Faction: Thieves Guild
Prerequisites: All previous Thieves Guild quests completed, 1000 gold fenced
Quest giver: Gray Fox (Via a messenger Amusei)
Reward: Gray Cowl of Nocturnal; key to Dareloth's Basement (Thieves Guild Hall); being named as the Thieves Guild Guildmaster
The final piece that the Gray Fox needs is an Elder Scroll from the Imperial City Palace itself. To start, he gives you the Boots of Springheel Jak, which he believes you'll need at some point, as well as the Arrow of Extrication, which supposedly should unlock something.
As preparation, be sure to bring a bow, a few arrows and plenty of lockpicks. The Skeleton Key, received from Nocturnal, is a very handy item to have with you on this quest as well. Also, make sure you bring silver arrows if you're a bowman, and leave behind your least needed items. This is a long quest, so be sure you have time on your hands.
First, go to the Imperial City Palace in Imperial City. Head inside, make a left, and pick the lock on the door to the Palace Basement. Once inside, walk a few feet, turn right, and head to the other end of the room (north side); watch out for a patrolling guard. Activate the giant hourglass (the Glass of Time).
Second, head to the Imperial City Arboretum and head to the northern gate. A grate on the ground by a tree is the entrance to the South East Tunnels. Inside, make your way to the Beneath the Bloodworks area.
Beware of Vampires throughout this area, as well as several other monsters. Once you get to some stairs, make a right, keep going straight, and then you’ll see a door to the left. You’ll need to open some gates with nearby turn wheels (see map) to get to the Imperial Palace Sewers.
Once inside the Sewers, cross the bridge, head down the stairs, and watch out for the wraith. Go through the northwest hall, and you’ll come to a large circular room with a pool of water. Go through the hallway to the next room, then go through the next hallway and through the gate. Head through the Strange Door to the Old Way.
In the Old Way, watch out for traps; look on the ground for trap plates. The ruins are populated with leveled Undead. Go down the hall, make your first left and through the door into another room called Old Way. Be careful in here because there are more enemies, mostly skeletal and Ethereal Undead. Fight your way through (there's only one way to go here), then go towards and enter The Lost Catacombs. If you can't find it, look for the hole in the wall, climb through and there will be two zombies.
Again, fight or sneak your way through, there’s only one way. Head north, then east through a large area with a few enemies in the lighted center, then north again. When you come to two tunnels, take the right one. Follow it through and you should get to a very large elvish-origin room. Use the Springheel Jak Boots to get on the ledge to activate the switches to open the first gate. Go straight through it and through the door to the Hall of Epochs.
Inside the Hall of Epochs, go straight up the steps to the three statues. You’ll get a message that you need to find the keyhole. Go around back to the large walls that look like pillars and you'll get a message that you need to lower those walls. You'll see a gate when facing south, so head through it and you’ll find a button. Press it. Then continue through there, fighting to another room named the Hall of Epochs.
In the room, push the button to open the secret wall to the SE. In the last chamber, where there are two catacomb rooms on each side, you’ll see a chest and a button above it; press it. Then go back to the large room with the statues.
You’ll notice that the big walls are now down. Fight the two zombies, stand on the small square on the small bridge and look straight across at the big center statue. You'll see that there is a hole to shoot arrows through (the keyhole). Practice with a few regular arrows at first (you should’ve gotten some from the dead skeletons). (Note: use the sword on the statue as aim) When you hit the hole with an arrow you will hear a loud "thunk" sound. That is when you know you hit it. You’ll actually need to aim high to hit it. Save the game first before shooting the real thing. If you miss, you can actually pick up the Arrow of Extrication, but save beforehand just in case. Fire the Arrow of Extrication at the keyhole.
- PLEASE NOTE: A bug can occur if you pick up the Arrow of Extrication after you've hit the keyhole. I don't recommend picking up the Arrow afterwards. If you do, it will remain in your inventory as a Quest Item.
Once you approach the door, the two Ayleid statues will come alive and fight you (if you interact with them). Defeat them and prepare yourself in sneak mode. (You are able to obtain their weapons if you get them via the inventory, but if it is dropped from a container or a person drops it, you will not be able to pick it up, because the weapon crumbles to dust.)
Back to the Imperial PalaceEdit
Sneak through the door and you’ll end up in the Imperial Palace Guard Room. Sneak your way out, make a left into the Library. Sneak forward more, until you see a door to the library on your left. Pick the lock on the door, enter, make a right and follow the hallway. Pull the lever behind the Blind Priest, go back around to the front of the priest gate, and into the library. Sit on the chair. Beware, if you try to talk to the blind priests they will raise the alarm and you will have to escape the palace without the scroll then have to repeat the quest again. It is advisable to save frequently.
