S'krivva wants you to find out what happened to a missing thief by the name of Theranis. He was sent to Skingrad to purloin a rare book, Lost Histories of Tamriel, from the wizard in the castle there. She wants you to bring the book back - apparently the Gray Fox is very interested in it.
Head for Skingrad and track down one of the local beggars to find out what's been happening. With the usual application of coinage, they'll tell you that Theranis was last seen being dragged off to the castle dungeons, after being unwise enough to brag about stealing something from the castle in the Two Sisters Lodge, where the Captain of the Skingrad Guard was drinking at the time. If you want to talk to him, you're going to have to get into the dungeons somehow. There are several ways to enter the prison dungeon.
Follow the marker to the town gate, leave, and climb the hill up to the castle. Make your way down to the dungeons and talk to the jailer. Bribery doesn't work on him, rather unhelpfully, but he does mention that Shum gro-Yarug, the Count's butler, is looking to hire people to work at the castle. Follow the marker to track him down.
Handily, gro-Yarug is looking for somebody to deal with the prisoners. The pay's lousy and he failed to find anyone for the job, so he requires absolutely no persuasion to let you do it. He tells you to feed the prisoners once a day (he doesn't care when) and that the guards will open the door for you when you ask them.
Head back down to the dungeon, where the guard will open the door for you.
Simply sneaking into the prison dungeon with a ranged Open Hard Lock spell, or by pickpocketing the jailor.
Bypassing the prison completely and sneaking through Castle Skingrad's rooms and into the Castle Skingrad Wine Cellar and following the blood stains on the ground.
One may speak to Larthjar the Laggard in a double cell of the castle prison. You may gain entrance to there by simply commiting an offence whereby a guard will confront your character and offer, as one of the options to go to jail to attone for your bad deed. Moreover, you can attain knowledge of the work which gro-Yarug is offering by one of the passing guards (you may speak to them through the jail bars). Then serve your sentence and be on your way.
Tell the guard you wish to see the prisoners, and he will follow you in. Once inside tell him you want to see the prisoners again, and he will retreat back to his post by the door.
Larthjar the LaggardEdit
Go inside, where you'll find your marker pointing to a prisoner by the name of Larthjar the Laggard. Talk to him and he'll tell you that Theranis was held in one of the other cells with an Argonian prisoner, but that an individual called the Pale Lady took him some time ago. She takes people on a regular basis - nobody ever returns after their third time, and this was the third time that she'd taken Theranis. He also tells you that the Argonian was taken only an hour ago, struggling and bleeding quite badly.
At the far end of the cell block, you'll notice a decidedly door-shaped mark on the end wall. On the wall to your right, there's a candle holder. Use it, and the secret door will swing open, revealing a passageway carved into the rocks, with what suspiciously looks like fresh bloodstains on the floor. Follow the passageway, through a door into an area near the Castle Skingrad Wine Cellar, until you reach the end of the passageway and another secret door - turn the handle on the wall to open it.
Continue to follow the bloodstains on the floor down into the wine cellar, where the stains seem to end in front of a large wine barrel. Another secret door is behind the center barrel. To open it, activate the unlit candle holder that's on the back side of the right pole.
Follow the passageway and you'll find the Pale Lady waiting for you. She is vampiric and clearly lacking any social politeness, and she attacks you on sight. She uses an invisibility spell to give you a few problems.
Deal with her and you'll find Theranis' body lying on the ground. The Argonian prisoner is in a nearby cell. Talk to him and it turns out to be Amusei again, back in captivity. Unsurprisingly he's rather grateful to you and tells you that Theranis gave him a message about a treasure to be taken back to the Thieves' Guild. Get him out of the castle and Amusei will tell you what he said. The key to the cell, along with a general castle key, can be found on the Pale Lady's body.
