
        indirectly of course. Wouldn't want to sully his reputation, would we?
        You'll need to be careful with this one. The Jarl's men won't look
        kindly on you rummaging through the steward's quarters.

        I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
         I see. Well, make it quick, or do you have better things to do than
         fight for the people of Skyrim?

        I'll get proof...and Raerek's cooperation.
         I can always count on you, can't I?

[One ventures to Understone Keep in Markarth, and finds Raerek's inscribed
 Amulet of Talos in his nightstand. He's immediately confronted with it.]

Dragonborn: Recognize this? (Show him Raerek's Inscribed Amulet of Talos)

Raerek: Not here. Come with me. Stay close and the guards will leave you alone.

[He leads the player into his chambers.]

Raerek: I suppose you're here to extort something from me? Is that it? Well,
        what is it you want?

        If you believe in Talos, why don't you join our cause?
         So. You're one of Ulfric's spies... I can't deny the man is right
         about a few things... But I've seen first hand what Ulfric is capable
         of, given the chance. Suffice it to say, he is no friend of Markarth,
         and no friend of mine. My first and only loyalties are to my nephew,
         and to this city.

        What if this were made public?
         The Thalmor would need to make an example of me...I'd be thrown into
         prison, but our family's honor would be stained for generations. I'm
         the Jarl's uncle. He, his father, and I, swore oaths to the Empire to
         abandon Talos, as conditions of our return to the city.

Dragonborn: Perhaps we could come to some kind of agreement?

Raerek: What if I told you about a large shipment of silver and weapons?

        Go on. I'm listening.
         Oh, no. I won't tell you anything more until we have an agreement.

         And what about something for me, right now? (Persuade)
          Well I...I suppose I'm not left much choice in the matter, am I? Very
          well. I trust a hefty purse of septims will suffice?

        How much are we talking about?
         Enough to make a significant difference in the war.

        All right, it's a deal. Where can I find this shipment?
         They're taking it by wagon to Solitude. If you hurry, you'll catch
         them before they get far. It'll be a fairly slow moving¹ caravan. The
         shipment is quite heavy, and guarded by many men.

        Now, let's pretend we never had this discussion.

[The news is delivered to one's superior.] 
Dragonborn: Raerek says there's a shipment of coin traveling to Solitude...

Galmar: Good job. I knew you'd come back with something for me. It just so
        happens, I've got some scouts along the road. Meet up with them, and
        together see if you can't overpower the caravan.

[Ralof is found once again at the meeting spot.]

Ralof: Hey there! I was wondering when I'd run into you out here. The Reach is
       a beautiful but dangerous place, eh? One false step and you'll fall to
       your death, that is if those Forsworn don't get you first. Have you
       seen those Briarheart men? That's some evil magic right there. What
       brings you? You have the look of purpose in your eyes.

Dragonborn: There's an enemy wagon loaded with coin and weapons. We need to
            capture it.

Ralof: Really? It just so happens we've been tracking a wagon! For about a day
       now. So that's what's in there? Coins and weapons? How do you know

       I blackmailed Raerek for the information.
        That was crafty. I'm sure having a steward in the pocket will come in
        handy. Lucky for us, that the wagon recently had a little accident.
        They're stranded now. Just up the road! 

       It doesn't matter.
        Oh, fine. Keep your secrets. I see how it is. That wagon recently had
        a little accident. They're stranded now, just up the road.
       We're outnumbered, but I have a plan. You got here just in time.

Dragonborn: What's the plan?

Ralof: First, we're going to take out their sentry, then we'll situate
       ourselves overlooking the camp. Next, you'll infiltrate their position
       and get their attention while we hit them with a barrage of arrows. With
       a bit of luck, we'll catch them completely off guard and even the odds a

       I have a better plan. You wait here, and I'll take care of it.
        All right, if you insist. But we'll come running if it sounds like
        things have gotten out of hand.

       Let's wait a little longer.
        Let me know when you're ready.

       Ready. Let's go.

[They sneak forward toward the sentry.]

Ralof: There's a sentry patrolling the hill. We'll go in quiet and drop him
       with a combined arrow barrage. Keep low, fire on my word. Fire!

[They silently slay the watchman.]

Ralof: All right. You infiltrate their camp, we'll cover you from the ridge.
       Good luck!

[The Imperial stooges are mopped up.]

Ralof: We make quite a team, eh? I'll stay here and guard the shipment. You
       get back to camp with news. Have them send some men -- and a new wagon.
       This one isn't going anywhere.

[Galmar is notified.]

Galmar: Well done! I'll send men with a wagon to collect our prize. We'll put
        the weapons to use here, and I'll send the coin back to Windhelm.

Dragonborn: Reporting in.

Galmar: You're going to Fort Sungard. Meet the brothers preparing for the
        attack. Then join them in wiping out the Imperials. Once you prevail
        we will garrison the fort. What do you say? Can you do this?

        I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
         I see. Well, make it quick, or do you have better things to do than
         fight for the people of Skyrim?

        That fort is as good as ours.
         Good. You've got real fire in you. I like that... Talos guide you.

[It's off to the fort, set atop a ridge and heavily fortified. Despite the
 odds, the troopers are massacred, establishing a foothold for the 'Cloaks.
 The player reports to Ulfric.]

Ulfric: Now that the Empire has been driven from the Reach we can put a stop
        to the raping of her silver mines. That silver belongs to Skyrim.
        Multitudes of our enemies are buried in an avalanche of pain and
        retribution delivered by your hands. I shall call you Snow-Hammer
        now. You show great passion for battle, and compassion for those we
        fight for. You are becoming indispensable to our cause. We do what we
        do out of love for our brothers and sisters. Here, take this as a token
        of such love reciprocated.

Dragonborn: What's next?

Ulfric: You're needed in Hjaalmarch. There's much to be done.

        What exactly will I be doing out there?
         You'll be doing whatever Galmar tells you to do, and causing as much
         mayhem as possible for the Empire and any Jarl who supports them.

         • For Skyrim!
         • Talos guide you.

[ST09] LIBERATION OF SKYRIM: A FALSE FRONT |===================================
[One visits the Hjaalmarch camp, in the marshes near Solitude Inlet. Galmar,
 as usual, is there to dole out missions.]

Dragonborn: Reporting for duty.

Galmar: Need you to deliver some false orders to the Imperial Legate in
        Morthal. But first we need to get our hands on some Imperial orders to
        make the forgeries. The inns at Dragonbridge¹ and Rorikstead are
        frequent stops for Imperial runners. See if you can't "convince" one of
        those innkeepers to help you. One way or another, get me those
        documents. What do you say?

        I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
         I see. Well, make it quick, or do you have better things to do than
         fight for the people of Skyrim?

        That fort is as good as ours.
         • Don't screw this up.
         • Excellent. Put the fear of the Nine into those motherless dogs.

[If one goes to Dragon Bridge or Rorikstead, the innkeeper is Faida or Mralki,
 respectively. They have the same responses; in fact, these are also the same
 responses seen in the Imperials' version of the quest.]

Mralki: I tend to keep my patrons' privacy.

        His life is in danger. (Persuade)
         • It is? Well that's different.
         • Yeah, sure it is. You don't fool me.

        Maybe some gold will help (### gold)
         • Well, if you insist...
         • Seems your purse is lighter than you thought.

        I don't have time for this. I can get rough with you if I have to.
        (Intimidate) |¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
         Now, now! That won't be necessary.

        Never mind.

        He was here, but he left. If you leave now, you can probably catch
        him. Or, you can just wait here. He'll be back soon enough.

[Eventually, one tracks down the Imperial deliveryman.]

Courier: Can't stop to chat, citizen.

         I'm not here to talk. I'm here for those documents.
          Is that so?

         Never mind.

[The parcel is taken, one way or another, to Galmar.]

Galmar: Good work! Let's see what you got. Hmm... They know more of our plans
        than I thought... Not good... Oh, what's this? Fort Snowhawk is in need
        of reinforcements... We'll make sure they won't be getting those...
        Give me a moment while I make a few, um, "corrections" to these
        reports... There we go. Make sure those forged documents get to the
        Legate in Morthal. That should give them the wrong idea...and us the

[One seeks out Taurinus Duilis in the swampy village.]

Dragonborn: I have important documents for you, sir.

Duilis: • Is that so? Lost your uniform along the way did you, soldier?

          Dragonborn: Ditched it for this. Easier to sneak past the enemy.

          I suppose it would be. Good thinking.

        Thank you, soldier. Let's take a look at these reports... I'm waiting
        on word about reinforcements for the fort... Good, they're on the way.
        And we have some information on enemy troop movements. Excellent.
        Stormcloak scouts are making it difficult to move around. It's good
        you made it here in one piece. Why don't you have yourself a drink at
        the Moorside before you head back?

[Galmar is notified of the subterfuge.]

Galmar: Good job! Ulfric was right about you. I'm glad to have you with us!

Dragonborn: Reporting in.

Galmar: You're going to Fort Snowhawk. Meet the brothers preparing for the
        attack. Then join them in wiping out the Imperials. Once you prevail
        we will garrison the fort. What do you say? Can you do this?

        I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
         I see. Well, make it quick, or do you have better things to do than
         fight for the people of Skyrim?

        That fort is as good as ours.
         Good. You've got real fire in you. I like that... Talos guide you.

[One visits Snowhawk, set in the mountain west of Morthal. It's a wonder who
 got the wrong report: there's still many men garrisoned, making man to cut
 through before victory's at hand. Afterward, it's time to notify Ulfric.]

Ulfric: Tullius must be getting nervous. Taking Hjaalmarch we're practically
        in his backyard now. As soon as we're able, we'll march on Solitude.
        You've become a true hero of Skyrim. I number you among my kin. You
        shall now be known as Stormblade. The love of the land and her people
        flows from your heart, even as death to her enemies flows from your
        hands. On behalf of the sons and daughters of Skyrim, on behalf of all
        that is righteous and true, take this token of our appreciation for
        your service.

Dragonborn: What's next?

Ulfric: You've no time to glory in your accomplishments. We're gathering for
        our final assault on Solitude. I need you there. Report to our camp in

[One goes to the base, situated between Solitude and Dragon Bridge.]

Dragonborn: Reporting in.

Galmar: You're going to the fort. Meet the brothers preparing for the attack.
        Then join them in wiping out the Imperials. Once you prevail we will
        garrison the fort. What do you say? Can you do this?

        I'm not sure. I need to think about it.
         I see. Well, make it quick, or do you have better things to do than
         fight for the people of Skyrim?

        That fort is as good as ours.
         Good. You've got real fire in you. I like that... Talos guide you.

[One visits the snowy fort, nestled on the northern face of the mountains
 near Solitude, overlooking the sea. After the hard-fought victory, it's back
 to Galmar.]

Galmar: Good job! Ulfric was right about you. I'm glad to have you with us!

Dragonborn: How can I help?

Galmar: We're taking the city. Meet the brothers gathering for the attack.
        Fight well or die well. Talos be with you.

[ST13] LIBERATION OF SKYRIM: BATTLE FOR SOLITUDE |=============================
[At long last, it's time to fight at the seat of Tullius' leadership. Ulfric
 himself is leading the charge at the city's gates.]

Ulfric: This is it men! Time to make this city ours! We come to this moment
        carried by the sacrifice and courage of our fellows! Those who have
        fallen. And those still bearing shields to our right. On this day, our
        enemy will know the fullness of our determination, the true depth of
        our anger, and the exalted righteousness of our cause. The gods are
        watching. The spirits of our ancestors are stirring. And men under suns
        yet to dawn will be transformed by what we do here today. Fear neither
        pain, nor darkness. For Sovngarde awaits those who die with weapons in
        their hands, and courage in their hearts. We now fight our way to
        Castle Dour to cut the head off the Legion itself! And in that moment,
        the gods will look down and see Skyrim as she was meant to be. Full of
        Nords who are mighty, powerful, and free! Ready now! Everyone, with me!
        For the sons and daughters of Skyrim! Rrrrrraaaaaaaaaggggghhhhhhh!!!!!!

[The Stormcloak army filters into the city, bringing the bloodletting to the
 streets in quick fashion. The shortest route is now gated, forcing the battle
 up and around into the courtyard. Eventually, the castle is infiltrated, with
 the jarl and Galmar in tow. Rikke and Tullius are in the strategy room.]
Ulfric: Secure the door.

Galmar: Already done.

[The player can speak to Rikke before anything else happens.]

Rikke: Dragonborn... Perhaps this is the fate of Skyrim after all. To be
       destroyed from the inside.

       We'll kill you if we must.
        A true Nord never fears death. It's the how and why of it one needs

       Rikke, leave. They'll kill you.
        If that must be, then it will. And why should I be any different? So
        many lives have already been lost. What's one more?

[The Jarl will soon approach Tullius and his aide-de-camp.]

Rikke: Ulfric. Stop.

Ulfric: Stop what? Taking Skyrim back from those who'd leave her to rot?

Rikke: You're wrong. Ulfric. We need the Empire. Without it Skyrim will
       assuredly fall to the Dominion.

Galmar: You were there with us. You saw it. The day the Empire signed that
        damn treaty was the day the Empire died.

Rikke: You're a damn fool.

Galmar: Stand aside woman. We've come for the General.

Rikke: He has given up. But I have not.

Ulfric: Rikke. Go. You're free to leave.

Rikke: I'm also free to stay and fight for what I believe in.

Ulfric: You're also free to die for it.

Rikke: This is what you wanted? Shield brothers and sisters killing each other?
       Families torn apart? This is the Skyrim you want?!

Galmar: Damnit woman, stand aside!

Rikke: That's not the Skyrim I want to live in.

Ulfric: Rikke. You don't have to do this.

Rikke: You've left me no choice... Talos preserve us.

[The fighting is brief, but ends with Rikke dead and Tullius gravely wounded.]

Tullius: Enough...enough...

Ulfric: This is it for you. Any last words before I send you to Oblivion?

Tullius: You realize this is exactly what they wanted.

Galmar: What who wanted?

Tullius: The Thalmor. They stirred up trouble here. Forced us to divert needed
         resources and throw away good soldiers quelling this rebellion.

Ulfric: It's a little more than a rebellion, don't you think?

Galmar: Heh.

Tullius: We aren't the bad guys you know.

Ulfric: Maybe not, but you certainly aren't the good guys.

Tullius: Perhaps you're right. But then what does that make you?