A Blind Priest will come down and give you the Elder Scroll (There are also several skill books on the library shelves, along with jewelry boxes and alchemical ingredients, including Ironwood nuts). Do not talk to any of the priests. If you do they won't give you the scroll and it will be impossible to finish the quest. The only way to fix it is to reload a previous save from before you talked to the priest. It may seem as though you cannot get up off the chair, as you are unable to turn far enough to look at it and bring up the chair icon - but as long as you look far enough round to bring up the cross hair, you will be able to activate it that way and stand up fine. Take the Elder Scroll, sneak up the stairs (don’t worry, as long as you’re sneaking, the priests won’t bother you, even if you're directly in front of them). Pick the lock , then make a left and pick the lock into the Moth Priest’s Chambers. Go around and pick the lock to the Imperial Battlemage’s Chambers. But it may seem advisable to look around and loot things around the palace as you won't be able to go back again. There is some gold lying on a chest or desk in the guard quarters and battlemages chambers, and in the moth priests and battlemages chambers there is some vintage wines. And in the battlemages chambers are several display cases and in one is a silver battle axe that is counted as a blade, at least on my PS3 edition. Also you may or may not run into a female mage wearing a red velvet blouse and pants. She is a member of the Mages Guild so pickpocketing her may result in expulsion if you are a member, depending on if you are caught. Don't worry about the bloodprice, because the Gray Fox took it off. Pick the lock into the bedroom. Make sure you’re wearing the Boots of Springheel Jak, as you’ll be falling soon. Go to the fireplace and escape through there and fall to the Old Way. There is a way to avoid this completely. Once you have the elder scroll, it becomes a quest item and cannot be removed from your inventory, so get arrested by the guards, serve your time and you will still have the scroll after you are released, and you can keep the boots of Springheel Jak. The only downside is you have to keep the boots in your inventory forever because they are counted as a quest item.
Once you’ve fallen, go back the way you came and return to the Gray Fox with the Scroll. You can also choose not to wear the shoes and instead fall without them if you want to keep them. It is also possible to save before you hit the ground. Reloading the save will stop you from losing the shoes.
He asks you of one last thing before your reward: He asks you to take a Wedding Ring to Countess Millona Umbranox in Anvil, and gauge her reaction. If she asks who’s it from, say it’s from a stranger who wants you to have it.
Revelation at Castle AnvilEdit
Head to Castle Anvil and give the wedding ring to her. You'll discover that it’s her husband’s ring and that she deeply misses her husband. The Stranger will walk up, and will turn into the Gray Fox. He takes off his mask, and reveals that he is Count Corvus Umbranox, her long-lost husband. He wore the mask ten years ago when it was inherited from the former Thieves Guild guildmaster and lost his identity for 10 years. Corvus renounces his life of thievery, names you guildmaster, and gives you the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal, which is no longer cursed. Wearing it in public will cause guards to attack you, however people will not recognize that you are the Gray Fox if you remove it in front of them.
Corvus also reveals that Emer Dareloth is the true thief of Nocturnal's cowl. History, having been altered by the magic of the Cowl, now allows the Thieves Guild to have formed a guildhall at the ruins of Dareloth at the Imperial City Waterfront, where you first met Armand.
- There is a Glitch where you cannot stand up after sitting down in the chair in the library. Thus the monks continue to attack and you cannot do anything about it. You cannot even draw or weapon or cast spells as you are sitting down. Just reload your last save. A way to fix this on the Xbox 360 is as soon as you sit down go on sneak mode.
- When you jump down the chute, do not wear the Boots of Springheel Jak. Wearing the boots while dropping down will destroy them (as in removing them from your inventory). If you want to wear them again, make sure you're at full health, save, and jump down. If you die, then load up from your last save, wear them, and jump down. If you have one, a fortify endurance potion will help keep you from dying. High Agility, Acrobatics, and Fortify Health potions will help as well.
- Another way of falling without destroying them is dropping everything you have. That way you fall on a cushy pillow without dying. Then pick every thing back up and go on your way.
- Another way to keep them is to not wear them and on the way down the chute hold your walk forward command. You'll land instead on a platform that is raised about three stone blocks above the lowest part of the floor. You will lose health but likely not die. Make sure you are sneaking before you enter the chute so when you land you will still be sneaking.
- This will not work on the Xbox 360 or the PS3 version of the game, as it will not allow you to drop items while you're in the air.
- Keeping the boots (and the arrow, if you picked it up after you fired it) keeps them in your inventory as 'quest' items. For PC-players: use the console to type: Player.RemoveItem 00022DB5.
- You may also keep the boots by allowing yourself to be arrested after getting the scroll. Being arrested does not remove the Elder Scroll from your inventory.
- Even after the quest is finished, the Boots, as well as the scroll containing the Plans for the Big Heist, will still be considered quest items, preventing the player from dropping them. Although they have no weight, players may find the extra items slightly annoying, and will have to resort to the Console to remove it. Xbox 360 and PS3 players currently have no way to remove lingering quest items such as these.
- A glitch may happen after this quest where you can not sit down on any chairs, stools, etc. When you activate a chair, you will stand and not be able to move. The only way to fix this is reload a previous save, or if an enemy attacks you and knocks you down.
- If you're playing a Vampire over 75, then the Countess will not talk to you until you feed.
- Possible chance that Amusei will not deliver the message in Elven Gardens District on the PS3 version. (Waited for days and nothing happened, after going to Green Emperor Way in the Imperial city it took only 1 hour wait and Amusei appeared) (Confirmed on PC, latest patch)
- There is a glitch that will not lower the two big walls in the room with the statue, thus making it impossible to finish the quest. well at least on the PS3 and Xbox 360. But if you run back and press the button that lowers the walls again it may solve this issue, you may need to repeat more then once untill all the walls come down or at least so can reach the center pressure plate. (the walls may be be down only partially but the gates in the center may still have opened)