Larthjar the Laggard plays a somewhat important part in the escape. When you inquire of him about the Argonian and Pale Lady, he will give you the option of letting him escape his cell. If you disregard this invitation, when you enter to the wine cellar a guard and Shum gro-Yarug will be waiting for you. Therefore, unless you plan on killing a guard and knocking Gro-Yarug unconsious, it would probably be wise to allow him his freedom. (Note: Only relevant on XBOX 360) (Note for Note: It just worked on PS3)
Escaping the castleEdit
Escaping the castle is a bit tough because once you and Amusei are discovered, they will know you are escaping prisoners and the castle guards will act accordingly. It's best just to run through the castle and out or option number two is to just sneak through if lucky you'll pass by one person that can spot you but their back is turned although when you get outside most likely there will be a guard by the front door or by the entrance to the bridge, cross the bridge until you get a journal update that you and Amusei have escaped.
Let Amusei out and head back out through the wine cellar. Turn right and go through into the dining area. Go through the dining area itself and take the door through into the County Hall. You end up in a passage off to one side of the hall rather than the hall itself. Opposite you is a door out into the courtyard. Head out through the gate and off along the causeway leading to the castle. Follow the marker until you get the message that you've successfully escaped. Amusei will then pass on Theranis' message.
Retrieving and returning the bookEdit
Get yourself back to Bravil and give the book to S'krivva. She'll be sad about Theranis' death, but will be pleased about the book, telling you that the Gray Fox has been looking for it for many years. She'll give you your reward of 400 .
Upon accepting the quest:
- S'krivva of the Thieves Guild has asked me to find out what happened to the thief named Theranis. He was sent to steal a book entitled Lost Histories of Tamriel from the wizard in Castle Skingrad. My job is to recover the book. S'krivva doesn't care if Theranis delivers it to her or I do. I'm getting 400 gold coins either way.
When discovering Theranis' fate in Skingrad:
- I discovered that Theranis was arrested. It seems he was found in a tavern, drunk and bragging about stealing something from Castle Skingrad. The Captain of the Skingrad Guard overheard him and arrested him. I'm going to have to break into the dungeon if I want to speak to Theranis.
If you decide to enter the dungeon in disguise:
- It seems that the butler, Shum gro-Yarug, is hiring up at Castle Skingrad. Penetrating the castle would be much easier if I had that job.
- I got myself hired as a servant in Castle Skingrad. I only have access to the Great Keep, but that should help. Shum gro-Yarug says that the jailors will open the prison door for me. Now I just have to find Theranis.'
Talking to Larthjar in prison:
- The only prisoner in Castle Skingrad's jail is Larthjar. He told me that the Pale Lady, whoever she is, took Theranis days ago. I don't like the sound of that. There was an Argonian prisoner in the same cell as Theranis. Apparently he was also takes by the Pale Lady just a couple of hours ago. The Argonian put up quite a struggle and was bleeding. It's the only clue I've got right now. I'd better follow it.
Finding Theranis' body in the hidden wine cellar:
- Theranis is dead. I found his body in the secret chamber with Amusei and the Pale Lady.
After talking to Amusei:
- The Argonian in the cell with Theranis turned out to be Amusei! Before he died, Theranis told Amusei where he hid a special treasure, which I assume is the book. If I can get him out of there, Amusei will tell me where the book is hidden. Of course being seen helping a known prisoner to escape is a crime. I'll have to avoid the guards in the castle.
After escaping the castle (crossing the bridge and going down the path):
- Amusei and I escaped from Castle Skingrad. Let's see if he will keep his word and tell me about the book.
After getting the book's location from Amusei:
- Amusei was grateful for being saved from the Pale Lady and told me where to find the book. It's under a bush, behind Nerastarel's house, near a well.
Once you've retrieved the book:
- I have the Lost Histories of Tamriel. Now all I have to do is return it to S'krivva in Bravil.
Once you've returned the book:
- S'krivva has rewarded me for recovering Lost Histories of Tamriel.
- Trivia: If you kill someone while trying to escape with Amusei, Amusei will say, "Better him than me, hehe."
- Bug: There's a bug were, after you pick up the book and try to fast travel or wait, it will say the guards are pursuing you. But your Bounty will be zero. If you talk to the Guards, nothing will happen. This will stop after a while.
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If you let larthjar go he will say he'll wait until the coast is clear, after the quest if you go to the Arboretum District, he'll be living there as the beggar. (There's a bug where he will never leave the dungeon.)