Ulfric: You said it yourself.

Galmar: It makes us right.

Tullius: And if I surrender?

Ulfric: The Empire I remember never surrendered.

Galmar: That Empire is dead. And so are you.

Tullius: So be it.

Galmar: Just kill him and let's be done with it already.

Ulfric: Come, Galmar. Where's your sense of the dramatic moment?

Galmar: By the gods! If it's a good ending to some damn story you're after --
        perhaps the Dragonborn should be the one to do it.

Ulfric: Good point. Well, Dragonborn. What do you say? Do you want the honor?

        I've had my fair share of killing today.
         As you wish.

        That honor belongs to you.
         As you wish. This moment, we three, will be immortalized in song.

        I'll gladly kill him.
         Dragonborn. Here, use my sword to do it. This moment will be
         immortalized in song. Make it a good kill.
[One way or another, Tullius is put to the sword.]

Tullius: Aghh..¹

Galmar: Good. It's done.

Ulfric: Well, I suppose some kind of speech is in order.

Galmar: I'll go gather the men in the courtyard.

Ulfric: And Elisif?

Galmar: Don't you worry about her. I've sent my best men to round her up.

Ulfric: Stormblade. I want you to have my sword, a token of my appreciation.
        Now then. The men will expect a speech. Will you stand by my side? I
        wish to honor you, Dragonborn and the truest of Stormcloaks.

        Of course, my Lord.
         Very good. Come, the people await us.

        Maybe you should leave me out of your speech.
         Oh, why is that?

         Many have fought and died. I'm no different than they are.
          On the contrary, you exceed the rest. But, I will honor your request.
          The gods will know of your victories, and they themselves will glory
          in your deeds. Come, at the very least walk out with me.

         I'm not sure this was all worth it, after all.
          There's no shame in such thoughts. A man without doubts is a man
          without a conscience. But rest assured. We've won Skyrim's right to
          determine her own future. And for that, every Nord praises us. But
          I will heed your wishes. Come, at the very least, walk out with me.

         My reasons are my own.
          A man's heart is his own burden to bear, so I will honor your
          request, though it casts a bit of gloom on an otherwise glorious
          day. Come, at the very least walk out with me.

[Outside, the Stormcloak throngs are massing for the speech. Elisif the Fair,
 the region's jarl, is in attendance with Galmar's bodyguards.]

Ulfric: I am indeed Ulfric Stormcloak, and at my side the man we know as
        Stormblade, and the world knows as the Dragonborn. And indeed, there
        are many that call us heroes.

Ulfric: • I am indeed Ulfric Stormcloak... And indeed, there are many that call
          me hero.

        • I am indeed Ulfric Stormcloak, and at my side the man we know as
          Stormblade, and the world knows as the Dragonborn. And indeed, there
          are many that call us heroes.

        But it is all of you who are the true heroes! It was you who fought a
        dying Empire who sunk its claws into our land, trying to drag us down
        with it. It was you who fought the Thalmor and their puppets who would
        have us deny our gods and our heritage. It was you who fought your kin
        who didn't understand our cause, who weren't willing to pay the price
        of our freedom. But more than that, it was you who fought for Skyrim,
        for our right to fight our own battles... To return to our glory and
        our traditions, to determine our own future! And it is for these
        reasons that I cannot accept the mantle of "High King." Not until the
        Moot declares that title should adorn my shoulders will I accept it.

Stormcloak: What about Jarl Elisif?

Ulfric: Yes, what about the Lady Elisif? Will she put aside her personal hatred
        for me, and her misplaced love for the Emperor and his coin, so that
        the suffering of our people will end? Will she acknowledge that it is
        we Nord's¹ who will determine Skyrim's future? Will she swear fealty to
        me, so all may know we are at peace, and a new day has dawned?

Elisif: I do!

Ulfric: Then it is settled. The Jarl will continue to rule in Solitude, I will
        garrison armies here to ward off Imperial attempts to reclaim the city.
        And in due time, the Moot will meet, and settle the claim to High King
        once and for all. There is much to do, and I need every able bodied¹
        man and woman committed to rebuilding Skyrim. A great darkness is
        growing, and soon we will be called to fight it, on these shores or
        abroad. The Aldmeri Dominion may have defeated the Empire, but it has
        not defeated Skyrim!

Stormcloaks: Yyyyyyyaaaaaahhhhhh!

Ulfric: How'd I do?

Galmar: Eh, not so bad. Nice touch about the High King.

Ulfric: Thank you, I thought so, too.

Galmar: It's a foregone conclusion, you know.

Ulfric: Oh, I know.

Galmar: The Imperials aren't going to leave us alone. They still have camps in
        the hills. They'll continue to strike out at us, whenever and wherever
        they are.

Ulfric: I'm not afraid of the remnants of the Legion, in time they'll all give
        up and go home. What I fear, is the Thalmor will see our victory here
        and turn greater attention to our shores. We must be prepared to face

Galmar: Aye.

[He turns to the player.]

Ulfric: And, of course, we couldn't have done it without you. May the gods
        preserve you.

Galmar: May the gods preserve us all.

Ulfric: Come, Galmar. We've still much work to do.

[Ulfric can be asked about the future, now that the questline's over.]

Dragonborn: Is there anything further I can do to help the cause?

Ulfric: True sons and daughters of Skyrim reign in every city, we've crippled
        the Imperial Legion, and cut off its head by killing General Tullius
        himself. What more could I ask of you? No, you're free to roam. I
        suspect the gods have needs for you elsewhere. That said, some of the
        Legion's staunchest men have organized themselves, and are operating
        out of hidden military camps in the wilderness. If you come across any
        Imperials in your travels, I expect you'll know what to do.

Dragonborn: So, do I call you High King now?

Ulfric: No, not yet. We'll wait for the Moot to name me High King. It'll be
        better for all that way. But, that doesn't mean I won't start acting
        like it. There's much to do. The new Jarls need help building armies,
        and enforcing their right to rule. The Empire may try to reclaim
        Skyrim, and I need everyone ready for that. Though the biggest threat,
        of course, is the elves.

Dragonborn: Now that we've defeated the Imperials, will there be peace?

Ulfric: There will be peace for a time, during which we must rebuild Skyrim
        into the land it once was. Strong. Self-reliant. The center of mankind.
        Because getting rid of the Empire was only half the problem. Soon, the
        elves will again seek to rule the world. We must ready ourselves to
        fight them. For it will be Skyrim that shall lead Tamriel in those
        dark days, when the fate of the world is finally determined.

[Galmar can also be spoken to.]

Dragonborn: Is there anything further I can do for the cause?

Galmar: No. I trust you'll do more good out there in the world, wherever you
        damn well please to go. You're a true son of Skyrim. You'll know what
        to do. To begin with, killing any Legionnaire you find out in the
        wilderness. I've reports they've hidden military camps out there.

Dragonborn: What's next for the mighty Galmar Stone-Fist?

Galmar: Heh. Ulfric's put me in charge of keeping an eye on the new Jarls. You
        know, make sure they're generally following orders. Can't say I'm
        looking forward to that. But, I'll also be training men and women for
        their new armies. The Empire might send over a few Legionnaires to make
        sure we're serious, and of course, we'll be taking the fight to the
        elves soon enough. We'll need trained, disciplined and creative
        warriors ready for all that.

[Elisif can be spoken to as well.]

Dragonborn: What do you think about Ulfric, now that he has won?

Elisif: Ulfric coveted the High King's throne. He thought he deserved it more
        than Torygg. Now it would seem Ulfric has his wish. And there truly is
        no justice in the world.

Dragonborn: So, do you still claim to be High Queen of Skyrim?

Elisif: No. Although it's true my husband Torygg was the High King and I am his
        widow, I am in no position to claim such a title. Ulfric Stormcloak is
        victorious, and the Jarls have fallen in line. It seems I will never
        take my rightful place as High Queen.

THIEVES GUILD                                                            [THVS]
 01) A Chance Arrangement .............................................. TH01
 02) Taking Care of Business ........................................... TH02
 03) Loud and Clear .................................................... TH03
 04) Dampened Spirits .................................................. TH04
 05) Scoundrel's Folly ................................................. TH05
 06) Speaking With Silence ............................................. TH06
 07) Hard Answers ...................................................... TH07
 08) The Pursuit ....................................................... TH08
 09) Trinity Restored .................................................. TH09
 10) Blindsighted ...................................................... TH10
 11) Darkness Returns .................................................. TH11
 12) Under New Management .............................................. TH12

[TH01] A CHANCE ARRANGEMENT |==================================================
 [While walking in Riften, a man approaches in the marketplace. It's the same
 bunko artist trying to hawk "genuine Falmerblood elixirs" to unsuspecting

Brynjolf: Never done an honest day's work in your life for all that coin you're
          carrying, eh, lad?

Dragonborn: I'm sorry, what?

Brynjolf: I'm saying you've got the coin, but you didn't earn a septim of it
          honestly. I can tell.

          How could you possibly know that?
           It's all about sizing up your mark, lad. The way they walk, what
           they're wearing. It's a dead giveaway.7

          My wealth is none of your business.
           Oh, but that's where you're wrong, lad. Wealth is my business. Maybe
           you'd like a taste?

Dragonborn: What do you have in mind?

Brynjolf: I've got a bit of an errand to perform, but I need an extra pair of
          hands. And in my line of work, extra hands are well-paid.

Dragonborn: What do I have to do?

Brynjolf: Simple...I'm going to cause a distraction, and you're going to steal
          Madesi's silver ring from a strongbox under his stand. Once you
          have it, I want you to place it in Brand-Shei's pocket without him

          Why plant the ring on Brand-Shei?
           There's someone that wants to see him put out of business
           permanently. That's all you need to know. Now, you tell me when
           you're ready and we'll get started.

            I'm ready. Let's get this started.
             Good. Wait until I start the distraction, then show me what you're
             made of.

            Why are we doing this to Brand-Shei?
             We've been contracted to make Brand-Shei remembers not to meddle
             in affairs that are not his own. Now, since we're not the Dark
             Brotherhood, we're not going to kill him; we're just going to
             make sure he sits in the prisons for a few days.

            How am I supposed to do all of this?
             Do you want me to hold your hand as well? You're going to have to
             sneak over to Madesi's stall and use your lockpick on the
             strongbox. Then, when you have the ring, you pickpocket Brand-Shei
             and leave it behind.

          Break the law? Are you kidding?
           Sorry...I usually have a nose for this kind of thing. Never mind
           then, lad. If you change your mind, come find me.

[With help recruited, Brynjolf begins his scam, getting other vendors to come
 see what he's hawking.]

Brynjolf: Everyone! Everyone! Gather 'round! I have something amazing to show
          you that demands your attention! This way, everyone! Over here! No
          pushing, no shoving. Plenty of room!

Brand-Shei: Come on, Brynjolf...what is it this time?

Brynjolf: Patience, Brand-Shei. This is a rare opportunity, and I wouldn't want
          you to get left out.

Madesi: That's what you said about the Wisp Essence and it turned out to be
        crushed Nirnroot mixed with water!

Brynjolf: Well, that was a simple misunderstanding, but this item is the real
          thing. Lads and lasses, I give you, Falmerblood Elixir!

Brand-Shei: Oh, come on, are you talking about the Snow Elves?

Brynjolf: The one and only. Mystical beings who live in legends and were
          masters of great magic. Imagine the power that coursed through their

Madesi: How did you get that then? No one's seen them in years!

Brynjolf: My sources must remain a secret for their own protection, but I can
          promise you that the contents are genuine. One sip of the elixir and
          your wishes will be granted. Great wealth, everlasting life or
          perhaps limitless power could be yours!

Brand-Shei: How much does it cost?

Brynjolf: Only twenty gold septims. Hurry before my supply is gone!

Madesi: Why would you even listen to him?

Brynjolf: Only twenty septims a bottle!

Brand-Shei: I can't afford to get one, but can I afford not to?

[The player steals Madesi's ring and reverse-pickpockets it without a hitch.]

Brynjolf: Well, I see that my time is up. Come back tomorrow if you wish to

Madesi: What a waste of time.

Brand-Shei: Damn. I knew I shouldn't have waited.

[As the crowd disperses, Brynjolf seeks the player out.]

Brynjolf: Looks like I chose the right person for the job. And here you go...
          your payment, as promised. The way things have been going around
          here, it's a relief that our plan went off without a hitch.

Dragonborn: What's been going on?

Brynjolf: Bah. My organization's been having a run of bad luck, but I suppose
          that's just how it goes. But never mind that, you did the job and you
          did it well. Best of all, there's more where that came from...if you
          think you can handle it.

          I can handle it.
           Alright, then. Let's put that to the test. The group I represent has
           its home in the Ratway beneath Riften...a tavern called the Ragged
           Flagon. Get there in one piece and we'll see if you really have what
           it takes.

          The money's nice, but I don't know.
           Look, I'll make this simple for you. The group I represent has its
           home in the Ratway beneath Riften...a tavern called the Ragged
           Flagon. When you make up your mind, come find me there and we can
           talk about your future.

          No way. It was wrong to do those things.
           Arrogant, eh? Play it however you want, but listen up. The group I
           represent has its home in the Ratway beneath Riften...a tavern
           called the Ragged Flagon. When you come to your senses, find me
           there and we'll discuss your future.

[TH02] TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS |===============================================
[Defeating the foes in the Ratway, the player reaches the hidden tavern 'neath
 the city. Brynjolf and some of his cohorts are discussing the player.]

Vekel the Man: Give it up, Brynjolf...those days are over.

Brynjolf: I'm telling you, this one is different...

Dirge: We've all hear that one before, Bryn! Quit kidding yourself.

Vekel the Man: It's time to face the truth, old friend. You, Vex, Mercer...
               you're all part of a dying breed. Things are changing!

Brynjolf: Dying breed, eh? Well what do you call that then?

Brynjolf: Well, well...color me impressed, lad. I wasn't sure I'd ever see you

          Getting here was easy.
           Reliable and headstrong? You're turning out to be quite the prize!
           So...now that I've whetted your appetite with our little scheme at
           the market, how about handling a few deadbeats for me?

          I almost got killed!
           No risk, no reward. That's the way it goes, so you better get used
           to it. Now, if you're done bellyaching like a child, how about
           handling a few deadbeats for me?

