Side Quest: Forbidden Knowledge
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If you let Idunna live during the quest
Enemies Among Us
, then at the start of Act II she'll send you a message at your estate in
. Reading the message will trigger the quest. You can also trigger the quest by interacting with any of Tarohne's evil tomes.
Idunna will warn you that Tarohne wrote "many tomes containing dark secrets she learned from the Fade," and she'll encourage you to destroy them. You'll find five of these evil tomes in and around Kirkwall:
At each tome, you'll be given the choice of destroying it or taking it, and once (and only once) you'll be able to read a tome and accept a deal from it. However, regardless of what you decide to do, each time you interact with a tome, you'll get attacked by a large group of abominations plus a demon / arcane horror / revenant.
Here's what will happen for your various actions:
- If you read a tome and accept its deal, then you'll gain a
Greater Tome of the Mortal Vessel (+2 attributes), which will be applied to your main character automatically.
- If you take a tome, then you'll receive a trash item called
Book of Forbidden Lore, which you'll be able to sell for nearly a sovereign.
- If you take or read any of the five tomes, then you won't be allowed to complete the quest.
- If you destroy all five tomes, then you'll learn about a special tome called the Fell Grimoire, which is located in the Forgotten Lair in
Darktown. Inside the lair, you'll have to deal with some undead creatures and master traps, but at the end you'll come to the grimoire, and you'll be given the same options with it that you were given with the other tomes, with the same results (but with the difference that you'll be able to accept the deal now without botching the quest). Regardless of what you choose, you'll be attacked by the demon Xebenkeck plus a bunch of other demons and abominations, and you'll earn 1000 xp. You'll find the staff
Voracity on Xebenkeck's corpse.
Note: If you have trouble defeating Xebenkeck, then when the battle starts up, immediately retreat your party back to the entrance of the lair. Xebenkeck and the initial demons and abominations will follow you, but the subsequent waves of enemies will stay in the room with the grimoire, where you'll be able to fight them later (or not at all).
Note: Only Merrill will care what you do with the tomes. Each one you destroy will earn you rivalry points with her, but if you read one of the tomes then you'll gain friendship points with her.