          Don't know why I bothered. This place is a mess.
           If you were expecting a palace, then maybe you're not cut out for
           this line of work. Our methods require secrecy and discretion. Now,
           if you're done bellyaching like a child, how about handling a few
           deadbeats for me?

Dragonborn: Deadbeats? What'd they do?

Brynjolf: They owe our organization some serious coin and they've decided not
          to pay. I want you to explain to them the error of their ways.

Dragonborn: Sounds good. Who are they?

Brynjolf: Keerava, Bersi Honey-Hand and Haelga. Do this right and I can promise
          you a permanent place in our organization.

Dragonborn: How do you want me to handle it?

Brynjolf: Honestly, the debt is secondary here. What's more important is you
          get the message across that we aren't to be ignored. A word of
          warning, though...I don't want any of them killed. Bad for business.

          Consider it done.
           Good. If you need any details on your marks, I'll be here. Get

          Will I get a cut?
           Of course you'll get a cut. We take care of our own. Now, if you
           need any details on your marks, I'll be here. Get going.

          What's Haelga's story?
           Haelga is a devout follower of Dibella and dotes over the statue
           to the Divine which she keeps at the Bunkhouse. Use it as leverage
           and she'll cave.

          Any tips about Keerava?
           Keerava's stubborn, but she's got a soft spot for her family. Talk
           to Talen-Jei at the Bee and Barb and see if you can get something
           out of him. They're...well-acquainted, if you catch my meaning.

          Any help with Bersi?
           He's as pig-headed a man as you'll ever find. The key is that ugly
           dwarven urn in his shop. Smash that thing to bits and he'll change
           his attitude.

[The player goes to see Bersi Honey-Hand at his pawn shop.]

Dragonborn: I have a message from Brynjolf.

Bersi: Wha...what? Oh, it's one of you people. So, Brynjolf doesn't even bother
       to show up himself anymore, eh? What's this message?

       Simple. You don't pay, bad things happen.
        Petty threats and fist-waving are not going to sway me. You people are
        all talk and everyone knows it!

        We can protect ourselves. Trust me.
         Don't fool yourself. It's only a matter of time before you people are
         run out of Riften.

       I think you know what it is.
        You're gouging me for what little coin I make and you can't even
        protect yourselves? Ridiculous!

        We can protect ourselves. Trust me.
         (same as above)

       I've had enough of this.
        Likewise. Now, I have a lot to do, so I'm afraid you'll just have to

       I think you need to shut your mouth. (Brawl)
        I'm going to make you sorry for this!

[If Bersi is beaten up:]

Bersi: Please, no more! I'll pay, I'll pay! Here.

[If the urn is destroyed.]

Bersi: Stop! That's priceless!

Drifa: Oh my word!

Bersi: No! That urn was priceless!

Dragonborn: You want me to break anything else?

Bersi: All right! I get it. I'll pay on time from now on. Just don't smash
       anything else. Here! Take your gold and leave me in peace.

[If the urn is destroyed before speaking to Bersi:]

Bersi: I can't believe you're doing this! Stop! No! That urn was priceless!

Dragonborn: That was from Brynjolf. Get the message?

Bersi: I can't believe you did that! You people are monsters! You demand
       payment for protection and you can't even protect yourselves! Here, take
       your coin and tell Brynjolf to leave us alone.

[If Bersi is the last of the three left, he'll already be intimidated:]

Bersi: Oh no! You're the one from Brynjolf's outfit, aren't you?

Dragonborn: I have a message from Brynjolf.

Bersi: Oh! There's no need for that. I know why you're here. Tell Brynjolf not
       to worry about it anymore. Oh! And look, I even have the payment I owed.
       Here, take it.

[The player goes to Haelga's bunkhouse.]

Dragonborn: I have a message for Brynjolf.

Haelga: What does he want now? I already explained to him that you can't get
        blood from a stone.

        This isn't about the money anymore.
         Look, I can't make the coin appear out of thin air. Please, be
         reasonable. I'll...I'll pay next month.

         We've run out of patience.
          And so have I. What's the point of paying anyway? Your outfit can't
          even fend for itself. I could do better tossing the gold into the
          sewer. You can't scare me with your tough talk. I'm not paying you a
          single coin.

        Then you'll pay in more than just coin. (Brawl)
         Ha! We'll see about that.

[If Haelga is beaten up:]

Haelga: Here...take your damn coin and get out of here!

[If her Dibella statue is taken.]

Haelga: Please! Don't take the statue! It's the only thing of value I have

        I have a message from Brynjolf.
         You...you have my statue! What are you going to do with it?

        So, should I drop this statue down a well?
         Not Lady Dibella! No, please! I can't lose her! I get the message.
         Here, take your gold. I hope you choke on it!

[If Haelga is the last of the three, she'll already be intimidated.]

Haelga: It's you! Please, don't hurt me!

Dragonborn: I have a message from Brynjolf.

Haelga: I know who you are. You've been terrorizing the entire city. Please,
        there's no need for that here. Message understood. Here, I even have
        the payment!

[The player goes to shakedown Keerava, an Argonian at the bar.]

Dragonborn: I have a message from Brynjolf.

Keerava: I've already told that buffoon I'm not paying you people a single

Dragonborn: It was never a request.

Keerava: Look around you, I'm barely keeping this rathole together. The war's
         seen to that.

         I'm finished wasting my time talking to you.
          Good, and take this little message back to your bosses: I'm not
          paying any of you a single septim...ever! Now get out of my inn!

         Don't say I didn't warn you.
          Come on, give it your best shot!

[If Keerava is beaten up:]

Keerava: Please, stop! I'll pay up! Take it.

[If one learns about Keerava's family from Talen-Jei, another Argonian:]

Dragonborn: Are you ready to pay Brynjolf what you owe?

Keerava: No, and I never will. Now get out of my inn.

Dragonborn: Maybe I should visit that farm in Morrowind...

Keerava: How could you possibly know about... Please. My family means too much
         to me. Don't hurt them.

Dragonborn: Then pay up and I'll forget about it.

Keerava: Very well. Here. Take this back to Brynjolf and tell him he'll have
         no more trouble from me.

[If Keerava is the last of the three, she'll already be intimidated.]

Dragonborn: I have a message from Brynjolf.

Keerava: Look, everything was all just a misunderstanding. I didn't mean to
         tell Brynjolf to go jump off the pier. You'll tell him I'm sorry, yes?
         Take this. Every single coin I owe is there, I swear.

[With all three merchants shaken down, the player returns to Ragged Flagon.]

Brynjolf: So, job's done and you even brought the gold. Best of all, you did it
          clean. I like that. Dumping bodies and keeping the guards quiet can
          be expensive.

Dragonborn: Here's what they owed us.

Brynjolf: Well done. And it would seem I owe you something in return. Here you
          go, I think you'll find these quite useful.

[He gives some potions as recompense.]

Dragonborn: What's next, then?

Brynjolf: Judging from how well you've handled those shopkeepers, I'd say
          you've done more than simply prove yourself. We need people like you
          in our outfit.

Dragonborn: If there's more gold where that came from, I'm in.

Brynjolf: That's the spirit! Larceny's in your blood...the telltale sign of a
          practiced thief. I think you'll do more than just fit in around here.

Dragonborn: Before we go, I have to ask...

Brynjolf: What's on your mind?

Dragonborn: Word is your outfit isn't doing well. True?

Brynjolf: We've run into a rough patch lately, but it's nothing to be concerned
          about. Tell you what: you keep making us coin and I'll worry about
          everything else. Fair enough?

Dragonborn: Fair enough.

Brynjolf: Now if there are no more questions, how about following me and I'll
          show you what you're all about.

[TH03] LOUD AND CLEAR |========================================================

[Brynjolf leads the player through a hidden door into the Thieves Guild's real
 domain, a cistern beyond the Ragged Flagon. The guildmaster is waiting.]

Brynjolf: Mercer? This is the one I was talking about...our new recruit.

Mercer Frey: This better not be another waste of the Guild's resources,
             Brynjolf. Before we continue, I want to make one thing perfectly
             clear. If you play by the rules, you walk away rich. You break
             the rules and you lose your share. No debates, no discussions...
             you do what we say, when we say. Do I make myself clear?

             Yes, I understand.
              Good. Then I think it's time we put your expertise to the test.

             I'm not sure.
              If you're not sure maybe you don't belong here. I'll ask again,
              are we clear on all of this?

             Rules? We're thieves. What's the point of rules?
              I'll let that comment go because you're new here. Ask things out
              of turn again, and we have a problem. Now, are we clear on all
              of this?

Brynjolf: Wait a moment... You're not talking about Goldenglow, are you? Even
          our little Vex couldn't get in.

Mercer: You claim this recruit possesses an aptitude for our line of work. If
        so, let him prove it. Goldenglow Estate is critically important to one
        of our largest clients. However, the owner has suddenly decided to take
        matters into his own hands, and shut us out. He needs to be taught a
        lesson. Brynjolf will provide you with the details.

Brynjolf: Mercer, aren't you forgetting something?

Mercer: Hmm? Oh, yes... Since Brynjolf assures me you'll be nothing but a
        benefit to us, then you're in. Welcome to the Thieves Guild.

[Mercer walks off.]

Brynjolf: Welcome to the family, lad. I'm expecting you to make us a lot of
          coin, so don't disappoint me.

Dragonborn: So how do I get my cut of the spoils?

Brynjolf: Simple. Do as you're told and keep your blade clean. We can't turn a
          profit by killing. You should talk with Delvin Mallory and Vex. They
          know their way around this place and they'll be able to kick some
          extra jobs your way. Oh, and talk to Tonilia in the Flagon...she'll
          set you up with your new armor.

Dragonborn: Tell me about the Goldenglow job.

Brynjolf: Goldenglow Estate is a bee farm; they raise the wretched little
          things for honey. It's run by some smart-mouth wood elf named
          Aringoth. We need you to teach him a lesson by burning down three of
          his estate's hives

Dragonborn: What's the catch?

Brynjolf: The catch is that you can't burn the whole place to the ground. That
          important client Mercer mentioned would be furious if you did.

          Who cares, we're the Thieves Guild.
           That's not how things work around here. The Guild depends on an
           arrangement of influential people to keep things running smoothly.
           Without them at our backs, we'd be in serious trouble.

          Makes sense.
           Aye, the last thing we want to be doing is crossing our clients.
          What's so important about these clients?
           The guild depends on an arrangement of influential people to keep
           things running smoothly. Without them at our backs, we'd be in
           serious trouble.

Dragonborn: What should I do about Aringoth?

Brynjolf: Maven prefers that Aringoth remains alive, but if he tries to stop
          you from getting the job done, kill him. The Guild has a lot riding
          on this. Don't make me look foolish by mucking it up.

          I need more details about Goldenglow.
           Goldenglow Estate brought in a mountain of gold for the Guild. You
           could almost call it our sweetest deal. Then out of the clear blue,
           Aringoth stops sending us our cut. Mercer was...well, angry, to put
           it kindly. So we send in Vex to find out he's hired a bunch of
           mercenaries to guard the place.

            Mercenaries? Not Riften guards?
             Aye. Aringoth sent the city guard packing and fortified the entire
             island. In fact, Vex barely made it out of there alive. You should
             talk to her about it before you go.

          How do I destroy the bee hives?
           They're built like small fortresses to resist the weather, but their
           one weakness is flame. Besides, nothing tells the people of Riften
           we mean business than a huge column of smoke.

            Why not level the entire estate?
            I'll give you one good reason: Maven Black-Briar. Burn all the
            hives and she'd have to import for Black-Briar Meadery, which would
            cut into her profits.

             Maven Black-Briar is the influential client?
              We had an arrangement with Maven. We kept an eye on Goldenglow
              Estate to make sure the honey kept flowing. If the workers had a
              dispute, we rough them up. If competitors tried to buy honey from
              Aringoth, we'd steal the shipments. In return, Maven allowed us
              to extort Aringoth and bring in a huge payout.

               So, how dangerous is it to cross her?
                Let me put it to you this way: nothing happens in Riften
                without Maven's consent. One word from her and you could spend
                the rest of the fourth era in prison.

[The player prepares to leave.]

Brynjolf: You watch yourself on that island. Those mercenaries don't take

[Optionally, one can ask Vex about her encounter.]

Dragonborn: I heard you ran into trouble at Goldenglow.

Vex: Hmph, yeah, I did. That wood elf s'wit...he's a lot smarter than I
     expected. Can you believe that fetcher had more than tripled the guard?
     There must have been eight of them in there. It was like he was daring us
     to come and get him.

Dragonborn: Any tips to get me in there?

Vex: Well, there's an old sewer tunnel that dumps into the lake on the
     northwest side of the island. That's how I slipped in there. Should still
     be unguarded.

[If the player finds Aringoth upstairs:]

Aringoth: Worthless mercenaries. I didn't think Maven or Mercer would allow
          me to get away with this, but I had little choice.

Dragonborn: I just want the key to your safe.

Aringoth: I can't. If I do, I may as well cut my own throat.

          What makes you think I won't? (Persuade)
           I don't believe you. That's not your way.

          Then I'll take it off your corpse!
           Give it your best shot!

          Forget it. I'll just open it myself.
           No! I'm not about to let you ruin everything I've worked so hard

[If the player returns to Brynjolf after destroying too many hives:]

Brynjolf: You've made a mess and Maven is furious. I told you not to burn more
          than three of the hives! I've smoothed things over with her for now,
          but you can forget your cut.

Dragonborn: Sorry. Here's what was in the safe.

Brynjolf: At least you remembered one of the things I asked. Let me see that.

[If the player returns to Brynjolf after doing a satisfactory job:]

Brynjolf: Word on the street is Goldenglow's been hit. Good job.

Dragonborn: Yes, and here's what was in the safe.

Brynjolf: Let me take a look at what you found. Aringoth sold Goldenglow?
          What's that idiot thinking? He has no idea the extent of Maven's fury
          when she's been cut out of a deal, but I'm certain he'll find out. If
          only the parchment had the buyer's name instead of this odd symbol.
          Any idea what that may be?

Dragonborn: No idea.

Brynjolf: Blast. Well, I'll check my sources and ask Mercer. But for now,
          you're off to speak with Maven Black-Briar. She asked for you by

          Good, it's about time I met her.
           Don't sound so eager, it's not a social visit. It's business.

          I thought I did the job like you asked...?
           Oh, no. Nothing like that. You're calling on her for business.

          Sure, but will I come out of there alive?
           Ha ha. If it was like that she wouldn't be asking for you, she'd
           be calling the Dark Brotherhood. It's just business.

Dragonborn: What does Maven want from me?

Brynjolf: That's between you and Maven and I prefer to keep it that way.

          • Just keep your ears open and your mouth shut and you'll do fine.
          • Don't worry about it. Maven's business dealings usually involve
            quite a bit of gold for her people.

Dragonborn: Speaking of which...

Brynjolf: Of course...your pay. Haha! You're smart as a whip, lad. Keep doing
          right by us and there'll be plenty more where that came from.

[TH04] DAMPENED SPIRITS |======================================================
[Dragonborn tracks down Maven in Riften. If the player fouled things up:]

Maven Black-Briar: So you're the one who burned down Goldenglow Estate. Do you
                   have any idea what that little stunt you pulled is going to
                   cost me? I'm amazed you even bothered to show your face

Dragonborn: My apologies, Lady Maven.

Maven: The only reason we're having this conversation is due to Brynjolf's
       assurance you won't botch another assignment. He claims you possess some
       sort of uncanny aptitude for your line of work. Quite frankly I find
       that hard to believe.

[If the player did the Goldenglow job right:]

Maven: So, you're the one. Hmm. You don't look so impressive.

       I'm the best at what I do.
        Is that confidence I hear...or arrogance? Strange how often they're

       Sorry you're disappointed.
        This is exactly what I'm talking about. Once again Brynjolf sends me
        someone with no backbone, no determination.

       How about we skip the conversation?
       You have to understand, it's been a long time since Brynjolf's sent me
       anyone I can rely on.

Dragonborn: You have no faith in the guild?

Maven: Faith? I don't have faith in anyone. All I care about is cause and
       effect. Did the job get done and was it done correctly. There's no gray

       You won't have that problem with me.
        I hope not. This is an important job. I have a competitor called
        Honningbrew Meadery that I want to put out of business. I also want to
        know how they got the place up and running so quickly.

       Where do I begin?
        Head to the Bannered Mare in Whiterun and ask for Mallus Maccius.
        He'll fill you in on all the details.

Dragonborn: Who runs the Honningbrew Meadery?

Maven: Some layabout named Sabjorn. Been a thorn in my side for the last few
       years now.

Dragonborn: Sabjorn seems like more than just friendly competition.

Maven: Not a day goes by that I don't regret letting Sabjorn get as far as he
       did. In only a few short years, he's taken that bile he calls mead to
       market and a chunk of my profits with it! I can't imagine where he
       found the gold to take it to market so quickly.

Dragonborn: So get rid of him and he's no longer a threat.

Maven: Exactly. With Sabjorn in prison, his meadery will be forced to close.
       Then I swoop in and take over the place. No more competition.

Dragonborn: Why strike now?

Maven: The Goldenglow Estate job has undoubtedly interrupted the supply of
       honey that I need to make my mead. Sabjorn could use this interruption
       to his advantage and take a larger share of the market. I can't have

Dragonborn: How did you become Allied with the Thieves Guild?

Maven: The Black-Briar family has always been allied with the Guild. Our
       connections with the Empire and within Skyrim make for a perfect fit. I
       dare say the Guild owes its survival as much to my family as it does
       to its own people.

Maven: One more time in case I wasn't clear. You butcher this job and you'll be

[The player travels to Whiterun's inn.]

Mallus Maccius: Can't a man drink in peace?

Dragonborn: Maven said you're expecting me.

Mallus: I'm going to keep this short 'cause we've got a lot to do.
        Honningbrew's owner, Sabjorn, is about to hold a tasting for Whiterun's
        Captain of the Guard, and we're going to poison the mead.

Dragonborn: You have the poison?

Mallus: No, no. That's the beauty of the whole plan. We're going to get Sabjorn
        to give it to us. The meadery has quite a pest problem and the whole
        city knows about it. Pest poison and mead don't mix well, you know what
        I mean?

Dragonborn: How do I fit in?

Mallus: You're going to happen by and lend poor old Sabjorn a helping hand.
        He's going to give you the poison to use on the pests, but you're also
        going to dum it into the brewing vat.

Dragonborn: Clever.

Mallus: Maven and I spent weeks planning this. All we need is someone like you
        to get in there and get it done. Now get going before Sabjorn grows a
        brain and hires someone else to do the dirty work.

        How do I get to the brewing vats?
         Both of the buildings are connected by tunnels made by the pests
         infesting the meadery. There's an entrance to it in the basement
         storeroom of the warehouse that used to be boarded over. I've already
         removed the boards so the meadery would be infested. That's where you
         should start.

         What about just going in through the brewery?
          Sabjorn keeps that locked up tight. If you can get through that way,
          go right ahead.

        Why are you doing all this?
         I made the mistake of borrowing coin from Sabjorn. He's allowing me to
         pay it back, but he's working my fingers to the bone! He treats me
         like a slave...I have to do every nasty, dirty job in the meadery.

         There's more to this than a debt, isn't there?
          If this plan works, not only is my debt gone, but I'll be set up for
          life. Maven and I worked out a little deal. If Sabjorn ends up in
          jail, she's going to take over his meadery. And guess who gets to run
          the Black-Briar Meadery in Whiterun? You're looking at him.

        Why bother poisoning the nest for Sabjorn?
         Once Sabjorn is out of the way, Maven has plans for this place. One
         way or another, we don't want the pests coming back. Consider it just
         more of the dirty work. I did my part getting them in there, now you
         need to clear them out.

        Remember, Sabjorn will be needing a helping hand. Make it look good.

[The Dragonborn goes to the meadery. Dead rats lie near the serving counter.]

Sabjorn: What are you gawking at? Can't you see I have problems here?

Dragonborn: Is something wrong?

Sabjorn: Are you kidding me? Look at this place. I'm supposed to be holding a
         tasting of the new Honningbrew Reserve for the Captain of the Guard.
         If he sees the meadery in this state, I'll be ruined.

Dragonborn: I might be able to help.

Sabjorn: Oh really? And I don't suppose you'd just do it out of the kindness
         of your heart, would you? I hope you're not expecting to be paid
         until the job's done.

         That's the only way I operate. (Persuade)
          Well that's not how I operate, so forget it.

         You better, or I yell "skeever." (Intimidate)
          Okay, okay. No need to make rash decisions. Here's half. You get the
          rest when the job's done. My only demand is that these vermin are
          permanently eliminated before my reputation is completely destroyed.

         Just pay me when the job's done.
          My only demand is that these vermin are permanently eliminated before
          my reputation is completely destroyed.

Dragonborn: How do I "permanently" clear the vermin?

Sabjorn: I bought some poison. I was going to have my lazy, good-for-nothing
         assistant Mallus handle it, but he seems to have vanished. If you
         plant this in the vermin's nest, it should stop them from ever coming

Dragonborn: You've got a deal.

Sabjorn: Don't come back until every one of those things are dead.

         I haven't finished the job yet.
          Why are you standing here then? I've told the Captain of the Guard
          we'll have the meadery cleared for the tasting and he could be here
          any minute.

         You mentioned someone named Mallus?
          Mallus is the best deal I've ever made. Lent him a bit of gold some
          time ago I knew he'd never be able to pay back. Nothing like free
          labor to make operating costs cheaper.

         Now I've got to clean up this mess.

[After killing the rats and the human living with them, the mead is poisoned.
 The Dragonborn returns for his payment.]

Dragonborn: Job's finished.

Sabjorn: Well it's about time! I had to stall the captain until you were

Dragonborn: What about my pay?

Sabjorn: You'll just have to wait until after the captain's finished. I
         suppose you can wait around if you must.

Commander Caius: Well, Sabjorn, now that you've taken care of your little
                 pest problem, how about I get a taste of some of your mead?

Sabjorn: Help yourself, milord. It's my finest brew yet...I call it Honningbrew
         Reserve. I think you'll find it quite pleasing to your palate.

Caius: Oh, come now. This is mead, not some wine meant to be sipped and
       savored. By the Eight?! What...what's in this?

Sabjorn: I...I don't know. What's wrong?

Caius: You assured me this place was clean! I'll see...see to it that you
       remain in irons for the rest of your days!

Sabjorn: No, please! I don't understand...

Caius: Silence, idiot! I should have known better...to trust this place after
       it's been riddled with filth.

Sabjorn: I beg you...please! This is not what it seems!

Caius: You...you're in charge until I can sort this all out.

Mallus: It will be my pleasure.

Caius: And you...you're coming with me to Dragonsreach. We'll see how quickly
       your memory cleans in the city's prisons. Now move.

Mallus: Look, I assure you, this is all just a huge misunderstanding!

Caius: I said move!

Mallus: Farewell, Sabjorn.

[Caius and his prisoner leave.]

Mallus: I don't think that could have gone any better. Anything else you need
        before you head back to Riften?

Dragonborn: I need to get a look at Sabjorn's books.

Mallus: So, Maven wants to hunt down Sabjorn's private partner, huh? You're
        welcome to take a look around Sabjorn's office. He keeps most of his
        papers stashed in his desk. Here, this should help.

        What are you going to do with this place?
         Start changing it over to the Black-Briar Meadery as soon as possible.
         That was Maven's part of the deal. She's put me in charge of keeping
         the mead flowing, so that's exactly what I'm going to do. If you're
         in the area and you ever need anything fenced, you just let me know.

        You never mentioned that lunatic living in the tunnels.
         I thought it would be better to leave some of the details out of our
         previous discussion. Didn't want to risk you walking away from the
         job. Besides, you've done Maven a favor getting rid of him and saved
         me from wasting coin hiring someone else to do it later.

        Remember to put in a good word with Maven for me.

[After finding a promissory note, it's time to report back to the Guild.]

Maven: I trust you have good news for me.

Dragonborn: Job's finished. Here's the information you requested.

Maven: This doesn't tell me much. The only thing that can identify Sabjorn's
       partner is this odd little symbol.

Dragonborn: Yes. I've seen that symbol before.

Maven: Well, whoever this mysterious marking represents, they'll regret
       starting a war with me. You should bring this information to the
       Thieves Guild immediately. There's also the matter of your payment. I
       believe you'll find this more than adequate for your services.

[Back at Brynjolf's...]

Brynjolf: Word on the street is that poor Sabjorn has found himself in
          Whiterun's prison. How unfortunate for him.

Dragonborn: Yet very fortunate for Maven.

Brynjolf: Exactly! Now you're beginning to see how our little system works.
          Maven sent word that you'd discovered something else while you were
          out there. Something important to the Guild?

Dragonborn: The same symbol from Goldenglow was involved.

Brynjolf: Then this is beyond coincidence. First Aringoth and now Sabjorn.
          Someone's trying to take us down by driving a wedge between Maven
          and the Guild.

Dragonborn: Is there anything we can do?

Brynjolf: Mercer thinks he knows a way to identify this new thorn in our side.
          He wants to meet with you right away. And if I were you, I'd hurry.
          I've never seen him this angry before.

[TH05] SCOUNDREL'S FOLLY |=====================================================

[The player finds Mercer at his usual desk in the cistern.]

Mercer: Ah, there you are. I've consulted my contacts regarding the information
        you recovered from Goldenglow Estate, but no one can identify that

Dragonborn: I found the same marking at Honningbrew Meadery.

Mercer: It would see our adversary is attempting to take us apart indirectly by
        angering Maven Black-Briar. Very clever.

        You admire them?
         They're well-funded and they've been able to avoid identification for
         years. I'm surprised it reached this point. Just don't mistake my
         admiration for complacency; our nemesis is going to pay dearly.

        Maybe we should recruit them.
        You just, but they've been able to avoid detection for years. They're
        obviously well-funded, driven and patient. Just don't mistake my
        admiration for complacency; our nemesis is going to pay dearly.

        Clever or not, they need to die.
         Don't dismiss our adversary so easily. They're well-funded, patient
         and have been able to avoid identification for years. However, don't
         mistake my admiration for complacency; our nemesis is going to pay

Dragonborn: How can we make them pay?

Mercer: Because, even after all their posturing and planning, they've made a
        mistake. The parchment you recovered mentions a "Gajul-Lei". According
        to my sources, that's an old alias used by one of our contacts. His
        real name is Gulum-Ei. Slimy bastard.

Dragonborn: Where do I begin?

Mercer: Gulum-Ei is our inside man at the East Empire Company in Solitude. I'm
        betting he acted as a go-between for the sale of Goldenglow Estate and
        that he can finger our buyer. Get out there, shake him down and see
        what you come up with. Talk to Brynjolf before you leave if you have
        any questions.

        Aringoth was a fool to think he could get away with this.

[If one goes to get extra info:]

Brynjolf: I can't believe Gulum-Ei's mixed up in all this; that Argonian
          couldn't find his tail with both hands. Don't get me wrong. He could
          scam a beggar out of his last septim...but he's no mastermind.

Dragonborn: Think he'll give me trouble?

Brynjolf: Trouble? He's one of the most stubborn lizards I've ever met! You
          have your work cut out for you.

Dragonborn: So how do I get him to talk?

Brynjolf: You're going to have to buy him off; it's the only way to get his
          attention. If that fails, follow him and see what he's up to. If I
          know Gulum-Ei, he's in way over his head and you'll be able to use
          it as leverage.

          Betrayal or not, I'll let him live.
           I'm glad to see you're embracing our methods. It would be a waste to
           lose a contact at the East Empire Company before we had the entire
           story. Just keep on Gulum-Ei's tail and he's bound to step in
           something he can't scrape off his boot.

          He's going to owe us for this betrayal.
           Aye, he does indeed...and with his fingers in the East Empire
           Company's pie, we'll make good use of that debt. If I'm not being
           clear enough, that means we don't want him killed. For now, just
           keep on his tail and he's bound to step in something he can't scrape
           off his boot.

          If he's betrayed us, I'll kill him.
           No, no, Mercer wants him alive. For now. Stubborn or not, he's the
           only contact we have at the East Empire Company. Just keep on his
           tail and he's bound to step in something he can't scrape off his

          East Empire Company? Who are they?
           A mercantile group that has established ports all over Tamriel. They
           pretty much dominate the whole shipping industry. The Emperor
           himself supposedly backs them, which means they have fairly
           unlimited resources...so don't get their feathers in a ruffle.

          If I get information from Gulum-Ei, what then?
           Just head right back to the Guild and get the information to Mercer.
           Nothing else is more important. If you discover Gulum-Ei's holding
           out on us and hs more loot stashed away than he claims, we'd find
           that information quite valuable as well.

          You think Gulum-Ei will give me trouble?
           There are thieves and there is Gulum-Ei. No honor, no code at all.
           He'd shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time. The
           cut he's supposed to provide the Guild has dwindled as of late. He
           says pickings in the warehouse are slim, but I'm certain he's lying.
           Keep your eyes on him; he's quite crafty.

          How is Gulum-Ei an asset to the Guild?
           Gulum-Ei works in the East Empire Company warehouse. He helps
           maintain all of the shipments of goods that goes in and out of
           Solitude. That means he has the pick of the litter from some of the
           finest goods to grace Skyrim's shores. He isn't exactly in the
           Guild, but he pays us a cut of all the stuff he lifts from the

          Good luck in Solitude. Keep Gulum-Ei alive, but remind him who we

[The Argonian is found at Solitude's Winking Skeever tavern.]

Gulum-Ei: So, what do we have here? Hmm...let me guess. By your scent, I'd say
          you were from the Guild. But that can't be true, because I told
          Mercer I wouldn't deal with them anymore.

Dragonborn: I'm here about Goldenglow Estate.

Gulum-Ei: I don't deal in land or property. Now, if you're looking for goods,
          you've come to the right person.

Dragonborn: You can drop the act now...Gajul-Lei.

Gulum-Ei: Oh, wait...did you say Goldenglow Estate? My apologies. I'm sorry to
          say I know very little about that...bee farm, was it?

Dragonborn: You acted as a broker for its new owner.

Gulum-Ei: Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. I can't be expected to remember every
          deal I handle.

          Identify the buyer and we'll forget what we know. (Persuade)
           I don't care what you promise. If I tell you the buyer's name and
           word gets around, it could ruin me!

          What would it take to identify the buyer? (Bribe)
           Well, now that you mention it, there is something I've been trying
           to get my hands on. I have a buyer looking for a case of Firebrand
           Wine. There just so happens to be a single case in the Blue Palace.
           Bring it to me, and we'll talk about Goldenglow Estate.

          Give me the buyer's name or I'll kill you. (Intimidate)
           Hasn't Mercer Frey taught you people anything? You kill me and your
           only contact with the East Empire Company vanishes. That's not smart
           for business.

[Dragonborn steals a case of wine from the jarl's palace, then returns.]

Dragonborn: I have the Firebrand Wine.

Gulum-Ei: Ah, I see you have the wine. Hand it over and we'll talk. Good. Can't
          have the buyer getting impatient and looking elsewhere for this, can
          we? Here, take this. I certainly can't use it, but I suppose I need
          to pay you something for the goods.

Dragonborn: You're trying to bribe me now?

Gulum-Ei: Not at all. I consider it an investment in prolonging my life. As far
          as Goldenglow Estate goes, I'll tell you what I know. I was
          approached by a woman who wanted me to act as the broker for
          something big. She flashed a bag of gold in my face and said all I
          had to do was pay Aringoth for the estate. I brought him the coin and
          walked away with her copy of the deed.

Dragonborn: Did she say why she was doing this?

Gulum-Ei: Not at all. I tend not to ask too many questions when I'm on the
          job. I'm sure you understand. However, I did notice she was quite
          angry and it was being directed at Mercer Frey.

Dragonborn: That's it? No name or anything?

Gulum-Ei: In this business we rarely deal in names; our identity comes from how
          much coin we carry.

Dragonborn: I think you're lying to me.

Gulum-Ei: Look, that's all I know. I never promised you I'd have all the
          answers. Now, since our transaction is done, I'll be on my way.

[The broker leaves and gets tailed into the East Empire Warehouse. Gulum-Ei
 uses a sheltered route behind some crates to reach a loot-filled cavern, a
 fact he's soon confronts him over.]

Gulum-Ei: Now, there's no need to do anything rash... This isn't as bad as it
          seems. I was going to tell Mercer about everything, honestly!
          Please...he'll have me killed!

          Mercer doesn't have to know.
           I see you wish to be reasonable. Perhaps I misjudged you. The name
           of the person you want is Karliah.

          Tell me first, and then I'll decide.
           Alright, alright... It's Karliah...her name is Karliah.

          Tell me now or I'll kill you where you stand!
           No, please! There's no need for that! I'll tell you everything. It's
           Karliah...her name is Karliah.

Dragonborn: You say that name like I should know it.

Gulum-Ei: Mercer never told you about her? Karliah is the thief responsible for
          murdering the previous Guild Master, Gallus. Now she's after Mercer.

Dragonborn: And you're helping her?

Gulum-Ei: Help...? No, no! Look, I didn't even know it was her until after she
          contacted me. Please, you have to believe me!

Dragonborn: Where is Karliah now?

Gulum-Ei: I don't know. When I asked her where she was going, she just
          muttered "where the end began". Here, take the Goldenglow Estate
          deed as proof. And when you speak to Mercer, tell him I'm worth more
          to him alive.

          I'll keep quiet about your scam, but you owe me.
           Now you're speaking my language. Tell you what, if you need any
           stolen goods fenced, you bring them to me and I'll pay you good
           money for them. Consider me your new friend in the north.

          I'm keeping the deed. Any objections?
           Consider it a gift to ensure your silence. That thing seems to be
           bringing me nothing but trouble anyway. Karliah didn't even want it,
           she wanted to keep the sale a secret. I can see how well that went.

          Why did Karliah purchase Goldenglow Estate?
           I asked her the same thing and she wouldn't come out and tell me.
           But now that I know who she is, I'd say she's trying to hit the
           Thieves Guild where it hurts.

           How would that hurt the guild?
            Maven Black-Briar needs Goldenglow's honey for her mead. She's been
            using the Guild to keep the Estate under her thumb. If the owner
            cuts the Guild out of the picture, he's cutting Maven out of the
            picture...which she can't afford. If I was Maven, I'd blame the
            Guild for weakening and not being able to handle the place.

            Which makes Maven lose faith in us.
             Exactly. For the Guild to survive, they need Maven's support. This
             Karliah must have spent a lot of time and resources planning this.

          Now, you won't forget to tell Mercer I cooperated, will you?

[The player returns to the Guild.]

Mercer: Did Gulum-Ei give up any information on our buyer?

Dragonborn: He said Goldenglow was purchased by a "Karliah".

Mercer: No, it...it can't be. I haven't heard that name in decades. This is
        grave news indeed, she's someone I hoped to never cross paths with

Dragonborn: Gulum-Ei also told me she was a murderer.

Mercer: Karliah destroyed everything this guild stood for. She murdered my
        predecessor in cold blood and betrayed the Guild. After we discovered
        what she'd done, we spent months trying to track her down, but she just

Dragonborn: Why has she returned?

Mercer: Karliah and I were like partners. I went with her on every heist. We
        watched each other's backs. I know her techniques, her skills. If she
        kills me, there'll be no one left that could possibly catch her. If
        only we knew where she was...

Dragonborn: Gulum-Ei told me she said, "Where the end began."

Mercer: There's only one place that could be. The place where she murdered
        Gallus...a ruin called Snow Veil Sanctum. We have to go out there
        before she disappears again.

Dragonborn: We?

Mercer: Yes, I'm going with you and together we're going to kill her. Here's
        your payment for Solitude. Prepare yourself and meet me at the ruins
        as soon as you can. We can't let her slip through our fingers.

[TH06] SPEAKING WITH SILENCE |=================================================
[The player goes to Snow Veil Sanctum in Winterhold.]

Mercer: Good, you're finally here. I've scouted the ruins and I'm certain
        Karliah is still inside.

Dragonborn: You saw her?

Mercer: No, I found her horse. Don't worry, I've taken care of it...she won't
        be using it to escape. Let's get moving, I want to catch her inside
        while she's distracted. Take the lead.

        You want me to lead?
         I'm sorry, I was under the impression I was in charge. You're leading
         and I'm following. Does that seem clear to you?

         Just make certain you keep your eyes open. Karliah is as sharp as a
         blade. The last thing I need is you blundering into a trap and warning
         her that we're here.

        How did Gallus die?
         Twenty-five years ago, I was standing outside these very same ruins.
         Gallus told me to meet here but he wouldn't say why. When I arrived,
         Gallus stepped from the shadows. Before he uttered a sound, an arrow
         pierced his throat. Before I could even draw my blade, her second
         arrow found its mark in my chest.

         So Karliah took on both of you alone?
          Karliah was a master marksman and her greatest weapon was the element
          of surprise. I was lucky...she missed my heart by mere inches. I
          staggered away from the ruins and my vision began to blur. It's then
          that I realized the bitch had poisoned her arrows.

          And Gallus?
           The last thing I saw was Karliah dumping his body into an opening
           atop the ruins; an unceremonious end for a remarkable man. To this
           day, I've regretted letting her escape, even if it had meant I died
           trying. I owed Gallus that much.

           What happened after Gallus died?
            The Guild was thrown into disarray. Several stepped up and tried to
            claim Gallus' former position as Guild Master. Sides quickly formed
            behind these men and the Ratway became a bloodbath.

            And you were a part of this?
             I saw what they did to Gallus. I wanted to use the Guild's
             resources to hunt down Karliah. The others didn't even care he was
             gone. Fortunately, I perservered and the other groups were either
             killed or they left Skyrim.

             And what of Karliah?
              The in-fighting had taken months to subside, which gave her time
              to go into hiding and carefully cover her tracks. I spent
              thousands of septims and used every contact at my disposal, but
              it was as if she had simply vanished...like I said before, she
              was the best.

        Tell me about Karliah.
         She was a stubborn Dunmer...always had to do everything her way. But
         she was also the best...bringing in more coin a month than some
         thieves heist in a year. Gallus trusted her too much and let her get
         too close.

          So, they had a relationship.
           If you want to call it that, yes. Me? I think she was softening him
           for the kill. Gallus would call her his "little nightingale". He was
           absolutely smitten by her.

           Why did she kill him?
            Greed? Jealousy? Spite? Who can say what drove her to such an
            iniquitous act. One thing's certain: I intend to find out before
            she draws her last breath.

        Isn't murder Dark Brotherhood territory?
         I have a long-standing arrangement with the Dark Brotherhood. If I
         need someone in the Guild taken care of, we do it ourselves. We both
         agree it's best to keep these matters in-house.

        Let's get going. I want her head on my mantle.

[They arrive at the ruins' locked entrance.]

Mercer: They say that these ancient Nordic burial mounds are sometimes
        impenetrable. This one doesn't look too difficult. Quite simple,
        really. I don't know what all the fuss is about these locks. All it
        takes is a bit of know-how and a lot of skill. That should do it.
        After you.

[The two head inside.]

Mercer: The stench in here...this place smells of death. Be on your guard.
        Pull the chain over there and watch out for the spikes. Looks like
        Karliah reset all the traps.

[They fight off boatloads of awakened draugr.]

Mercer: Karliah always was a nimble minx...slipping past these draugr must be
        child's play for her. We're on the right track. She's been through
        here as well.

[After more fighting, a long passage is revealed.]

Mercer: That door up ahead...looks perfect for hiding an ambush. Be ready.

[They come to a door requiring a specific claw object.]

Mercer: Ah, it's one of the infamous Nordic puzzle doors. How quaint. Without
        the matching claw, they're normally impossible to open. And since I'm
        sure Karliah already did away with it, we're on our own. Fortunately,
        these doors have a weakness if you know how to exploit it. Quite
        simple, really.

[He opens the door easily.]

Mercer: Karliah's close, I'm certain of it. Now let's get moving.

[As they enter the next room, the player is dropped to the floor by a hidden
 arrow containing paralytic portion. They can only watch the scene between
 Mercer and Karliah play out.]

Mercer: Do you honestly think your arrow will reach me before my blade finds
        your heart?

Karliah: Give me a reason to try.

Mercer: You're a clever girl, Karliah. Buying Goldenglow Estate and funding
        Honningbrew Meadery was inspired.

Karliah: "To ensure an enemy's defeat, you must first undermine his allies." It
         was the first lesson Gallus taught us.

Mercer: You always were a quick study.

Karliah: Not quick enough, otherwise Gallus would still be alive.

Mercer: Gallus had his wealth and he had you. All he had to do was look the
        other way.

Karliah: Did you forget the oath we took as Nightingales? Did you expect him
         to simply ignore your methods?

Mercer: Enough of this mindless banter! Come, Karliah! It's time for you and
        Gallus to become reunited!

[Instead, she drinks an invisibility potion.]

Karliah: I'm no fool, Mercer. Crossing blades with you would be a death
         sentence. But I can promise the next time we meet, it will be your

[She slips away. Mercer goes and stands over the player.]

Mercer: How interesting. It appears Gallus's history has repeated itself.
        Karliah has provided me the means to be rid of you, and this ancient
        tomb becomes your final resting place. But do you know what intrigues
        me the most? The fact that this was all possible because of you.
        Farewell. I'll be certain to give Brynjolf your regards.

[He stabs the player, walking away as they bleed out. Later, the player wakes
 up in front of the Sanctum. Karliah is there.]

Karliah: Easy, easy. Don't get up so quickly. How are you feeling?

Dragonborn: Hold on...you shot me!

Karliah: No, I saved your life. My arrow was tipped with a unique paralytic
         poison. It slowed your heart and kept you from bleeding out. Had I
         intended to kill you, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Dragonborn: Why save me?

Karliah: My original intention was to use that arrow on Mercer, but I never had
         a clear shot. I made a split-second decision to get you out of the
         way and it prevented your death.

         Then I'm in your debt.
          More than you'll ever realize.

         Why should I believe you?
          Without the antidote I administered, you'd be as still as a statue.
          I treated your wounds and didn't leave you defenseless.

         You should have shot Mercer instead.
          I promise you, the thought crossed my mind.

         The poison on that arrow took me a year to perfect; I only had enough
         for a single shot. All I had hoped was to capture Mercer alive.

Dragonborn: Why capture Mercer alive?

Karliah: Mercer must be brought before the Guild to answer for what he's done.
         He needs to pay for Gallus' murder.

Dragonborn: How will you prove it now?

Karliah: My purpose in using Snow Veil Sanctum to ambush Mercer wasn't simply
         for irony's sake. Before both of you arrived, I recovered a journal
         from Gallus' remains. I suspect the information we need is written

Dragonborn: Well, what's it say?

Karliah: I wish I knew. The journal is written in some sort of language I've
         never seen before.

Dragonborn: Perhaps it could be translated.

Karliah: Enthir...Gallus' friend at the College of Winterhold. Of course...
         It's the only outside Gallus trusted with the knowledge of his
         Nightingale identity.

Dragonborn: There's that word again, "Nightingale".

Karliah: There were three of us: Myself, Gallus and Mercer. We were an
         anonymous splinter of the Thieves Guild in Riften. Perhaps I'll tell
         you more about it later. Right now, you need to head for Winterhold
         with the journal and get the translation. Here, take these as well,
         they may prove useful for your journey.

         Can't you come with me to Winterhold?
          I'm afraid not. There are preparations to make and Gallus' remains
          to lay to rest. I promise to join you there as soon as I can.

         Tell me about Gallus.
          He was a scholar, a master thief and a natural leader. Everyone
          respected him and followed him without question. It was Gallus who
          inducted me into the Nightingales and honed my skills to a
          razor-sharp point. I owe everything to him. We were...very close.

          You were lovers?
           Gallus once said he felt comfortable around me; able to let his
           guard down. I can't help but think that I'm responsible for what
           happened to him.

         Why didn't you kill Mercer?
          Mercer lied to the Guild, branded me a murderer and slandered my name
          across his network of contacts. For twenty-five years I ran, never
          sleeping in the same place twice and carefully covering my tracks.
          Mercer doesn't need to die...he needs to feel the cold sting of fate
          as his life crumbles in front of him and he's hunted by the Guild.

          Might not have a choice next time.
           I can promise you if it comes to that, and my back's to the wall, I
           won't hesitate.

         Remember, speak only to Enthir. Trust no one else.

[TH07] HARD ANSWERS |==========================================================

[Enthir is found at Winterhold's inn.]

Enthir: Yes, yes, what is it?

Dragonborn: I've been sent by Karliah.

Enthir: Karliah? Then she's finally found it. Do you have Gallus' journal?

Dragonborn: Yes, but there's a problem.

Enthir: A problem? Let me see it. This is just like Gallus. A dear friend, but
        always too clever for his own good. He's written all of the text in
        the Falmer language.

Dragonborn: Can you translate it?

Enthir: No. However, I know someone who might. The court wizard of Markarth,
        Calcelmo, may have the materials you need to get this journal
        translated. A word of warning: Calcelmo is a fierce guardian of his
        research. Getting the information won't be easy.

        What exactly is a Falmer?
         In the time before man, they were known as the snow elves. They lived
         in the sunlight and had a very prosperous society.

         So they were like your kind?
          Like the Altmer? Yes, I would say their culture quite possibly
          rivaled our own.

          What drove them underground?
           The Nords went to war with the Falmer in the First Era. Killed them
           by the thousands to drive them from their snowy homeland. The Falmer
           retreated underground and forged an uneasy alliance with the
           dwarves, who ended up betraying them. This betrayal made them what
           they are now...horrible, blind monstrosities with a burning hatred
           of any but their own kind.

           They sound more like victims to me.
            Yes, I suppose you're right. Forgive me. I've lost several close
            friends to the Falmer and it tends to distort my view.

           You appear to despise them.
            Why shouldn't I? The Falmer have killed more than a fair share of
            my acquaintances. They're animals...they show absolutely no pity
            or remorse.

           Then I'll make it a point to hunt them down.
            Good. I lost more than a few acquaintances to the Falmer and I wish
            to see them avenged.

           If you wish to learn more about them, you're welcome to my tome on
           the subject. Should be on my table.

        What can you tell me about Gallus?
         He was a dear friend of mine and a surprisingly astute pupil of
         academia...I was devastated when he was killed. I suppose that risk
         always coexisted with his line of work; I just never thought his luck
         would run out.

         He was an academic yet he chose a different path. Why?
          Well, for the thrill, of course. He was quite clear that he felt more
          in his element climbing through a window than hunched over a dusty

          How did you meet him?
           Ah, yes, quite an amusing anecdote actually. I caught him trying to
           break into my laboratory. I was about to show him the error of his
           ways when he made a curiously astute comment about my research
           notes. I was astounded and it in turn lead to a conversation. Who'd
           have imagined it would lead to such a strong friendship?

        Why did Gallus scribe his journal in Falmer?
         Besides the fact that there are only a handful of people in Tamriel
         that even recognize the language? I'm fairly certain he was planning
         some sort of a heist that involved a deep understanding of the Falmer
         language. Sadly, we never had the opportunity to speak about the

         Where did he acquire the knowledge to use it?
          Ironically, I pointed him in the same direction I pointed you, to
          Markarth and Calcelmo. I'm only hoping whatever means he used to
          learn the language will still be available to you.

        Calcelmo is stubborn as a mule. Be careful when you speak to him.

[The player finds Markath's court wizard.]

Calcelmo: Look, I'm very busy, so this better be important. What are you doing
          here? The excavation site is closed. I don't need any more workers or

Dragonborn: I was looking for you, actually.

Calcelmo: I told you I'm not hiring any more guards. Why do you people always
          bother me when I'm trying to finish my research? You idiot. Do you
          even know who I am? The most recognized scholar on the Dwemer in all
          of Tamriel, and you people keep bothering me! I...I'm sorry, I...I
          got too excited. I'm in the middle of some very...stressful work,
          and I shouldn't have yelled. How can I help you?

Dragonborn: I hear you're the authority on ancient Falmer.

Calcelmo: Then you were well informed. I am at this very moment on the cusp of
          completing my magnum opus on the subject. I'm calling it "Calcelmo's
          Guide to the Falmer Tongue". It will revolutionize the way we
          understand those ancient beings.

Dragonborn: Perhaps I could view your work?

Calcelmo: Preposterous! That research represents years of personal toil in some
          of the most dangerous Dwemer ruins in Skyrim! You must be mad to
          think I'd allow anyone to see it before it's completed.

          Even after everything I did for you and Faleen?²
           Well, I'm not blind to the fact that you've been instrumental in
           improving my affairs of the heart. If you wish, you may enter my
           tower to view the museum section, but I'm afraid the laboratories
           are still off-limits. That's the best I can offer.

          But I'm a great admirer of your work. (Persuade)
           While I appreciate the sentiment, I still have to decline. Being an
           admirer, I'm sure you can appreciate the need to keep my research
           a secret.

          What will it cost to change your mind? (Bribe)
           I'm not certain how many scholars you're accustomed to dealing with,
           but I can assure you personal wealth is our lowest priority.

          Grant me access or you'll regret it. (Intimidate)
           Do you realize that at the snap of my finger, I can bring the entire
           Markarth city guard to my defense? You best rethink this course of
           action or you may find yourself on the executioner's block.

          Forget it. Maybe I'll come back later.
           Very well. Perhaps when my research is complete, I'll feel more
           comfortable discussing my findings with you.

[The Dragonborn enters the museum, then slips into the laboratories. He can
 overhear Aicantar, Calcelmo's nephew, in the distance.]

Aicantar: You heard me, captain -- our work must not be disturbed. Kill any
          intruders on sight. Call for backup if you need it. But let no one

Wizards' Guard: ...As you say, sir.

[After some slipping through the guard detail, the player sneaks into the
 research tower and finds a Falmer language "Rosetta Stone" for cracking the
 language. He takes a rubbing and prepares to leave, just as more guards are
 coming in.]

Aicantar: Yes, I'm positive I heard something!

Captain Aquilius: I...oh, alright. If there is a thief, he won't leave this
                  tower alive. But shouldn't we inform Master Calcelmo?

Aicantar: I'll deal with my uncle. Just...go! Scour this place from top to

[The Dragonborn escapes and returns to Enthir in Winterhold. Karliah's there.]

Enthir: Back, eh? And how was our friend Calcelmo?

Dragonborn: This should help translate Gallus' journal.

Enthir: I suppose it would be inappropriate of me to ask how you obtained this,
        so I simply won't. A rubbing, eh? Odd. I expected notes.

Dragonborn: It's quite the tale.

Enthir: I undertstand¹. Now, let me take a good look at this. Over here,
        please. Hmm... This is intriguing, but highly disturbing. It appears
        Gallus had suspicions about Mercer Frey's allegiance to the Guild for
        months. Gallus had begun to uncover what he calls an "...unduly lavish
        lifestyle replete with spending vast amounts of gold on personal

Karliah: Does the journal say where this wealth came from?

Enthir: Yes. Gallus seems certain that Mercer had been removing funds from the
        Guild's treasury without anyone's knowledge.

Karliah: Anything else, Enthir? Anything about...the Nightingales?

Enthir: Hmm. Yes, here it is. The last few pages seem to describe "the failure
        of the Nightingales," although it doesn't go into great detail. Gallus
        also repeatedly mentions his strong belief that Mercer desecrated
        something known as the Twilight Sepulcher.

Karliah: Shadows preserve us. So it's true...

Enthir: I'm not familiar with the Twilight Sepulcher. What is it? What's Mercer
        Frey done?

Karliah: I'm sorry, Enthir. I can't say. All that matters is we deliver your
         translation to the Guild immediately. Farewell, Enthir...words can't

Enthir: It's alright, Karliah. You don't have to say a word. Listen, all I want
        is the truth to be revealed to the Guild. They respected Karliah, and
        she deserves better. Do whatever you can and I'll consider it a
        personal favor.

Dragonborn: Thank you, Enthir.

Enthir: If you ever manage to gain entry to the College, and you find trying to
        rid yourself of stolen goods becoming a burden, come visit me. I've
        been known to handle items of questionable interest from time to time
        and I'll see what I can do.

Karliah: You must hasten to Riften before Mercer can do any more damage to the

Dragonborn: Gallus' journal mentioned the "Twilight Sepulcher".

Karliah: You've come this far, so I see no harm in concealing it any longer.
         The Twilight Sepulcher is the temple to Nocturnal. It's what the
         Nightingales are sworn to protect at all costs.

Dragonborn: Why does it require that type of protection?

Karliah: Everything that represents Nocturnal's influence is contained within
         the walls of the Sepulcher. Now it seems Mercer's broken his oath
         with Nocturnal and defiled the very thing he swore to protect.

Dragonborn: Thieves and temples. It just doesn't add up.

Karliah: I felt the same way when Gallus first revealed these things to me. I
         think given time, you'll understand what I mean.

Dragonborn: I'd understand better if less mystery was involved.

Karliah: As a Nightingale, I've been sworn to secrecy regarding the Sepulcher.
         I know the Guild doesn't do much to foster faith, but I'm going to
         have to ask that you continue to trust me.

Dragonborn: Very well, we do it your way for now.

Karliah: I'll make for Riften and scout the situation; see if I can discover
         what Mercer's up to. When you're ready, meet me at the Ragged Flagon.
         In the meantime, I wanted you to have this. It belonged to Gallus, but
         given the circumstances I think he'd approve.

Dragonborn: I'll put it to good use.

Karliah: If the Guild isn't willing to listen to reason, you might have to.

[He takes Gallus' Nightingale Blade and makes for the Flagon.]

[TH08] THE PURSUIT |===========================================================

[Karliah waits at the Flagon's entrance, far away from the sitting area.]

Karliah: I'm glad you're here. I think some of these people are beginning to
         suspect who I am. Are you ready to face the Guild?

         I'm ready. Let's go.
          Keep your eyes open. I'm not sure what to expect when we enter the

         What if Mercer's there?
          Then we'll show them Gallus' journal and hope for the best. Remember,
          we've got proof and all he's got is his word.

         No, I'm not.
          Time is of the essence here, please hurry back.

[A thief is waiting behind the false cabinet.]

Garthar: They're waiting for you in the cistern. No tricks.

[The cistern is filled with the guildmembers, all readying their sword arms.]

Brynjolf: You better have a damn good reason to be here with that murderer.

Karliah: Please, lower your weapons so we can speak. I have proof that you've
         all bee misled!

Brynjolf: No tricks, Karliah, or I'll cut you down where you stand. Now what's
          this so-called proof you speak of?

Karliah: I have Gallus' journal. I think you'll find its contents disturbing.

Brynjolf: Let me see. No, it...it can't be. This can't be true. I've known
          Mercer too long...

Karliah: It's true, Brynjolf. Every word. Mercer's been stealing from the Guild
         for years, right under your noses.

Brynjolf: There's only one way to find out if what the lass says is true.
          Delvin, I'll need you to open the Vault.

Delvin: Wait just a blessed moment, Bryn. What's in that book? What did it say?

Brynjolf: It says Mercer's been stealing from our vault for years. Gallus was
          looking into it before he was murdered.

Delvin: How could Mercer open up a vault that needs two keys? It's impossible.
        Could he pick his way in?

Vex: That door has the best puzzle locks money can buy. There's no way it can
     be picked open.

Karliah: He didn't need to pick the lock.

Delvin: What's she on about?

Brynjolf: Use your key on the vault, Delvin. We'll open it up and find out the

[Delvin fulfills his role.]

Delvin: I've used my key, but the vault's still locked up tighter than a drum.
        Now use yours.

[Brynjolf uses his. The vault's contents are laid bare.]

Brynjolf: By the Eight! It's gone, everything's gone! Get in here, all of you!

Delvin: The gold, the jewels...it's all gone.

Vex: That son of a bitch! I'll kill him!

Brynjolf: Vex! Put it away...right now. We can't afford to lose our heads...we
          need to calm down and focus.

Delvin: Do what he says, Vex. This ain't helpin' right now.

Vex: Fine. We do it your way. For now.

Brynjolf: Delvin, Vex...watch the Flagon. If you see Mercer, come tell me
          right away.

[Other guild members can comment on the recent heist or situation. This is
 optional, but still worth noting somewhere.]

Delvin: This is gettin' dangerous. Don't let anythin' get the jump on you.
Delvin: Stabbed in the back. It's like the Dark Brotherhood all over again.

Vex: If I see Frey, I'll pluck his eyes from his skull with my bare hands!
Vex: Need to stay focused in case Frey comes back, make it fast.

Rune: How can Karliah remain so calm when Mercer had her on the run for that
      long? Amazing.

Cynric: I never saw this coming. I thought we were just having a run of bad

Ravyn Imyan: Vex is ready to tear you apart. I hope you have a good excuse for
             bringing Karliah here.

Niruin: Vex better leave a piece of Mercer for us. It's payback time.

Garthar: If I find Mercer first, I'm going to crush his skull with my bare

Thrynn: I won't rest until Mercer's dead. How could he murder Gallus and betray
        all of us like that?

Sapphire: I dare Mercer to come back here! He takes one step in the cistern
          and I'll cut it off!

Vipir the Fleet: I can't believe he emptied the vault. Right from under our

Tonilia: There's no doubt Mercer will make for the borders of Skyrim. I hope
         you find him before he escapes our grasp. If you find Mercer, give no
         quarter...kill him and be done with it.

Vekel the Man: Word is Mercer Frey is a dead man. The Guild wants his blood. I
               can't say I blame them. Murder is not our way. Gallus was before
               my time, but I still can't believe it. You need to teach him a
               lesson...show him the penalty for betrayal around here.

[Back to the mandatory stuff...]

Brynjolf: Look, before I help you track Mercer down, I need to know what you
          learned from Karliah. I mean everything.

          Mercer killed Gallus, not Karliah.
           Aye, I feared that was the case. From that last entry in Gallus's
           diary, it looks like he was getting close to exposing Mercer to the
           Guild. Anything else?

          Gallus, Karliah and Mercer were Nightingales.
           What? Nightingales? But, I always just assumed they were a tale...
           a way to keep the young footpads in line. Was there anything else
           she told you?

          Karliah was behind Goldenglow and Honningbrew.
           Trying to make Mercer look bad in front of Maven, eh? Clever lass.
           Was there anything else?

          No, that's it.
           Then, I have an important task for you. I need you to break into
           Mercer's home and search for anything that tells us where he could
           have gone.

Dragonborn: He has a house in Riften?

Brynjolf: Aye, a gift from the Black-Briars when the kicked the previous family
          out...place called Riftweald Manor. He never stays there, just pays
          for the upkeep on it. Hired some lout by the name of Vald to guard
          the place.

Dragonborn: I'll take care of it.

Brynjolf: Be careful, lad. This is the last place in Skyrim I'd ever want to
          send you. Just find a way in, get the information and leave. And you
          have permission to kill anyone who stands in your way.

          What's the best way to get into Riftweald Manor?
           Good question. I've only set foot inside a few times myself and
           that was in Mercer's company. If you can get past his trained
           watchdog, I think your best bet might be the ramp to the second
           floor balcony in his backyard.

           I don't suppose the ramp is easy to access.
            No. It's some sort of crazy contraption commissioned for quick
            escapes. I'd wager a well-placed shot at the ramp's mechanism would
            lower it in a hurry.

          What's missing from the vault?
           Better question would be "what did he leave." Mercer took
           everything. Even all of our plans are gone.

           Plans for what?
            Before Mercer took over, Gallus started collecting every bit of
            material on locations the Guild could heist. Museums, keeps,
            estates...you name it. By the time Mercer took over the Guild we
            must have had a few dozen.

            How could he have opened the vault door alone?
             I don't have a clue. That door is impenetrable. Without two keys,
             it's impossible to open. I have a key, Delvin has a key, and
             Mercer has a key. That's it. There are no other copies.

          You mentioned a watchdog?
           That'd be Vald. A real piece of work, that one. Mercer's holding
           something over his head, keeping him loyal. Talk to Vex. She used
           to know him very well...if you catch my meaning.

          Careful at Mercer's place, I don't want to lose anyone else to that

[If the player speaks to Vex on the matter...]

Dragonborn: Brynjolf said you have info on Vald.

Vex: That pig? Oh, I have info on him. More than you care to know.

Dragonborn: I want to get on his good side.

Vex: Vald? Good side? I think you have the wrong person. The only thing Vald
     understands is gold. A man after my own heart.

Dragonborn: So, buy him off?

Vex: Sure, but he'll ask for a whole lot. I mean, you are asking him to betray
     Mercer Frey. Your best bet would be to erase his debt with Maven
     Black-Briar. If you talk to her, she might be able to give you the
     details. Of course, you could just run him through and take what you need
     off his corpse...I could care less. While you're in there, help yourself
     to anything in Frey's manor. I would.

[If the player speaks to Vald:]

Vald: This is Mercer Frey's place and he don't like visitors. Now go away.

Dragonborn: I need to get inside Mercer's house.

Vald: No visitors. No way. Now piss off before ya make me mad.

      Mercer needs you in Markarth right away! (Persuade)
       Oh, come on, I ain't that dumb.

      I'll make it worth your while. (Bribe)
       You ain't got enough coin to make my problems go away, unless ya can
       talk to Maven Black-Briar into lettin' me outta my debt. You try and
       set one foot in this yard and I'll cut it off.

      Let me in or I'll kill you. (Intimidate)
       Hahaha! That's funny. Ya think you can take me on? Try it anytime. I've
       been itching for a fight.

[If one then speaks to Maven:]

Dragonborn: I'd like to erase Vald's debt.

Maven: Vald? Why would you want to help that idiot? He owes me a steep debt.
       In fact, he's lucky all I did was force him to work for Mercer.

Dragonborn: What did he do?

Maven: A few years back, I commissioned a unique quill from a good friend of
       mine in Winterhold. Vald was tasked with getting it here safely and it
       ended up at the bottom of Lake Honrich.

Dragonborn: He's in debt because of a quill?

Maven: The wizards call it the Quill of Gemination and demanded a tremendous
       amount of gold to have it made. If you can locate the quill and return
       it to me, something Vald was too stupid to do himself, I'll consider
       the debt satisfied.

       What is the Quill of Gemination?
        The quill was supposed to allow me to duplicate any writing I'm viewing
        in exacting detail. I'm sure you understand how useful that would
        prove in a business situation, especially where signatures were

        What if someone else got their hands on it?
         Fortunately, the quill required an ink with a unique formula known
         only to myself. So if you're getting any ideas abou selling it to
         someone else or keeping it, you'll find it would hold little value.

       How did it end up in Lake Honrich?
        I had Vald meet the caravan from Winterhold on the western end of the
        lake so he could avoid the roads. The idiot got lost in the mist and
        ran his boat right over some rocks, sending it straight to the bottom.
        He's too stupid to remember where he was, and any attempt I've made to
        find it in the past has been unsuccessful.

        Any ideas where I can look?
         Vald said his rowboat struck some rocks...I'd check under the water
         near one of the small islands in the lake. Perhaps you should start
         at the docks and work your way out towards Goldenglow Estate.

       I believe we're done.

[If the player recovers the Quill:]

Dragonborn: I found the Quill of Gemination.

Maven: Really? I wrote that off a long time ago. Well, I suppose I need to
       fulfill my end of the bargain. Give this document to Vald. It frees him
       from the debt, but I never want to see him in Riften again.

[If the player brings the note to Vald:]

Dragonborn: I have something of yours.

Vald: Of mine? What is it?

Dragonborn: Here, it's your debt with Maven. You're free.

Vald: I can't believe it! How'd ya talk her into this? Never mind, I don't
      care. I'm just glad I don't gotta work for Maven anymore. Here, ya did
      me a favor, I guess I owe you one.

[He gives over the key and walks off. Either way, the player will enter the
 house's hidden room and uncover Mercer's heist plans. Upon returning to

Brynjolf: I've scoured the town and I've spoken to every contact we have left.
          No sign of Mercer. Any luck on your end?

Dragonborn: He wasn't here, but I found these plans.

Brynjolf: Shor's beard! He's going after the Eyes of the Falmer? That was
          Gallus's pet project. If he gets his hands on them, you can be
          certain he'll be gone for good and set up for life.

Dragonborn: Then we have to stop him.

Brynjolf: Agreed. He's taken everything the Guild has left, and to go after
          one of the last greatest heists is just an insult. I've spoken to
          Karliah, and made amends for how the Guild's treated her. Now she
          wishes to speak with both of us. Quickly, we have no time to lose.

[TH09] TRINITY RESTORED |======================================================
[Karliah walks over.]

Karliah: Brynjolf, the time has come to decide Mercer's fate. Until a new
         Guild Master is chosen, the decision falls to you.

Brynjolf: Aye, lass...and I've come to a decision. Mercer Frey tried to kill
          both of you, he betrayed the Guild, murdered Gallus and made us
          question our future. He needs to die.

Karliah: We have to be very careful, Brynjolf. Mercer is a Nightingale, an
         Agent of Nocturnal.

Brynjolf: Then it's all true...everything I heard in the stories. The
          Nightingales, their allegiance to Nocturnal and the Twilight

Karliah: Yes. That is why we need to prepare ourselves and meet Mercer on
         equal footing. Just outside of Riften, beyond the Southeast Gate, is
         a small path cut up the mountainside. At the end of that path is a
         clearing and an old standing stone. I'd ask you both to meet me

[The player goes to the designated location, a dead end where the path has
 vanished. A gigantic stone is off to one side. The other two are waiting.]

Karliah: I'm glad you're here.

Dragonborn: What's the significance of this place?

Karliah: This is the headquarters of the Nightingales, cut into the
         mountainside by the first of our kind. We've come to seek the edge we
         need to defeat Mercer Frey.

Dragonborn: What kind of an edge?

Karliah: If you'll follow me, I'll try to explain on the way.

         Tell me about the Nightingales.
          Gallus, Mercer Frey and I were once members of what is known as the
          Nightingale Trinity. The Trinity disbanded twenty-five years ago when
          Mercer Frey betrayed us by slaying Gallus and dumping his body in the
          ruins of Snow Veil Sanctum.

          Were they a part of the Thieves Guild?
           Indirectly. The Trinity is usually selected from the ranks of the
           Guild, although its existence is a closely-guarded secret.

           What is their purpose?
            The Nightingales protect the Temple of Nocturnal, a place known as
            the Twilight Sepulcher.

         Who is Nocturnal?
          She's the mistress of night and darkness and the patron of every
          thief in Tamriel.

          I've never met a thief that worshipped anything.
           Nocturnal isn't one for worship and reverence. There are no priests
           and no sermons, no services and no alms. She influences our luck and
           in return demands payment.

           Sounds like a Guild contract.
            You're closer to understanding than you realize. The only
            difference is she doesn't demand payment in the traditional sense,
            and sometimes the cost can be quite high. Whether you know it or
            not, Nocturnal dictates how well we perform as rogues.

            I have my skill, not powers or magic.
             Again, you have to think differently. Haven't you ever noticed how
             our luck behaves? Like a novice picking an impossible lock or a
             blind man suddenly turning to face you as you reach for his
             pocket? It's through these subtle means that Nocturnal influences

             Sounds like she just likes us to suffer.
              Nocturnal's whim is the greatest mystery to everyone. There have
              been volumes written on the subject. Does she exact payment when
              we die? When we suffer does she revel in our misery? No one
              knows. The return certainly seems worth the risk though.

         Am I to become a Nightingale?
          It's my hope that you will, yes.

         What happened to capturing Mercer alive?
          From the moment you were struck with my poisoned arrow at Snow Veil
          Sanctum, my path changed its course. Perhaps I couldn't bring Mercer
          back alive, but together, we were able to clear my name and to put
          Gallus's remains to rest. I'd always intended Mercer's fate to
          ultimately be decided by the Guild, and it seems they've spoken.

         This way, please.

[A rock slides back in the cliffs, revealing the hidden Nightingale Hall.]

Brynjolf: So, this is Nightingale Hall. I heard about this place when I joined
          the Guild, but I never believed it existed.

Karliah: The assumption that the Nightingales were just a myth was seeded
         within the Guild on purpose. It helped avert attention from our true
         nature. What's wrong, Brynjolf? I can almost hear your brow furrowing.

Brynjolf: I'm trying to understand why I'm here, lass. I'm no priest, and I'm
          certainly not religious. Why pick me?

Karliah: This isn't about religion, Brynjolf...it's business. This is
         Nightingale Hall. You're the first of the uninitiated to set foot
         inside in over a century. Now, if you'll both proceed to the armory
         to don your Nightingale Armor, we can begin the Oath.

Brynjolf: I think we should trust the lass and take the deal.

[Each goes to one of the emblem-emblazoned stones and receives armor.]

Karliah: You appear ready for the Oath.

Brynjolf: Okay, lass. We've got these getups on...now what?

Karliah: Beyond this gate is the first step to becoming a Nightingale.

Brynjolf: Whoa there, lass. I appreciate the armor, but becoming a Nightingale?
          That was never discussed.

Karliah: To hold any hope of defeating Mercer, we must have Nocturnal at our
         backs. If she is to accept you as one of her own, an arrangement must
         be struck.

Brynjolf: What sort of arrangement? I need to know the terms.

Karliah: The terms are quite simple, Brynjolf. Nocturnal will allow you to
         become a Nightingale and use your abilities for whatever you wish.
         And in return, both in life and death, you must serve as a guardian
         of the Twilight Sepulcher.

Brynjolf: Aye, there's always a catch. But at this point, I suppose there isn't
          much to lose. If it means the end of Mercer Frey, you can count me

Karliah: What about you? Are you ready to transact the Oath with Nocturnal?

         Yes, I'm ready.
          Good. After I open the gate, please stand on the western circle.

         I'm not sure I understand the terms.
          By transacting the Oath with Nocturnal, you're entering into a
          business deal. You'll be provided all the power and knowledge
          befitting a Nightingale. You're free to use those powers as you see
          fit, to further your own goals or the goals of the Thieves Guild.

          And in return?
           In return, you'll be required to defend the Twilight Sepulcher and
           everything within when the need arises. More importantly, upon your
           death, your spirit will be bound to the Twilight Sepulcher as one
           of its guardians.

           There's no going back?
            Once the Oath has been struck, the terms are binding. Knowing this,
            are you ready to undergo the ceremony?

[In the deepest chamber, each person stands on a floor glyph.]

Karliah: I call upon you, Lady Nocturnal, Queen of Murk and Empress of Shadow.
         Hear my voice!

[Nocturnal manifests as a giant ball of energy.]

Nocturnal: Ah, Karliah. I was wondering when I'd hear from you again. Lose
           something, did we?

Karliah: My lady, I come before you to throw myself at your mercy and to accept
         responsibility for my failure.

Nocturnal: You're already mine, Karliah. Your terms were struck long ago. What
           could you possibly offer me now?

Karliah: I have two others that wish to transact the Oath; to serve you both in
         life and in death.

Nocturnal: You surprise me, Karliah. This offer is definitely weighted in my

Karliah: My appetite for Mercer's demise exceeds my craving for wealth, Your

Nocturnal: Revenge? How interesting... Very well, your conditions are
           acceptable. You may proceed.

Karliah: Lady Nocturnal, we accept your terms. We dedicate ourselves to you as
         both your avengers and your sentinels. We will honor our agreement in
         this life and in the next until your conditions have been met.

Nocturnal: Very well. I name your initiates Nightingale and I restore your
           status to the same, Karliah. And in the future, I'd suggest you
           refrain from disappointing me again.

[All three people glow with blue energy, then Nocturnal disappears.]

Karliah: Now that you've transacted the Oath, it's time to reveal the final
         piece of the puzzle to you; Mercer's true crime.

Dragonborn: He's done more?

Karliah: Mercer was unable to unlock the Guild's vault without two keys because
         of what he stole from the Twilight Sepulcher...the Skeleton Key. By
         doing this, he's compromised our ties to Nocturnal, and in essence,
         caused our luck to run dry.

Dragonborn: So the key unlocks any door?

Karliah: Well, yes. But the key isn't only restricted to physical barriers. All
         of us possess untapped abilities; the potential to wield greater
         power, securely sealed within our minds. Once you realize the key can
         access these traits, the potential becomes limitless.

         The Guild should possess this item.
          Although it would benefit the Guild more than you could imagine, in
          the end, it would do more harm than good.

         The three of us could keep it.
          I'm afraid that's impossible.

         Sounds like no one should possess it.
          Good, then you understand why this is about more than Mercer's lust
          for power.

         If the Key isn't returned to its lock in the Twilight Sepulcher,
         things will never be the same for the Guild. As time passed on, our
         luck would diminish to the point of non-existence. And whether you
         know it or not, our uncanny luck defines our trade.

Dragonborn: First time I ever set out to return something...

Karliah: Very true. In our line of work, it's quite rare we set out to return
         a stolen item to its rightful owner.

Dragonborn: Let's go.

Karliah: Before we depart, Brynjolf has some business to discuss. I suggest you
         listen to him.

Brynjolf: Listen, lad. There's one last piece of business we need to settle
          before we go after Mercer...the leadership of the Guild.

Dragonborn: Why tell this to me?

Brynjolf: Karliah and I had a long discussion before you arrived here. Thanks
          to your efforts, Mercer's treachery has been exposed. After we deal
          with him, all that remains is restoring the Guild to its full
          strength. As a result, we both feel that you have the potential of
          replacing Mercer as leader of the Thieves Guild.

Dragonborn: Me? What about you?

Brynjolf: I've been at this game a long time, my friend. A long time. I've
          stolen trinkets from nobles and framed priests for murder. I'm good
          at what I do, maybe even one of the best. But it's all I know. I've
          never been one to lead. Never desired it, never cared for it. Don't
          want it.

          I don't know what to say.
           Well, we have a bit of an errand to run before your coronation, so
           don't get sentimental on me now.

          It's about time you asked.
           Ha! Spoken like the leader of the Thieves Guild. Just don't lose
           yourself in the role. We have a bit of an errand to run before your

          No, it's not right.
           Look. Everyone in the Guild admires what you've done. Maybe they
           won't come out and simply tell you, but I promise you it's true.
           And now they know Mercer never genuinely cared about the Guild. He
           lacked the loyalty you obviously possess. I can't think of anyone

Dragonborn: I accept.

Brynjolf: Then it's decided. When this is all over and Delvin's contacts assure
          me we've regained our footing in Skyrim, we'll handle the details.
          Until then, we have quite the task ahead.

Dragonborn: Then lets get to it.

Brynjolf: I've been pouring over the plans you brought us, and I'm convinced
          the Eyes of the Falmer are in the dwarven ruins at Irkngthand.
          Karliah and I will meet you there. Prepare yourself, lad. This will
          be a fight to remember!

          Do you think we stand a chance against Mercer?
           If you would have asked me that yesterday, I'd have said no. But now
           I think our chances have improved. Look, call me crazy if you like,
           but I trust Karliah. I don't think she'd lead us down a suicidal
           path. Besides, I'd rather die with some of Mercers blood on my
           blade than spend my life regretting that I ran the other way.

          I guess we're Nightingales now.
           Aye, and some of what Karliah said is starting to make sense. Mercer
           may have damaged our reputation and raided our coffers, but this
           goes well beyond even his twisted form of larceny. Old Delvin kept
           calling it a curse and we all laughed at him. Looks like the joke's
           on us.

[If one talks to Karliah, 2 new options comes up.]

Dragonborn: I don't feel stronger.

Karliah: With the Skeleton Key missing from the Twilight Sepulcher, I'm afraid
         afraid Mercer's seen to it that none of us can benefit from
         Nocturnal's gifts.

Dragonborn: But she spoke to us.

Karliah: You merely transacted the Oath; signed the unwritten contract with
         Nocturnal. In order for us to receive our abilities...our end of the
         bargain, I'm afraid the Key must be returned.

Dragonborn: Then Nocturnal's angry at us?

Karliah: If Nocturnal was truly displeased with me...with any of us, she
         wouldn't have answered my call. I have no doubt that we still hold
         her favor and I believe it gives us enough of an edge to defeat
         Mercer Frey.

Dragonborn: May I ever return to Nightingale Hall?

Karliah: Yes. Now that you're a Nightingale, you may consider this your new
         home. You'll find that this place offers many things that will help
         you in your endeavors as well as a wealth of information for you to
         learn. Once the Skeleton Key has been restored to the Twilight
         Sepulcher, I'll make this place my home as well.

[TH10] BLINDSIGHTED |==========================================================
[The player reunites with the Nightingales in Irkngthand's Grand Cavern area.]

Karliah: Mercer's been here...I hope we're not too late.

Dragonborn: Those bandits back there...

Karliah: Brynjolf and I found them like that. Mercer's doing. We have to catch
         up to him before it's too late.

Dragonborn: I'm ready. Let's go.

Karliah: We should tread carefully. I wouldn't be surprised if he's left behind
         a few surprises for us.

[The player can have optional convos with the other 'Gales at this point.]

Brynjolf: Crime is one thing, murder is another. Mercer will answer for this.

          Do you think Mercer knows we're here?
           The lass seems to think old Mercer is pulling a fast one on us...
           leading us here and letting the dwarven constructs wear us down.
           I've learned to trust her lead at this point. After all, we
           Nightingales need to stick together, eh?

          What are the Eyes of the Falmer?
           A few years before Mercer murdered Gallus, the Guild took in a
           thief who specialized in dwarven antiquities. The thief had broken
           into a nobleman's home somewhere in Windhelm and made off with a
           small figurine of a snow elf with crystalline eyes.

           A snow elf?
            Aye, that's what the Falmer were known as long ago...before they
            became the blind monstrositie they are today. When Gallus took one
            look at this statue, he knew it was something special. He took it
            right up to Enthir at the College of Winterhold. Didn't take long
            for Enthir to find a book in the college's library that told of
            Irkngthand and a great statue with gemmed eyes within.

            So the Eyes of the Falmer are gems?
             Not just ordinary gems. They're said to be flawlessly cut and as
             big as a man's head. Can you imagine how much they're worth?
             Gallus and Mercer spent the better part of a month infiltrating
             Irkngthand, but the dwarves had protected the place far too well.
             There were just too many obstacles blocking the way. The plans
             were shelved and the rest is history.

Karliah: If Mercer leaves here with the Eyes, we'll never see him again.

         Do you think Mercer knows we're here?
          Mercer's been careful so far. I don't think he'd just leave those
          plans behind unless he had his reasons. For someone in possession
          of the Skeleton Key, stealing the Eyes of the Falmer would be child's
          play. No, he means to ambush us down here, I'm almost certain of it.

         Both of you wait here a moment.
          Alright, but don't wander ahead too far or else we'll be forced to
          come find you.

         Let's go.
          Lead on, we're ready.

         Keep as quiet as you can. The Falmer are blind but they can still hear

[A ways ahead, through a massive barricade, they spy something creeping behind
 Falmer, killing them. It soon runs out of sight.]

Karliah: Wait a moment...what's that? It's Mercer! Look...down there!

Brynjolf: I'm on it, lass. Damn it! There's no way through.

Karliah: He's toying with us. He wants us to follow.

Brynjolf: Aye, lass...and we'll be ready for him. Let's keep moving.

[They continue a tour of the massive caverns.]

Brynjolf: Look at the size of this place. Have you ever seen anything like it
          in your life, lass?

Karliah: Can't say that I have. Imagine the riches hidden within these walls.

[The Nightingales find a debris-strewn room.]

Brynjolf: Looks like we can take the low road or the high road across this
          chamber. Your choice.

[They reach the other side after hearing a rumbling.]

Brynjolf: So this is what we heard. The entire tower collapsed.

Karliah: The only reason to do that would be to block pursuit. It must be
         Mercer. We'll have to find another way around.

[They find a chamber with Falmer and a large dwarven construct.]

Brynjolf: Shor' bones! Look at that monstrosity.

Karliah: It's a Dwarven Centurion. Very tough and very deadly.

Brynjolf: We can take the beast on or sneak around. It's your call, lad. We're
          right behind you.

[Further on...]

Karliah: This is where we saw Mercer. We must be getting close.

[Everyone heads into the next section, killing more Falmer by torture devices.]

Karliah: Even the Falmer don't deserve the pain these implements must have
         inflicted. The dwarves were a cruel race.

[In the next cavern:]

Karliah: There's a mass of the Falmer in this chamber. We can sneak through or
         take them down...I don't care. As long as we get to Mercer.

[In the shoddy tunnel beyond:]

Karliah: I can hear water rushing through these pipes. We must be beneath a

[At the final door...]

Karliah: He's close. I'm certain of it. We must prepare ourselves.

Brynjolf: Then this is it. We do this for Gallus and for the Guild.

[They all enter the deepest chamber, where Mercer is trying to pry the gemmed
 eyes out of a massive Falmer statue.]

Karliah: He's here and he hasn't seen us yet. Brynjolf, watch the door.

Brynjolf: Aye, lass. Nothing's getting by me.

Karliah: Climb down that ledge and see if you can--

Mercer: Karliah, when will you learn you can't get the drop on me?

[He activates something, crumbling the ledge they're standing on.]

Mercer: When Brynjolf brought you before me, I could feel a sudden shift in
        the wind. And at that moment, I knew it would end with one of us at
        the end of a blade.

Dragonborn: Give me the Key, Mercer.

Mercer: What's Karliah been filling your head with? Tales of thieves with
        honor? Oaths rife with falsehoods and broken promises? Nocturnal
        doesn't care about you, the Key or anything having to do with the

        I don't believe you. Nocturnal guides me.
         Then it appears the shadows shroud more than your presence...they
         blind your wisdom as well. Our actions have always been one and the
         same; both of us lie, cheat and steal to further our own end.

        It's not about Nocturnal. This is personal.
         Revenge is it? Have you learned nothing from your time with us? When
         will you open your eyes and realize how little my actions differ from
         yours? Both of us life, cheat and steal to further our own end.

        To blazes with Nocturnal. I'm here for the Eyes.
         Wait a moment...do I detect a hint of genuine avarice from this noble
         thief? Perhaps Karliah and Brynjolf misjudged you and your true nature
         is no different than my own.

Dragonborn: The difference is I still have honor.

Mercer: It's clear you'll never see the Skeleton Key as I do...as an instrument
        of limitless wealth. Instead you've chosen to fall over your own
        foolish code.

Dragonborn: If anyone falls, it will be you.

Mercer: Then the die is cast, and once again my blade will taste Nightingale
        blood! Karliah, I'll deal with you after I deal with your irksome
        companions. In the meantime, perhaps you and Brynjolf should get better

[Mercer uses his powers to control Brynjolf, making him fight Karliah. They
 both start parrying each others attacks.]

Brynjolf: What...what's happening... I can't stop myself.

Karliah: Fight it, Brynjolf...he's taken control of you!

Brynjolf: I'm sorry, lass, I...I can't...!

Karliah: Damn you, Mercer!

Brynjolf: Enough of this! Fight me!

[The player is left to fight Mercer alone, eventually dealing a coup de grace.]

Mercer: Shadows take me...

[With his spell over, the other Nightingales quit fighting and try the door.]

Karliah: Damn! This place is coming down! Quick, get the Skeleton Key and the
         Eye and lets¹ get out of here!

Brynjolf: No luck there, lass. Something must have fallen on the other side
          of the door because it isn't moving!

Karliah: We have to find another way out of here before the place fills with

[The water rapidly rises. At the last moment, part of the ceiling collapses,
 revealing an old, sealed tunnel hidden above the Falmer statue. They all
 take a breather in Bronze Water Cave]

Karliah: I can't believe it's over. After twenty-five years in exile and just
         like that, it's done. All that remains is to ensure the safe return
         of the Skeleton Key.

Dragonborn: Sounds like it will be a simple task.

Karliah: I'm afraid it's not that simple. When the Skeleton Key was stolen from
         the Twilight Sepulcher, our access to the inner sanctum was removed.
         The only way to bring it back will be through the Pilgrim's Path.

Dragonborn: I take it you never used the Pilgrim's Path.

Karliah: It wasn't created for the Nightingales. It was created to test those
         who wished to serve Nocturnal in other ways. As a consequence, I have
         no knowledge of what you'll be facing.

Dragonborn: Then we'd best get started.

Karliah: Brynjolf is needed back at the Thieves Guild to keep order while
         you're away. And I...I can't bear to face Nocturnal after my failure
         to protect the Key. I'm afraid you'll have to face the end of your
         journey alone.

Dragonborn: Don't worry. I'll return the Key.

Karliah: Take this with you. I'm not certain if it will help within the walls
         of the Sepulcher, but I certainly don't need it as much as you. I've
         had this bow almost my entire life, and it's never let me down. I
         hope it brings you the same luck.

         I don't understand why you won't come with me.
          I've been a Nightingale for a very long time. I sold my allegiance to
          Nocturnal in exchange for many profitable years of thieving. Falling
          in love with Gallus was wrong. It was a distraction that allowed the
          Sepulcher to be desecrated and it likely cost him his life. Until
          the Key is returned, I will never set foot inside that place again.

         What's the story with the Pilgrim's Path?
          Even though Nocturnal doesn't desire worship in